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We have discussed on several occasions and in different forums, about the importance of having or providing Alteryx with order of execution control, conditional executions, design patterns and even orchestration.
I presented this idea some time ago, but someone asked me if it was posted, and since it was not, I’m putting it here so you can give some feedback on it.
The basic concept behind this idea is to allow us (users) to have:
Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
Select after and Input tool
Get not matching records from join
Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
Any other condition
Order of execution
Need to tell Alteryx what to run first, what to run next, and so on…
Run this first
Execute this portion after previous finished
Wait until “X” finishes to execute “Y”
Putting all together
This approach involves some functionalities that are already within the product (like exploiting Filtering logic, loading & saving, caching, blocking among others), exposed within a Tool Container with enhanced attributes, like this example:
The approach is to extend Tool Container’s attributes.
This proposition uses actual functionalities we already have in Designer.
So, basically, the Tool Container gets ‘superpowers’, with the addition of some capabilities like: Accepting input data, saving the contents within the container (to create a design pattern, or very commonly used sequence of tools chained together), output data, run the contents of the tools included in the container, etc.), plus a configuration screen like:
Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
Provides the ability to disable a Container (and all tools within) once it runs.
Idea based on actual behavior: When we enable or disable a Tool Container from an interface Tool.
Input and output data to the container’s logic, will allow to pickup and/or save files from a particular container, to be used in later containers or persist data as a partial result from the entire workflow’s logic (for example updating a dimensions table)
Based on actual behavior: Input & Output Data, Cache, Run Command Tools, and some macros like Prepare Attachment.
Order of Execution: Can be Absolute or Relative. In case of Absolute run, we take the containers in order, executing their contents. If Relative, we have the options to configure which container should run before and after, block until previous container finishes or wait until this container finishes prior to execute next container in list.
Based on actual behavior: Block until done, Cache, Find Replace, some interface Designer capabilities (for chained apps for example), macros’ basic behaviors.
Conditional Execution: In order to be able to conditionally execute other containers, conditions must be evaluated. In this case, the idea is to evaluate conditions within the data, interface tools or Error/Warnings occurrence.
Based on actual behavior: Filter tool, some Interface Tools, test Tool, Cache, Select.
Notes: Documentation text that will appear automatically inside the container, with options to place it on top or below the tools, or hide it.
This should end a brief introduction to the idea, but taking it a little further, it will allow even to have something like an Orchestration layout, where the users can drag and drop containers or patterns and orchestrate them in a solution, like we can do with the Visual Layout Tool or the Interactive Chart tool:
This has probably been mentioned before, but in case it hasn't....
Right now, if the dynamic input tool skips a file (which it often does!) it just appears as a warning and continues processing. Whilst this is still useful to continue processing, could it be built as an option in the tool to select a 'error if files are skipped'?
Right now it is either easy to miss this is happening, or in production / on server you may want this process to be stopped.
I often need to create a record ID that automatically increments but grouped by a specific field. I currently do it using the Multi-Row Formula tool doing [Field-1:ID]+1 because there is no group by option in the Record ID tool.
Also, sometimes I need to start at 0 but the Multi-Row Formula tool doesn't allow this so I have to use a Formula tool right after to subtract 1.
So adding a group by option to the Record ID tool would allow the user not to use the multi-row formula to do this and to start at any value wanted.
Love the new updates to the Browse tool in 2019.2! However, if you choose the option Open results in new window, which I do often so I can see my whole dataset, the search/filter/sort functionality goes away. Would be great if that new functionality also worked in the new window. Thanks!
Alteryx crashed when I attempted to use a custom OTF font in Report Text. I thought it was supported because font options was not greyed out and preview window looked correct and I was able to resize. I clicked 'Apply' and Alteryx popup window appeared saying "only TTF font is supported". Then Alteryx crashed.
Please add OTF font support. Tableau and other packages already support it.
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for a bug report, but I just solved one that has been bugging me for ages. Of the six key commands to hide and reveal the various panels, only five work, and now I know why.
Apparently the 'Results' panel used to be the 'Output' panel? I found some outdated docs that mentioned Crtl + Alt + O to open/hide the Output panel. Sure enough, the reason Ctrl + Alt + R doesn't work in the current version is that, in spite of what the menu text says, it's O that is still mapped to that panel, and not R.
I only discovered this after making sure none of my other installed apps were stealing that key combination. Thank you, process of elimination.
I think that the sample tool should have a T or F port.
Lets say I want to keep first N records but would like to stream the rest of the data (the not sampled one) somewhere else in my workflow, its possible but it would be easier to have that in the sampler.
At the moment, we are not able to use input data field names and its values in Output tool, mainly in the Pre-SQL and Post-SQL statement. I see some discussions on this in the community and in many scenarios we require that. It will be great if we have this option.
As a method of deploying preprocessing and ML models it would be awesome to be able to convert a workflow to java...
models are needed to be deployed into Complex event processes or decision systems. Even for SAS there is a need to implement the datastep algorithms and procs to run in JVM.
It is possible to convert a workflow into a PMML file and then use JMML package to convert that to Java. Yet the full workflow with all preprocessing alternatives and a series of ML methods may not be captured fully.
It would be great if I could save a tool and its configuration for future use. I'm sure this could be done now with a macro, and that's possibly how I'll do it.
The scenario is that we have numerous data inputs that require some finessing to import. Because the field headers are not in the first row, they aren't recognized accurately as comma delimited. But some of our fields also contain commas within the field, so the solution is to add a multi-field formula to replace things like ", Inc." with " Inc." and ", Ltd." with " Ltd."
But on occasion I find new text strings that need to be added to the formula, like ", Inc" (without the period) for instance.
I use this replacement technique with several workflows, so it would be great to change it just one time and have the other instances updated automatically.
Maybe in addition to our Favorites toolbar we could have a Custom or User toolbar where we could save tools along with their configuration.