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As well as using keyboard shortcuts, many of us are using a mouse / keyboard with program specific assignable shortcut buttons. It is a serious boost to productivity. The ability to instantly enable / disable would be a great tool large complex workflows. In general, it would be great to expand the keyboard shortcuts to offer more Alteryx specific advanced functions.
When the Python Tool operates, it seems to always ingest all the data before processing any of it (i.e. no batch processing). Python can handle this type of functionality with generators, can we update the tool so that it may do some preprocessing (like imports and data prep) and allow a defined generator function to be called repeatedly from a separate input handle and provide batch data frames on output for more parallel-like processing of data?
The Python Tool could be updated as such:
Multi-Input - Same functionality as now, and also allow this data to be used for preprocessing and setting up the Python functions and a single batch function.
Data Input - Ingests data in batches (as most other tools operate) where each batch passes in a dataframe (in this case, a subset of processed entries) into an existing Python function (with a name that is in globals()), and returns another dataframe with that desired output. This can give the option of adding/removing rows as necessary to a subset of the data.
Data Output - Partial set of data after data processing to allow tools further in the chain to process in parallel.
"On Complete" Multi-Outputs - Same functionality as now, to pass process-complete data to the next tool once all data ingested has been processed. Perhaps give the option to pass the complete set from Data Output.
A simple use-case, if a user wanted to use only the Python Tool:
Let's say a user wants to get all URLs from every post in a thread (containing millions of posts) that are in blacklisted domains.
Data prep that sends the list of blacklisted domains into the Python Tool's Multi-Input handle, and that data is transformed and stored in a set within the Python tool once.
A series of posts (strings) are sent in batches (let's say ~10000) to the Data Input of the Python Tool. The tool calls a defined Python function that extracts all the URLs, and filters those in the blacklist.
That data is then transformed into a DataFrame which is then sent to the Data Output of the Python Tool, and only contains results corresponding to the small batch of posts that were ingested. Alteryx can also use this to track progress during execution.
Once all posts have been processed, one of the Python Tool's Multi-Outputs can return a total count of URLs found that were NOT in the blacklist (sure this can be a part of the Data Output, but just for the sake of this example). Could also be used to trigger "on-complete events."
I know I used the term "generators" above, and the design could probably be simplified to instead call an Alteryx Python function that yields from a function to await input from the next batch to use actual Python generators. However, I feel my initial approach could be thought of as a simpler process since generators are more of an intermediate functionality.
I hope this makes sense and is elaborate enough to pursue. Thanks for the consideration!
Many of the errors displayed in the 'results/messages' section in designer when a workflow fails are vague and unhelpful. For example, I had a workflow recently fail because my data source table had duplicate rows. The error reported was "the pipe has ended". This is a frequent problem when debugging workflow issues, and a lot of extra time is needed due to lack of useful error messages. Please enhance this error logging function to attach to underlying data source systems, etc. so that better error messages can be displayed when a workflow fails.
Note: Depending on database platform/function/application where an error occurs, some errors are better than others. However, we work with the Snowflake database platform frequently, and many of the errors we've seen while testing workflows are unusable. If different teams support the error logging functionality depending on source system, etc. where the error occurred, we would request the Snowflake logging to be enhanced first if possible.
I think I'm liking the new UI, but I think it's necessary to bring back save, undo and re-do buttons....
1. Frequent saving of workflows is crucial and not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts
2. The ability to undo (lots) of changes is a key part of iterating and rapidly building workflows in Alteryx and again not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts to do this.
Looks like there's potentially space to add this to the right of 'help' (I suspect this might be technically quiet difficult) or to the left of 'run', 'schedule' and 'active documents' as seen in the image below.
Out of interest, where has the 'documents' terminology come from?
I would love to be able to have an interface tool that allows a user to search through drop down values (when there are more than 100 or so) similar to autocomplete. It would be helpful as a multiselect or single select drop down. I have inserted a very poorly mocked up picture below. It would essentially be a modified version of the drop down as all the values would be in the tool, but the user could type to find what they are looking for.
It has become clear that the Jupyter Notebook integration caches code and does not appropriately clear when there are changes made - resulting in "saved" workflows that do not contain updated code. This happens when two people are using a "shared" workflow (emailed back and forth or from a shared drive) if one person does not completely shut down out of Designer Desktop if they had previously had the workflow open at any point. This has been confirmed by Alteryx Support and is not just my hunch.
This also happens sometimes with a single user - where the Jupyter Notebook save button has been pressed multiple times and the workflow has been saved, but the changes do not make it to the file.
The integration is a step in the right direction for sure and is great to use - but my idea is that the cache should be attached to the workflows, not the entire session of Designer. Not knowing if changes were actually saved, and discovering that some were not is extremely frustrating.
Currently the cross tab tool automatically sorts alphabetically by the "New Column Headers" field. Often times I have to output data with dates across the columns and therefore have to do a cross tab to achieve this. The problem is when I have the dates formatted with month names, the crosstab automatically sorts it in alphabetical order instead of date order (i.e. Apr, Aug, Dec, etc vs Jan, Feb, Mar). To get around this issue, I have to use a dynamic rename tool. It would be great if there was a way to choose the order of the crosstab (i.e. in the order of the data, crosstab, another field, etc.).
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.
I have been developing and accumulating custom functions over the years and they have proved to be very useful. I am submitting these here. I hope they are found to be beneficial.
Functions included in the attached file include:
StandardDate(String) - Transforms any valid string to the standard date format yyyy-mm-dd
FileDirDepth(Path) - Returns the zero based depth of the path (zero being the root)
FileGetFolder(Path, Depth) - Returns the folder name given the zero based depth in the path (zero being the root)
LeftPart(String, Separator) - Returns the left part of a string up to the first separator
RightPart(String, Separator) - Returns the right part of a string after the first separator
Split(String, Delimiter, Index) - Returns the zero indexed part of a delimited string
CleanSpace(String) - Trims string and replaces multiple spaces with a single space
UnicodeToASCIIBasic(String) - Replaces all Unicode Characters with ASCII Basic equivalents
InList(Variable, List) - If Variable is in List returns True. List must be pipe delimited
IsValidEmail(String) - Returns True if string is a valid email format
IsUUID(String) - Returns True if string is a valid UUID
To make these functions available in Alteryx, place the attached xml file in the folder C:\Program Files\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\FormulaAddIn if you have a standard installation. If the install is non-standard, find the \bin\RuntimeData\FormulaAddIn folder and place the attached xml file there. Ateryx will need a restart for the functions to be available.
Please can you fix the copy and paste of renames across field. It's a behavior that I see in many tool's grids and drives me mad. Its not just select.
Take the attached screen shot. In the select tool, i've renamed "test 2" to "rename2". Fine it works. No issue.
I then copy rename2 and paste into the test3 field, and it copys the entire row's data (and metadata) into that little box, tabs, spaces the lot. I end up with something like the screenshot. Really not sure it was meant to be designed this way, as I cant really see the point.
Everyone on our team would benefit from having access to each other's workflows -- including workflow results and scheduling -- but publishing them to gallery where any user in the company can run it/ download it would present a security issue. Functionality that is not met with Collections. I found a similar idea, but not anything that encompasses the whole thing.
It would be of immense value to have a Team Gallery - something intermediate to the company gallery and the private collection. This would enable our team to have access to modify, publish, schedule workflows as a team.
We need color coding in the SQL Editor Window for input tools. We are always having to pull our code out of there and copy it into a Teradata window so it is easier to ready/trouble shoot. This would save us some time and some hassle and would improve the Alteryx user experience. ( I think you've used a couple of my ideas already. This one is a good one too. )
My specific use case relates to writing to AWS but am sure there are many other use cases for federated user session token support.
Specifically, using the S3 Upload tool or Athena Bulk Write (via SIMBA and Athena ODBC), the configuration works when using a IAM user, access key, and secret access key but when using a federated user via Okta there is no option to enter the session token and authentication fails.
Alteryx desktop should support federated users' session tokens.
It is just a bit of annoyance, really. I'd like to see the option of inputting a hexcode of color and/or a screen color picker in the color dialog. At the moment, you have to change R, G, B separately or play around with the cursor to find the right color.
The color dialog is relevant for the documentation purposes but also reporting tools and I'm sure it would make life easier to some people, especially when branding colours are important.
The method of saving the results of one app to be read in by a follow on app seems very clunky to me. Can we develop a method to use the results within a workflow to feed drop down lists in later stages in the same workflow? That way an app can stand on it's own without having to save files out and chain further apps to read them again.
It seems this only works for selecting fields to include in the output but not for list of values to feed to a drop down list.