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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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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:

  • Design Patterns
    • Repetitive patterns to be reusable.
    • Select after and Input tool
    • Drop Nulls
    • Get not matching records from join
  • Conditional execution
    • Tell Alteryx to execute some logic if something happens.
    • Record count
    • Errors
    • 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”
  • Orchestration
    • 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:

OnCanvas.png

 

 

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:

 

ToolcontainerConfig_Comment.png

 

 
  1. Refers to the actual interface of the Tool Container.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

Alteryx Choreographer.png

 

I'm looking forward to hear what you think.

Best

The Formula Tool does a good job of autocompleting expressions (for example an open square bracket will show you variables in your dataset), as well as syntax highlighting (coloring variables, keywords, strings, etc).

 

PhilipMannering_0-1633166313984.png

PhilipMannering_1-1633166410914.png

 

 

 

I propose having this feature available in all tools that use the expression editor, particularly common ones such as the Multi-Row Formula Tool and the Multi-Field Formula Tool.

 

This parity across tools would provide a more consistent experience for the user and increase one's productivity using these tools. It's incredibly helpful for beginners and seasoned Alteryx users alike and should be available wherever possible.

This year, Microsoft updated improve their API (GraphAPI) to access Office365 enviroment.

 

Alteryx have launched on Microsoft District in Public Gallery the Dataverse , Onedrive & Sharepoint Connectors.

 

Alteryx must develop as soon as possible an connector/email with same authenticator options as connectors Above and improve the emails settings.

 

 

It´s important to release and documentation to show wich permissions on Azure it's necssary to send the emails. 

 

References:

 

Microsoft Announce:

https://docs.microsoft.com/pt-br/lifecycle/announcements/exchange-online-basic-auth-deprecated 

 

Azure Permissions:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/api/user-sendmail?view=graph-rest-1.0&tabs=csharp 

Trying to solve some use cases, I realized that I had to simulate the factorial behaviour.

Having a factorial formula can make this process easier.

Thanks!

This is a pretty quick suggestion:

 

I think that there are a lot of formulas that would be easier to write and maintain if a SQL-style BETWEEN operator was available.

 

Essentially, you could turn this:

ToNumber([Postal Code]) > 1000 AND ToNumber([Postal Code]) < 2500

 

Into this:

ToNumber([Postal Code]) BETWEEN 1000 AND 2500


That way, if you later had to modify the ToNumber([Postal Code]), you only have to maintain it once.  Its both aesthetically pleasing and more maintainable!

Background:
Currently Anaplan Input and Output tool only supports basic authentication and 
does not have option to connect using CA Certificate Authentication.
 
Reason:
Drawback of basic authentication is that critical information (email and password) is easily accessible.
If unauthorized person retrieves the credentials, he can access all of Anaplan interface and functionality.
 
Using CA Certification authentication adds a layer of security as no critical information is stored.
If certificate information is retrieved, the unauthorized person can only trigger APIs and has no access to other parts of Anaplan interface and functionality
 
Wishlist:
We hope that the Anaplan tools can be enhanced to have CA Certificate Authentication so
as to provide added security to transfer data between Alteryx and Anaplan.

Hi 

Wanted to control the order of execution of objects in Alteryx WF but right now we have ONLY block until done which is not right choice for so many cases 

Can we have a container (say Sequence Container) and put piece of logic in each container and have control by connecting each container?
Hope this way we can control the execution order
It may be something looks like below 


If you forget to put a name on a new column in the formula tool - the error message is 

The field "" is not contained in the record. (Expression #1)

 

Please could you replace this with a user-friendly message which is self descriptive like:

"Please provide a name for the new column created in expression 1"?

 

 

 

errorMessage.png

Hi Alteryx community,

 

It would be really nice to have v_string/v_wstring and max character size as a standard for text columns.

fmvizcaino_0-1587008811932.png

it is countless how many times I found that the error was related to a string truncation due to string size limit from the text input.

 

Thumbs-up those who lost their minds after discovering that the error was that! 😄

Idea: Prompt the user to find a missing macro instead of the current UX of a question mark icon.

 

Issue: When a macro referenced in a workflow is missing, then there is no way to a) know what the name of the macro was (assuming you were lazy like me and didn't document with a comment) and b) find the macro so you can get back to business.

 

When this happens to me know, I have to go to the XML view and search for macros and then cycle through them until I find the one that's missing. Then I have to either copy the macro back into that location or manually edit the workflow XML. Not cool man.

 

Solution: When a macro is missing, the image below at the right should be shown. In the properties window, a file browse tool should allow the user to find the macro.

 

 

 

FindMissingMacro.png

 

 

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

 

We all love seeing this.  And, it's fairly easy to fix, just go find the macro and insert a new copy.  But, then you have to remember the configuration and hope that it was simple. 

With the tool that's there, the XML still contains the configuration, all that's missing is the tool path.    It would be great to be able to right click and repair the path from the context of the missing macro.

Tools within a workflow needs to be able to run in parallel whereever applicable.

 

For example: Extracting 10 million rows from one source, 12 million rows from a different source to perform blending.

currently the order of execution is the order in which tools are dragged into the canvas. Hence Source1 first, Source2 second and then the JOIN.

 

Here Source1 & Source2 are completely independent, hence can be run in parallel. Thus saving the workflow execution time.

 

Execution time is quite crucial when you have tight data loading window.

 

Hopefully alteryx considers this in the next release!

When using the formula tool -- one of the nice features is that when you start typing in a function or variable -- the tool will show formulas/variables that begin with that letter and keep changing as you type in more letters. I believe this is called predictive typing.

Good.jpg

 

However, this does not happen in tools like multi-row or multi-field where a user would have to search for functions and variables if they weren't sure what they are.

 

Not good.jpg

 

Can predictive typing be added to the multi-row and multi-field tools? If I want to take it further, any tool that allows a user to use the formula functionality should be able to see predictive typing. 

 

Thanks,

Seth Moskowitz

 

 

I work with data where milliseconds is my saviour when I count distinct the datetime to get number of events. Alteryx ignores the millisecond part (as lots of other BI tool providers - I don't know what is going on with this idea that milliseconds are not needed). Yes I can convert it to string but it's not the best practice to create duplicate fields just so that I have date part for date-related calculation (plotting, time difference) and on the other hand string value for quick and easy counting..

Single point of maintenance for Salesforce Input tool connection to Salesforce

 

This prevents user maintenance every time their password (and token) changes which requires them to update every Tool with new credentials

 

Also logged as issue under Alteryx, Inc Case # 00252975: Connection to Salesforce Issue

When inputting a CSV file via the Azure Data Lake File Storage tool the default behaviour is for the first row to be interpreted as data.

 

When reading the same file locally using the File Input tool the default behaviour is for the first row to be interpreted as headers.

 

Since the majority of files will include headers on the first row, it would be helpful to have the "First row contains field names" option selected by default in the Azure Data Lake File Storage tool, and this would also bring the defaults of this tool in line with the standard File Input tool.

 

Illustration below showing the issue:

jamielaird_0-1620852719680.png

 

Hello,

Regarding the Amazon S3 tools in Alteryx Designer, only 4 file formats are supported.

We would like to see also the following formats: .xls and .xlsx 

 

Regards.

Thank you to @LeahK for suggesting that this should be a separate idea (cc @JulieH; @TaraM, @LeahK, @JoeM😞

 

The lack of home use / learning editions of Alteryx is a serious mid-term competitive threat factor for Alteryx - and it's well worth both this Alteryx community; and the Alteryx Community Management team making this a key priority for the Alteryx platform.

 

Rationale:

The BI/Data science space is very competitive (as evidenced by the recent Gartner 2016 Magic Quadrants), and although Alteryx was given very favourable review in some factors - there were serious concerns about licensing costs; and time to productivity.

 

Clearly - Alterxy succeeds in direct proportion to the size of the active user base - so the question is "How do we increase the licensed / deployed user base" and I believe that there are 3 factors which all relate to the issue of learning-edition alteryx licenses.

 

a) Time to productivity:   Right now - I cannot ask one of my staff to learn Alteryx at home and prove their capability before paying several thousand dollars to give them a license.   Once I give them a license; it then takes them 2-3 months to become productive, and we run the lottery of finding out whether this person was a good fit for this kind of role in the first place.   Solution:  Make Alteryx available in a learning edition at home with a robust certification program; and a learning progression built in - that way I can tell my staff "I will give you a license once you demonstrate your competence by learning to this level".   How does this help Alteryx: lower time to productivity = more attractive product

 

b) Size of committed user base:  As tech professionals - we take our tech bias with us to our new role (the "Affinity effect"), and often will have some leverage in tool selection.   The more people know Alteryx and are invested in their Alterxy skill set - the greater this "Affinity effect" will start to show in sales figures.   This also makes the tool more sticky, reducing the defector population if users can see and use latest features at home.

Solution: Give the learning edition away for free - Pentaho spoon is currently free for learning; as is Tableau Public; and MS Power BI is incredibly cheap to learn.   If Alteryx doesn't do this - others definitely will anyway, and this "Affinity Effect" will be washed out.

 

c) Increase the skill pool in the market:  The more wide-spread the skills are - the more likely I am to purchase a toolset.  So - if Alteryx skills are very broadly available in the market - it's easier to make the purchase decision for Alteryx rather than competitors.   However - right now the skillset growth is severely constrained, so Alteryx is making the "Buy Alteryx" decision needlessly harder.   

Solution: Make Alteryx available for training; learning; & Certification for free.   

Note: Although this is directly contrary to my personal interests in the short term (the smaller the number of people with skillX, the higher the market value), it is also long-term selfish because I will be able to increase the impact within my firm by having access to a greater pool of skilled and instantly productive workers in the market.

 

 

Although price may be an issue - this is a separate matter.   I believe that Alteryx can do a lot to create future sales pipeline, and a committed and very sticky user base by providing this home-learning & certification program.   In my mind - this is probably one of the biggest competitive opportunities & threats facing Alteryx right now, given the velocity of this particular industry & segment.

 

I'd be very happy to talk this through in detail with the Alteryx team if that's helpful (just PM me)

Many thanks

Sean

 

 

 

 

The idea is to store credentials, login/pw in a "credential alias".

 

Then, those credential aliases can be used in :

-traditional aliases/connection

-in database aliases/connection

-hdfs aliases/connection

-API

-on user aliases for connected controllers/gallery

...etc.

 

The idea is that I only have to change the credentials once for all the connection type (on Hive, I have the in db alias, the traditional alias and even an HDFS alias using exactly the same credentials !! and I have to change all that manually).

 

I recently came to know that Alteryx doesn't support Denodo Data sources. We at our company are using Denodo as a data virtualization tool and also Alteryx is used for data blending. The request is for Alteryx to start supporting Denodo as a data source so that our company can reach out to Alteryx for any support related issues with Denodo.

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