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Alteryx Designer Ideas

Share your Designer product ideas - we're listening!

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Please see attached PDF file, since I am not able to paste the contents of the idea in the body of this field.

I repeatedly get "Correct the highlighted errors" -- but nothing is ever highlighted.  I raised this problem with Support.

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I've discovered something I feel could be a drastic improvement in time with the Text To Columns tool. Frequently we have to split out data such as SSNs and ZIP Codes. From 9 digits to say XXX XX XXXX for SSN in order to mask data or from 9 digits to XXXXX-XXXX for ZIP Code or split it into into two separate cells. If the data is received with no delimiter, there is no way in text to columns to easily separate it without complex code. I asked for a way to do this and didn't get a clear response from support@alteryx.com for about a week after being unsatisfied with the basic and incomplete explanations I was receiving. Finally a Sr Customer Support Engineer gave me this complete answer using string function formulas:

 

FormattedSSN
left([SSN],3)+"-"+Substring([SSN],3,2)+"-"+Right([SSN],4)

MaskedSSN
"XXX-XX-"+right([SSN],4)

This seems like a very complicated way to do something Excel can do in three clicks.

 

Any chance we can get a fixed width delimiter button added to Text To Columns in future versions?

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Could Alteryx create a solution or work around for their tools to retry the queries with Azure DB connectivity outages.

If there are intermittent, transient (short-lived) connection outages with cloud Azure DB, then what action can we take with Alteryx to retry the queries.

Examples of retry Azure SQL logic:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-troubleshoot-common-connection-issu...

“2. Applications that connect to a cloud service such as Azure SQL Database should expect periodic reconfiguration events and implement retry logic to handle these errors instead of surfacing these as application errors to users”.

SQL retry logic is a feature that is not currently supported by Alteryx.

 

For further information please see [ ref:_00DE0JJZ4._5004412Star:ref ]:

 

Hi Alteryx Support,

 

We are experiencing intermittent errors with our Alteryx workflows connecting to our Azure production database with Alteryx Designer v2018.4.3.54046.

 

Is there anything we can do to avoid or work around these intermittent / transient (short-lived) connection errors, such as, changing the execution timing or the SQL driver settings.

 

Or can we incorporate examples of retry Azure SQL logic:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-troubleshoot-common-connection-issu...

“2. Applications that connect to a cloud service such as Azure SQL Database should expect periodic reconfiguration events and implement retry logic to handle these errors instead of surfacing these as application errors to users”.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-develop-error-messages

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-connectivity-issues

 

 

Salesforce Import process, which contains 25 Workflow modules, completed with errors on:

Mon 25/02/2019 23:27

 

Error 1

2019-02-25 23:11:23:

2.1.18_SF_MailJobDocument_Import.yxmd:

Tool #245: Error opening connect string: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server: Login timeout expired\HYT00 = 0; Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server: Invalid connection string attribute\01S00 = 0.

 

Error 2:

2019-02-25 23:26:31:

2.1.25_SF_ClientActivityParticipant_Import.yxmd:

Tool #258: Error opening connect string: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server: Login timeout expired\HYT00 = 0; Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server: Invalid connection string attribute\01S00 = 0.

 

 

Salesforce Import Workflow completed with errors on:

Wed 27/02/2019 23:24

 

Error 3

2019-02-27 23:06:47:

2.1.17_SF_MailJobs_Import.yxmd:

DataWrap2ODBC::SendBatch: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]TCP Provider: The specified network name is no longer available.

 

 

Regards,

Nigel

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There are currently two different types of select tools. The dynamic select tool and the normal select tool. In my opinion there should only be 1 tool and it should be a mix of these two tools.

 

First the select tool is great because I can select the exact fields that I want, and I can pass new fields through using the "unknown" field. The dynamic select tool is also great because I can write formulas that dynamically select fields. Why not have one tool that does both?

 

In my mind, it would just look like the select tool, but then on the "unknown" field, I can click on it and configure it. It would basically just open the dynamic select tool interface where I can write formula's etc that select the unknown fields that I am willing to pass through.

 

For example.. clients add new fields to our data integrations all the time. A lot of the time I dont want these new fields to pass through automatically. But we also do reporting, and reporting could include column headers that are dates (ie sales may 18, sales june 18, etc). As new months appear in our sales data, new columns are added to our reports. I should have the capability to hardcode the fields I want to pass through and then write a formula for the remaining "unknown" fields. In this example I would check mark the fields I know I want, then write a formula that says if the unknown field starts with "sales" then pass it through.

 

Yes there are workarounds for this type of functionality (such as I could do a dynamic select tool and use the formula function to type in the name of EVERY field that I want to "hardcode"), but that would take a long time if I am trying to pass 10+ fields through.

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We extensively use the AWESOME functionality of SharePoint List Input and SharePoint List Output tools.  They're great!  BUT... they require valid credentials to pull back the valid list and view values.  Not normally an issue until you go to share your workflow.  If you strip out your credentials from Alteryx the List and view fields go blank, do it from the xml and when the person you share it with opens it up the fields go blank and you have to count on that user selecting the proper list and view.  

 

I propose to have these tools load valid lists and views only upon pressing a button or running the macro in initial configuration state.  

Found this https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/SharePoint-Passwords/td-p/17182

and we could use a macro tool but every implementation still requires storing a valid username and password to avoid the error and the list id which I imagine the sharepoint API requires and which is why the tool behaves the way it does is not easily obvious to most ppl.

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It would be great to have an option to show intermediate output in gallery and allow user to modify that intermediate output before running the next step in a chained app environment.

This will come really handy in cleaning messy data which requires some manual input and user can complete their work form single gallery screen.

 

Currently the only way to achieve it is to build separate workflows/apps where first you have to download the messy data on your local drive and then upload it back via a separate workflow to complete the task.

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Dynamic Input is a fantastic tool when it works.  Today I tried to use it to bring in 200 Excel files.  The files were all of the same report and they all have the same fields. Still, I got back many errors saying that certain files have "a different schema than the 1st file."  I got this error because in some of my files, a whole column was filled with null data.  So instead of seeing these columns as V_Strings, Alteryx interpreted these blank columns as having a Double datatype.  

 

It would be nice if Alteryx could check that this is the case and simply cast the empty column as a V_String to match the previous files.  Maybe make it an option and just have Alteryx give a warning if it has to do this..

 

An even simpler option would be to add the ability to bring in all columns as strings.  

 

 

Instead, the current solution (without relying on outside macros) is to tick the checkbox in the Dynamic Input tool that says "First Row Contains Data."  This then puts all of the field titles into the data 200 times. This makes it work because all of the columns are now interpreted as strings.  Then a Dynamic Rename is used to bring the first row up to rename the columns.  A Filter is used to remove the other 199 rows that just contained copies of the field names.  Then it's time to clean up all of the fields' datatypes.  (And this workaround assumes that all of the field names contain at least one non-numeric character. Otherwise the field gets read as Double and you're back at square one.)

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My proposal is to create a new support at Alteryx team level according to provided picture with Alteryx toolbox logo for example in the same philosophy

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There is a known error when using the Write Data In-DB Tool. When writing to a table in MS SQL database that has a "identity" column you get the following error: Error: Write Data In-DB (X): Error running PreSQL on "NoTable": [DB Connection]An explicit value for the identity column in table [table_name] can only be specified when a column list is used and IDENTITY_INSERT is ON.

 

Essential this error happens when the table you are trying to write to has a column with the following configuration or similar: IDENTITY(1, 1) NOT NULL 

 

I am suggesting that the Write Data In-DB Tool should be configurable insert only to specified columns as identified by the user. Similar to the functionality of this SQL statement:

INSERT INTO [table_name]
    (column1, column2, column 3, etc...)
    VALUES (new_value1, new_value2, new_value3, etc...)

 

This would 1) solve the above issue (for which there is no viable workaround), and 2) allow users more flexibility in how they write their data.

 

The following community posts are related:

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Move the location of missing fields in the select tool to the top to alert user that field names may have changed in the import source.

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The Find Tool (View>Find or Ctrl+F) does a great job of finding text in a workflow.  The window displayed by the Find Tool includes each tool # and the Name from each tool's Annotation tab.

 

Please consider displaying this additional data in the window of the Find Tool:

- Annotation text for tools

- Caption for containers  (like the right-click Zoom functionality has)

 

Since Containers don't have a "Name" field like tools do, displaying the Caption for a container would be helpful.

 

See this thread: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Change-Serch-Results/m-p/388604

 

Capture.PNG

 

 

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Integrate matchit SQL with Alteryx

 

http://matchitsql.com/

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Want to upload image to Amazon S3 however the current types don’t have .jpg or .png option for us to choose.

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Currently I am unable to use Alteryx's spatial calculations in completing required reporting for CMS.  Its unfortunate, because in my mind Alteryx is a superior approach allowing for customization and seamless integration with varied data sources used within our company.

 

You might ask, why don't you just use actual driving distance?  The datasets that we are measuring are enormous. +60M member files are being compared to 70K providers.  Alteryx is missing a huge opportunity to get into this market.

 

Reference

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovContra/downloads/hsd_meth...

Travel Distance to Providers and Facilities

The second component of the review process tests the percentage of beneficiaries resident in a given county with access to a particular specialty type within the maximum travel distance. For a given county and specialty type, CMS uses the geographic coordinates for the associated providers or facilities and the geographic coordinates for the beneficiaries resident in the county and calculates the travel distance between them. The travel distance is calculated using a formula to determine the estimated driving distance (miles) between the latitude and longitude coordinates and provides an average for the total beneficiaries in the given county

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The Render Tool for creating reports like PDFs etc does not function if any of the table data it receives contains an accent or special character,

 

UTFDataFormatExceptions occur..

 

It also doesn't work if you want filenames output with accents/non-english characters.

 

So forget about reporting in proper representations of German/French/Swedish/Irish/Russian/Chinese/Japanese.

 

This is a bit surprising and needs a note in the render tool documentation also!

 

Can you fix this feature please!

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For the Sample Tool, can we add a selection to "Skip Last N Rows".  We have a "Skip 1st N Rows".  We have a work-around but it would be easier if we had that choice in the tool.

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It is nice that there is a sample node option for In-DB, however it isn't a random sample.  It isn't always feasible for me to stream out and use the random sample % option.  In fact on numerous occasions when I use the Data Stream Out option in DB I often times have workflows crash because it can't handle the number of records I am trying to stream out.

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It would be great to see the R tool updated with the same interface as the Python tool to reduce the need to rerun the workflow when testing.
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Some more options to configure interface behavior and appearance would be much appreciated. Specifically standard GUI anchoring and stretching properties.

 

Here's an example provided by Alteryx for the Map Interface Tool. You can see that the tool is too small for the user to use (1st screenshot). Resizing the form doesn't help the situation (2nd screenshot). However, the map interface tool for the last option properly resizes (3rd screenshot).

 

Alteryx devs might want to consider implementing an html/css interface for the desktop version when running analytic apps so that the gui code only has to be written one time for desktop/server.

 

Note that these are screenshots from the included Map Interface Tool example provided by Alteryx.

 

1.jpgCan't see all the options. No way to fix without a redesign.2.jpgResizing the form doesn't help.

(The user still can't click the accept button)

 

 

3.jpgThe control in the last group stretches properly.

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When selecting a colour for a container I would like to be able to click randomize and let Alteryx pick the colour, however I would like the option to click 'random new colour' so it picks a colour not already used in a container on the current workflow  I should then be able to customize the transparency as per normal.

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