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The SQL Editor window could have a better presentation of the SQL code; two issues observed
First, that it's simply plain text without even a fixed-width font, much less syntax highlighting
Second, if you type in some manually formatted SQL code (e.g. with line feeds and indentation), then click on the "Visual Query Builder" button, then click back to the "SQL Editor" button, all the formatting is lost as it is converted to one run-on line of code, which is very difficult to read.
I understand that going between the Visual Query Builder and the SQL Editor is bound to have some issues; nonetheless the "idea" is to allow a user friendly display in the SQL Editor window:
Use a fixed width font, (should be trivial to implement)
My "implementation ideas" are based on a couple minutes with google, so hopefully this is a very feasible request; my user base is very likely to spend more time in the SQL editor than not, so this would be a valuable UX addition. Thanks!
Speed up canvas edits - The Create/Remove Space Tool
Usually day two of working with a canvas I realize that I have been a fool, and I come up with a significantly more elegant or simple solution. Moving all of the containers or tools to fit my slick new container is cumbersome and slow. I've created a GIF of a feature several tools have which allows the user to easily move and arrange items on the canvas.
When moving a tool container, all of the tools within it become mis-aligned with the canvas grid. Moving any single tool immediately re-aligns it to the grid, which puts it out of alignment with the rest of the tools in the container.
Example: Put 3 tools in a row in a tool container, all aligned horizontally. Next, move the container. Now, move the middle tool, then try to place it back in alignment with the other two. You won't be able to, because they are out of alignment with the canvas grid.
The DateTime tool is a great way to convert various string arrangements into a Date/Time field type. However, this tool has two simple, but annoying, shortcomings :
Convert Multiple Fields: Each DateTime tool only lets you convert one field. Many Alteryx tools (MultiField, Auto Field, etc.) allow you to choose what field(s) are affected by the tool. If I have a database with a large number of string fields all with the same format (such as MM/DD/YYYY), I should be able to use one DateTime tool to convert them all!
Overwrite Existing Field: The DateTime tool always creates a new field that contains your converted date/time. I ALWAYS have to delete the original string field that was converted and rename the newly created date/time field to match the original string field's name. A simple checkbox (like the "output imputed values as a separate field" checkbox in the Imputation tool) could give the flexibility of choosing to have a separate field (like how it is now) or overwrite the string field with the converted date/time field (keeping the name the same).
Alteryx is overall an amazing data blending software. I recognize that both of these shortcomings can be worked around with combinations of other Alteryx tools (or LOTS of DateTime tools), but the simplicity of these missing features demonstrates to me that this data blending tool is not sufficiently developed. These enhancements can greatly improve the efficiency of date handling in Alteryx.
STAR this post if you dislike the inflexibility of the DateTime tool! Thank you!
A question has been coming up from several users at my workplace about allowing a column description to display in the Visual Query Builder instead of or along with the column name.
The column names in our database are based on an older naming convention, and sometimes the names aren't that easy to understand. We do see that (if a column does have a column description in metadata) it shows when hovering over the particular column; however, the consensus is that we'd like to reverse this and have the column description displayed with the column name shown on hover.
It would be a huge increase to efficiency and workflow development if this could be implemented.
We've had several requests from clients for the ability to import password protected Excel spreadsheets into Alteryx. Within Alteryx, it would be good to specify the password and inport the file without the need to create an unprotected copy for use in Alteryx.
One of the tools that I use the most is the SELECT tool because I normally get large data sets with fields that I won't be using for a specific analysis or with fields that need re-naming. In the same way, sometimes Alteryx will mark a field in a different type than the one I need (e.g. date field as string). That's when the SELECT comes in handy.
However, often times when dealing with multiple sources and having many SELECT tools on your canvas can make the workflow look a little "crowded". Not to mention adding extra tools that will need later explanation when presenting/sharing your canvas with others. That is why my suggestion is to give the CONNECTION tool "more power" by offering some of the functionality found in the SELECT tool.
For instance, if one of the most used features of the SELECT tool is to choose the fields that will move through the workflow, then may be we can make that feature available in the CONNECTION tool. Similarly, if one of the most used features (by Alteryx users) is to re-name fields or change the field type, then may be we can make that available in the CONNECTION tool as well.
At the end, developers can benefit from speeding up workflow development processes and end-users will benefit by having cleaner workflows presented to them, which always help to get the message across.
What do you guys think? Any of you feel the same? Leave your comments below.
It would be great if Alteryx allowed users to copy and paste data directly from excel into the workflow canvas as a text input. Sometimes I create quick mapping tables in excel that I do not want to save on my desktop or shared drive as it is a quick fix or solution. Tableau allows users to copy and paste data sets directly into a sheet for use. Can we make this happen??
I would like to see Global Variable being made available in Alteryx. I have seen the Global Constant being made available under Workflow "User" configuration. But this is constant and needs to be defined at Design time.
How about a Process Id that needs to be auto genearted and the same needs to be available across the formula tools used with in the workflow.
My work is to create Output from Alteryx and upload the Output file into Tibco Spotfire. So i want a system in which Alteryx output directly goes in to the Tibco Spotfire and update Tibco Spotfire in every 6 hours. So do you have any plan to connect the Alteryx with Tibco Spotfire? This is will help me to automate the project. If not pls think on these concept for future use.
It would be great if you could create default settings for the Tool Containers. As workflows become larger, I use containers a lot. But once I have 10-15 containers, I have to set all of them to have a Transparency of 1 and a margin of None. While the changes don't take long to make, it would be nice if they could be preset.
Alteryx needs to package SAP, JD Edwards and ADNIS and BPCS connectors as part of it's native offering. This will increase the value proposition of Alteryx designer from just data blending to full self service ETL. Most of the large organizations have data extraction challenges and will experience business user empowerment and big productivity gains if native connectors and data extraction across major ERPs is enabled. Some of these productivity gains can in turn be used to make a business case for Alteryx designer licenses.