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Alteryx Designer Ideas

Share your Designer product ideas - we're listening!
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I would like to see more files types supported to be able to be dragged from a folder onto a workflow. More precisely a .txt and a .dat file. This will greatly help my team and I do be able to analyze new and unknown data files that we receive on a daily basis.  

 

 

Thank you. 

The "Manage Data Connections" tool is fantastic to save credentials alongside the connection without having to worry when you save the workflow that you've embedded a password. 

 

Imagine if - there were a similar utility to handle credentials/environment variables. 

 

  • I could create an entry, give it a description, a username, and an encrypted password stored in my options, then refer to that for configurations/values throughout my workflows. 
    • Tableau credentials in the publish to tableau macro
    • Sharepoint Credentials in the sharepoint list connector
  • When my password changes I only have to change it in one place
  • If I handoff the workflow to another user I don't have to worry about scanning the xml to make sure I'm not passing them my password
  • When a user opens my workflow that doesn't have a corresponding entry in their credentials manager they would be prompted using my description to add it.
  • Entries could be exported and shared as well (with passwords scrubbed)

Example Entry Tableau:

AliasTableau Prod
DescriptionTableau Production Server
UserIDJPhillips
Password*********
+ 

Then when configuring a tool you could put in something like [Tableau Prod].[Password] and it would read in the value.

 

Or maybe for Sharepoint:

 

AliasTeamSP
DescriptionTeam sharepoint location
UserIDJPhillips
Password*********
URL http://sharepoint.com/myteam
+ 

 

Or perhaps for a team file location:

AliasTeamFiles
DescriptionRoot directory for team files
Path\\server.net\myteam\filesgohere
+ 

 

Any of these values could be referenced in tool configurations, formulas, macro inputs by specifying the Alias and field.

1-3-2019 12-43-52 PM.png

I really like that I can scroll -- using my mouse -- between the tool groups in Alteryx. Can this UX be added to scroll through my workflows? I usually have a bunch open, and this functionality would be awesome to have there, too! Smiley Happy

 

PS: Yes, I know I can do Ctrl+Tab...but mouse scrolling is more efficient.

 

idea.gif

When I use the Comment Tool its difficult to select the tools inside it, but when I use the Container Tool the Container Text doesn't support Font Sizes, and doesn't support multiple lines of text so I end up moving the Comment into the Container, but still have problems selecting a group of tools.

 

So a combined Comment and Container Tools would be wonderful!

 

Bonus: If the Comment Tool could support Multiple Font Sizes.

 

Combined Tools.png

The admin needs to be given more control. The admin (curator) should have equal to and great control than the users of the system.

 

My organization is in the Healthcare industry and we have HIPAA laws to abide by when it comes to data. Not all users should be able to see all data. Developers should not have complete control over the data they publish.

 

Private studio -- admin should be able to control if user can publish to public gallery (compliant issues occur when users can all see and run workflows)

 

Collections

  • admin should be able to create collections so they can manage the collections and what users have access to
  • admin should be able to control if users can create new collections (again, compliance issues)
  • admin should be able to add workflows to collections (so users don't need to manage collections, admin can add the workflows for them)
  • admin should be able to give and remove download of workflow rights

 

Get tips from Tableau as they have admin controls down with their permissions process.

In some of our larger workflows it's sometime tedious to run a workflow in order to see some data, when adding something in the beginning of the workflow. Running und stopping it as soon as the tools gets a green border is sometimes an option.

 

It would be convenient to have an option in the context menu to run a workflow only until a specific tool.

In effect, only this specific tool has an output visible for inspection and only the streams necessary for this tool have been run - everything else is ignored and I'm fine to not see data for the other tools.

 

This would speed up the development of small parts in a larger workflow much more convenient.

 

Regards

Christopher

 

PS: Yes, I can put everything else in a container and deactivate it. But a straight forward way without turning containers on and off would be preferable in my opinion. (I think KNIME as something similar.)

It would be wonderful for Alteryx to be able to connect to and query OData feeds natively, rather than using a 3rd-party driver or custom macro.   

 

OData querying is supported by quite a few familiar products, including Excel and PowerBISSIS/SSRS, FME SafeTableau, and many others. And the protocol is used to publish feeds from Microsoft Dynamics and Sharepoint, as well as many of the 10,000 publically available government datasets with API's (esp. those hosted by Socrata)   

 

I didn't see it as in the Idea section, but questions and workarounds have been discussed in the community a few times (11/15, 3/18, 4/18), and suggestions seem to be just to buy the $400-600 ODBC driver from CDATA (or ZappySys), or I could use a VBA script in Excel trigger a refresh, or create my own Alteryx connector macro (great series btw, though most was beyond my understanding!) 

   

While not opposed paying, kludging, or learning to program, they're just one more thing to build/buy, install, maintain, and break at the most inconvenient time Smiley Happy

 

Thanks,
Chadd

 

OData Overview:

OData (Open Data Protocol) is an ISO/IEC approvedOASIS standard that defines a set of best practices for building and consuming RESTful APIs. OData helps you focus on your business logic while building RESTful APIs without having to worry about the various approaches to define request and response headers, status codes, HTTP methods, URL conventions, media types, payload formats, query options, etc. OData also provides guidance for tracking changes, defining functions/actions for reusable procedures, and sending asynchronous/batch requests.  OData RESTful APIs are easy to consume. The OData metadata, a machine-readable description of the data model of the APIs, enables the creation of powerful generic client proxies and tools.

More info at at http://odata.org

@AdamR did a talk this year at Inspire EU about testing Alteryx Canvasses - and it seems that there is a lot we can do here to improve the product:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eN7_XQByPQ&t=1706s

 

One of the biggest and most impactful changes would be support for detailed unit testing for a canvas - this could work much like it does in Visual Studio:

 

Proposal:

In order to fully test a workflow - you need 3 things:

  • Ability to replace the inputs with test data
  • Ability to inspect any exceptions or errors thrown by the canvas
  • Ability to compare the results to expectation

To do this:

  • Create a second tab behind a canvas which is a Testing view of the canvas which allows you to define tests.   Each test contains values for one or more of the inputs; expected exceptions / errors; and expected outputs
  • Alteryx then needs to run each of these tests one by 1 - and for each test:
    • Replace the data inputs with the defined test input.   
    • Check for, and trap errors generated by Alteryx
    • Compare the output
    • Generate a test score (pass or fail against each test case)

This would allow:

  • Each workflow / canvas to carry its own test cases
  • Automated regression testing overnight for every tool and canvas

 

 

Example:

 

Testing.jpg

 

For this canvas - there are 2 inputs; and one output.

Each test case would define:

  • Test rows to push into input 1
  • Test rows to push into input 2
  • any errors we're expecting
  • The expected output of the browse tool

 

 

This would make Alteryx SUPER robust and allow people to really test every canvas in an incredibly tight way!

When commenting an expression (with // or /* <> */), the popup box shouldn't appear as it's essentially free text.

 

Quite irritating when writing a block explanation of logic or something similar.

 

Luke

Hey everyone,

 

I'd like to suggest making use of Windows Taskbar progress feature to highlight running workflow status, it would be helpful for when you start a workflow and continue working on another application.

 

I made a workaround tool I append at the end of my workflows alongside with output tools to do the same thing, having the feature natively in the designer would be better.

 

the tool doesn't take care of other running workflows or different alteryx windows, it can't detect warnings and errors from other tools, although Alteryx Engine API might be better for this implementation, a quick python one is done for demo purposes.

 

Attached are the tool and a test workflow to demonstrate the feature, all the best.

 

If a macro or tool is missing in a workflow, all configuration and connections of said tool is broken, and if you save, all previous configurations and connections are lost.

 

I am proposing all connections and configurations of these tools are instead 'frozen'; all connections and configuration are saved but not editable (with the exception of deleting them). This would allow collaboration with users who do not have the tool/macro.

 

Additionally, functionality to be able to manually point towards another tool and maintain the connections/configurations (in case you have the same macro versioned or named differently) would be nice.

Unlike In-Memory Filter tool, the IN-DB Filter Tool does not process the NULL unless by default specified.

This results in the loss of data without warning.

I suggest you either fix it to match the in-memory filter, or display a warning somewhere, this creates many data quality issues...

Step 04.PNGNULL entry is NOT included!Step 03.PNGNULL entry is included

When a tool container is disabled, I'd like the lines that are going into it to be different from "enabled" lines. 

 

They could be grey or dotted for example.

 

When working on a workflow and disabling containers, I find that the lines entering disabled containers become confusing or cluttering. It would be much simpler to focus my attention efficiently if lines that remain enabled could be distinguished quickly.

Similar to the Select tool's Unknown Field Checkbox, I figured it would be useful for the Data Cleansing tool to have this functionality as well in order to avoid a scenario where after a cross-tab you have a new numeric field, one of which has a Null value, so you can't total up multiple fields because the Null value will prevent the addition from happening. If the Unknown Field box were checked off in the Data Cleansing tool then this problem would be avoided.

There is a great question in the Designer space right now asking about saving logs to a database: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Save-workflow-messages-log-in-database...

 

This got me to think a little more about localized logging options in Alteryx.

 

At a high level, there are ways to accomplish this in Designer at a User or System level by enabling a Logging directory and then parsing those logs with a separate Alteryx job.  However, this would involve logging ALL Designer executions, which seems like it may be overkill for this need.  A user can also manually save a log after each execution, although this requires manual intervention.

 

I think adding an option in the Runtime settings for Workflow Configuration to Enable Logging and (optionally) specify a Logging directory would be a great feature add for Designer.  In my opinion this should not apply once a workflow runs on Server (Server logging should be handled in a fully standardized way), but should apply to designer "UI" execution.  Having the ability to add a logging naming convention (perhaps including a workflow name and run date in the log name) would be icing on the cake.

 

This would allow for a piecemeal logging solution to log specific flows or processes that might be high visiblity or high importance, while avoiding saving hundreds or thousands of logs daily of less important processes, and of dev test.  It would also reduce or eliminate a manual process to save these logs individually.

When my workflow is done running, this box pops up:

Capture.PNG

Previous to 2018.4, the space bar would select ok and the box would go away. Now the space bar selects the checkbox.

 

Please change it back so that the space bar selects ok.

Please add a toggle for Dark Mode as Alteryx, after all these years of using it, is burning out my retinas. 

 

The OS and most apps have a Dark Mode theme so flipping back to a bright white canvas is very jarring.  I tried to adjust the canvas colors in a more muted way but never can get it to work satisfactorily and still be as easy to read as the retina burning default.  

 

The new Cache tool does not function if the 'Disable All Tools that Write Output' option is selected in the workflow runtime properties.  There is no indication of why the cache is not working and this may be confusing because many users won't associate the 'cache' as a normal output.  The interface should be changed to make this more clear or the cache function configured to ignore this workflow runtime option. 

 

It would be really helpful if Alteryx server could connect directly to files on cloud file storage such as Dropbox, Box and OneDrive.  For example; a workflow could access specific source files or a folder with multiple files stored on Dropbox and could run the workflow against those files and then write the output to another folder on Dropbox.  We are making less and less use of internal file servers, so accessing files directly from the cloud allow for additional deployment scenerios and flexibility. 

When showing a workflow to colleagues on my desktop or in a presentation setting, it would be really useful to be able to maximise the workflow into fullscreen.

 

This is currently possible by hiding everything via the View menu (see below) but a one button toggle, say F11, would be nice.

 

Capture.PNG

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