Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Difference between analytic applications and workflows

Created on


What is the difference between applications and workflows?


An Alteryx Workflow (module, for you old-school folks) is the standard Alteryx file format .yxmd. Workflows are what you build and save when you drag and drop tools into Alteryx Designer.  Note: the Workflow - Configuration Type is set to Standard Workflow.


 apps1.JPGWorkflow = yxmd

An Alteryx Analytic App is "a self-contained program that performs a specific function for the user" and is saved as a .yxwz. It is an easy to use GUI interface for users.  Apps can be opened and used without opening Alteryx Designer, simplifying the look and feel for the user.  Apps and workflows are both built with Alteryx Designer, but Apps make use of Interface tools to create user interfaces.  Apps can be processed inside of Alteryx Designer (click the wizard wand), in the Gallery, or as a stand-alone.


apps2.JPGclick the wizard wand to watch the magic!



For Analytic Apps, the Workflow - Configuration Type is set to Analytic App.


apps3.JPGyxwz derives from wizardry



Be sure to check out our app building guidelines for information on how to build the best Alteryx Apps!


Attached is an example of a very simple app. (.yxwz extension)


Other Alteryx extensions:

* Workflow: .yxmd

* Package: .yxzp Click Options - Export Workflow, to export a workflow or app and other files required to run (input files, custom macros, etc.)  

* Macro: .yxmc

* Database file: .yxdb:

Just a quick question , Can we changed Underlying workflow of my analytic application once it is saved ?

To @rajvivan11 :


Absolutely.  You can change the workflow once it is saved.  The changes get saved to the yxwz file or, if you are using Alteryx Server, then the changes get saved to the Alteryx Gallery, so users there will see your changes.