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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Parse Dates Easily with BB Date

Created on

Get this tool from the Gallery here.


The BB Date tool allows you to parse any date or datetime field with ease - even if you have mixed formatting.


The tool was originally developed as a macro but has now been completely re-written with the Python SDK leveraging the dateparser library. Its configuration is simple: choose the field to parse and the output type – Datetime or Date.




This tool uses a .yxi file format. A .yxi file is a package that includes an Alteryx tool and all of its dependencies zipped into a single file. When this file is imported into Alteryx, the tool is added to the tool palette in the category specified in the tool. When a workflow that uses a .yxi tool is shared with another user, the .yxi tool is not included in the workflow and must be installed by the user.


Get this tool from the Gallery here.


Hi this is great! Are you able to host the YXI download directly on the gallery and not dropbox? Dropbox is blocked at our company unfortunately.

Also, are there still the same limitations as the previous version?




Unfortunately, there is no way to host YXI's directly on the gallery. Instead, I can send you an email with the YXI attached if that works better.


This version of BBDate does not have the same limitations as the macro. Two digit years are supported, and you can have as many different formats in the same column as you like.


@AshtonW Would you kindly email this to me as well? I'm currently using the old macro, but it doesn't work on mixed formats. My company also blocks DropBox access.


Thank you!


EDIT: Never mind. I grabbed it from DropBox on my personal computer. The tool just doesn't work for me; I left my workflow running overnight and the tool is only at 23%, processing a dataset of only 68,000 rows. That is not a usable speed for me...


I'm getting this error when I try and use this macro in a workflow I'm saving to the Alteryx Gallery (Server) any ideas?


Error: Unable to resolve plugin Python 'BB Date\BB Date'



I'm running into an error during installation:


I just need to change the following to date format:

date not valide.png


@jayordan, you'll need to install the BB Date YXI onto your server as well. Python SDK tools don't bundle with workflows when you upload them to a server.


@Tuan_Thai, try running the YXI installer again to get the dateparser package. I might need to update the YXI if that doesn't work.

When I use this tool and running it around 300k rows of dates it takes more than five minutes to run. Any ideas why this would be the case?

Sr. Community Content Manager
Sr. Community Content Manager

@Nabil_Janmohamed I think the underlying Python library, dateparser, is just kind of slow compared to native Alteryx tools. I ran it in Python (outside of Alteryx) on 300,000 dates and it took 15 minutes. I guess if you need to parse dates on larger datasets like this, you should go with the native tools. If the dates are super messy and you don't have too many of them, then BB Date would work well.


Thanks @NeilR 


Our company has very strict security policies and restricts access to DropBox.  Is there an alternate location where the BB Date tool can be downloaded?


Please let me know


+1 for hosting somewhere other than dropbox?