We have extended our Early Bird Tickets for Inspire 2023! Discounted pricing goes until February 24th. Save your spot!

Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
Customers using pre 2019.4 Designer and Insights Data need to update to the Mapbox maps or they will see this issue with Digital Globe maps.
View full article
Troubleshooting the error: XmlParse Error (2): the element Configuration is not properly closed.
View full article
Troubleshooting error with Publish to Tableau Server tool: TypeError: Cannot read property ‘token’ of undefined
View full article
To get a better understanding of how to properly leverage a machine’s resources to use Alteryx, it can be very helpful to understand how the Alteryx Engine functions. To clear up any haziness surrounding the term “Alteryx Engine”, this article covers what happens when you click the Run Button
View full article
Any time you are planning to run a workflow in the background while continuing other work, it is a good idea to run it with less memory.   It is also good to check the box to run Alteryx Designer at a lower priority (found in your User Settings). This will ensure that the Alteryx Engine runs at a lower priority than all the other applications running on the same machine. By doing so, even the Alteryx GUI will remain responsive when you are running a large workflow in the background.   It is also a good idea to have the temporary directory point to a separate physical hard drive from your boot drive. If your temp drive points to C:\temp and you run a workflow that consumes hundreds of GB of temp space (it happens), your system may become unstable.
View full article
Alteryx is designed to use all of the resources it possibly can. In order to make Alteryx run as fast as possible, it tries to balance the use of as much CPU, memory, and disk I/O as possible.   The good news is that most of the resource utilization can be controlled. You can limit the amount of memory that is used on a system, user, or module level.   The Sort/Join memory setting is not a maximum memory usage setting; it’s more like a minimum. One part of Alteryx (sorts) that benefits from having a big chunk of memory will take that entire amount right from the start. It will be split between all the sorts in your module, but other tools will still use memory outside that sort/join block.  Some of them (e.g. drive times with a long maximum time) can use a lot.   If a sorting can be done entirely in memory, it will go faster than if we have to fall back to temp files, so that’s why it’s good to set this higher.  But if the total memory usage on the system pushes it into virtual memory, you’ll be swapping data to disk in a much less optimal way, and performance will be much worse and that’s why setting it too high is a bigger concern.   The Default Dedicated Sort/Join Memory Usage can be found in the Designer at Options > User Settings > Edit User Settings Best Practices on Memory Settings 32-bit machines*: Setting should be on the lower, conservative side. No matter how much actual RAM is there, only has at maximum 1 GB available, as soon as it is set higher, the machine will cross over into virtual memory and be unable to recover.   A 32-bit machine should never have a setting over 1000MB, and 512 is a good setting. Set it low (128 MB), especially when using Adobe products simultaneously with Alteryx. 64-bit machines: Set this in the system settings to half your physical memory divided by the number of simultaneous processes you expect to run.  If you have 8 GB of RAM and run 2 processes at a time, your Sort/Join memory should be set to 2GB. You might set it lower if you expect to be doing a lot of memory intensive stuff on the machine besides Alteryx   Set your Dedicated Sort/Join Memory Usage lower or higher on a per-module basis depending on the use of your computer, doing memory intensive non-sort work (i.e. large drive-times) then lower it, doing memory intensive sort-work then higher. *Please refer to this link for additional details on 32-bit support for Designer
View full article
Copy:  In a Browse tool, under the map tab, right click on any point on the map.  The Latitude and Longitude for that location will be displayed.  If you click on “Copy Point …” you will have copied that Latitude Longitude value to your clipboard. Paste:  Right click on the module canvas, select “Paste” and a Text Input tool will be added to your module, with the values of your copied point already populated in the tool.
View full article
You can control-click any number of tools to highlight them, then move them around as a group. You can click, hold and drag (to draw a box), and all tools covered by the box will be highlighted as you go; release, and then pick up and move that assembly of tools around as a group. Employing the tactics in a and b above, you can also copy and paste tools within your module.  You can cut too.  To go a step farther, you can copy tools in one module and paste them into another, which is a great way of breaking a process out for a little more focus, or to minimize the amount of processing your machine does every time you click Run. Another great tip is to Copy and Paste your Text Comment tools.  Perhaps you’ve taken our advice about annotating your modules…  You can create a module that’s designed only as a container for your most frequently used Text Comment settings.  This will save you the effort to change background colors, font sizes, etc. every time you add a Text Comment. Depending on the tool, formulas and other configuration selections will carry over when copy/pasted.  This is especially useful when configuring formulas that have been used in previous modules.
View full article
There are a couple of things that can be done to make this easier, and they have been features in Alteryx for some time. Let’s shine some light on them. Renaming Tools: Change tool names as they are being used. Re-naming is also useful when a tool is used many times throughout the course of your module. (for instance, the Select or Browse tools are often used many times) Annotating Tools: To use the annotation feature, click on the tool you wish to apply annotations. In the Properties window, choose Annotation from the menu on the left. From this menu change the name of the tool. The Annotation field can be changed as well.   (Note: this is the same location in which one can adjust the Name of the tool.)
View full article
This article describes an example of a simple logical test used to determine whether or not to kick off the second module with a workflow event.
View full article
Alteryx defaults to using the US/English Standard when it comes to number formats. However, for reporting purposes, it is important to remember that not all countries report their numbers in the same fashion. This article shows a quick and easy way to use Raw PCXML to convert numbers in to the Continental European Standard before outputting a final report. Throughout the workflow building process, numbers will be represented in the US/English Standard of 1,000.00.  However, when building an automated report, it is important to remember who the audience will be. In the case of users in countries that use the Continental European Standard, it may best to have Alteryx change the numerical formatting system before outputting the final report. The following example is specific for the Spanish-Spain numbering convention. Process   1. Pass the data through a Table tool to create a Table Report Snippet. 2. Insert a Report Text Tool and format as seen below. The LocaleID is what is specifically driving the formatting change.  For more information on other locale ID's check out this article. 3. Complete your layout and use a Render tool to complete your automated report. Please see the attached workflow for an example in practice.
View full article
Sometimes multiple conclusions can be drawn from the same data.  Ok, often multiple conclusions can be drawn from the same data.  This is especially the case with the Connection Progress that pops up between tools.  You may be a bit familiar with this already.  When you run a module, you may see something similar to the following: 114gb of data is being passed through my data stream!  Is this a lot?  Well, yes, but ultimately we have to remember that Alteryx processes everything in memory.  Knowing this, the information that we see above doesn't mean we have 114gb of data being written directly to disk (many PC's don't even have this much available).  Simply put, there is a ton of data there but if you do not have any type of output connected to the tool, it stays in memory.  If we were to connect say, a Browse Tool to the end of my XML Parse Tool shown above, the temp file written out by my Browse Tool would in fact be every bit of that 114gb.  Luckily, I don't really need the data written out at this point (I'm performing further analysis downstream), so I simply add a Select Tool just after this and de-select the field with the massive amount of data and just like magic, my module runs very fast and efficient. This little bit of info can be both extremely valuable and scary at the same time.  The value is simply that it shows you the amount of data you are dealing with.  The scary part is that it can be assumed this is all being written out to disk during runtime.  We now know that as long as we're not attaching a Browse Tool to the data at this point, and we deselect the fields we do not need further downstream, we keep our module tidy and efficient! Until next time, - Chad Follow me on Twitter! @AlteryxChad
View full article
How to create your own custom tool palettes
View full article
** Update ** With the release of 2019.3 the email tool now has the ability to accept email authentication which opens the doors for sending email through Gmail and other web-based email services. Check out this post on how to send email through Gmail using Alteryx.   There have been a couple instances lately where users have wanted to use the Email tool to send email notifications as part of their workflow but run into issues because their email service is web based like Gmail or Hotmail.   Unfortunately the current Alteryx Email tools don’t support email from an online provider.    However, there is still a way to send email from Alteryx with a web based email.  It’ll require the use of the Event tab or the Run Command tool and the installation of a third party tool.  In this example a tool called SendEmail is used (Alteryx does not recommend or endorse this tool, it happened to be free and worked).   From the Events tab or the Run Command tool enter in the command that executes the tool then in the arguments section add in the tags that are required for the particular email tool.   Events Tab:           Run Command tool:         There is another option in this post in the Ideas section by
View full article
Question Is the Alteryx Help available in languages other than English? Answer Yes! Currently the Alteryx Help file is translated in French, German, and Portuguese (Brazil). For the latest, click here:  http://help.alteryx.com/current/index.htm#HelpLanguages.htm   You will also find the Alteryx Server Quick Start Guide in the same languages.
View full article
One of the many great things about Alteryx is how it can assist the user in organizing their data not only within the tool, but outside of the tool as well. In this series we will show you how to rename, move, and delete input files that you use in your Alteryx Workflows. You will create batch files with Alteryx that you will later be able to use in a workflow that runs the file. This will give you the ability to stay organized as to what you have run through the workflow.   The first one we will go over is Renaming Spreadsheets.   Renaming Files   Creating the Batch file workflows: Tools needed in order of use: (1)Directory Input, (2)Select, (3)Formula, (4)Summarize, (5)Output Tools.   Directory Tool (1) – Browse to the file or files you are looking to change   Select Tool (2) – Fields you will need are Fullpath, Directory, and File Name   Formula Tool (3) – Output Fields Created: New File Name, Command, and Batch File. Create a new field, New File Name (String) – Create the new name either by adding a name with quotes around it, from a field, or in like the example below, adding the runtime date of the file to the file name. Sample Expression of adding the run Date from Directory Tool as the renamed file:   Replace(left([FileName],findstring([FileName],'.'))+' '+tostring(DateTimeNow())+'.xlsx',':','-') Sample Output - $200 2016-03-04 09-00-43.xlsx Create a new field, Command (String) – This is the field you want to build your command. Expression:   'Rename '+ '"'+[FullPath]+ '"'+ ' ' + + '"'+[New File Name]+ '"' Sample Output - Rename "C:\Users\johndoe\Documents\Sample Data\Command Line Test\$200.xlsx" "$200 2016-03-03 13-23-53.xlsx" Create a new field,   Batch File (String) – You will take the Directory field from the Directory Input and add a name of what you want the Batch File to be. Expression:   [Directory]+'rename_files.bat' Sample Output - C:\Users\JDoe\Documents\Sample Data\Command Line Test\rename_files.bat   Summarize Tool (4)– Select the Command field and the action will be to concatenate using a separator as \n. Select the Batch file and the action will be First. You can rename the Output fields if you choose as it will change the fields to Concat_Command and First Batch File.   Output Tool (5) – Browse to save file as any name you want (you will be replacing this name). You will want to use the Save as type: (.csv) and add .bat to end of the name. We want to transform that txt file to a bat file. In the Delimiters Row in the Options section add \0 as the delimiter. Select Take/Table Name From Field and choose Change Entire File Path. Select the First_Batch file (or name you called the field) in the Field Containing File Name or Part of File Name and unselect Keep Field in Output.   Adding Batch File to Your Workflow: The last step is to add this batch file to the Events tab in a Workflow that you want to move the file or files you have chosen in the .bat file in the Configuration window: Select Add > Run Command> Run Event When> After Run> Command: Browse to the bat file and click Ok.
View full article
This is the third article in the series of renaming, moving, and deleting files using a batch file. This workflow will create a .bat file which you can use in other workflows that use the files you specify in this workflow to delete files.   WARNING: Please be careful using this command as it will do what it says it will do. Test thoroughly before adding to production.   Deleting Files   Creating the Batch file workflows: Tools needed: (1)Directory Input, (2)Select, (3)Formula, (4)Summarize, (5)Output Tools.   Directory Tool (1) – Browse to the file or files you are looking to change   Select Tool (2) – Fields you will need are Fullpath, Directory, and File Name   Formula Tool (3) – Output Fields Created: Command and Batch File. Create a new field, Command (String) – This is the field you want to build your command. Expression: 'DEL '+ '"'+[FullPath]+ '"'+ ' ' + + '"'+[FileName]+ '"' Sample Output - DEL "C:\Users\dmenke\Documents\Sample Data\Command Line Test\$200.xlsx" "$200.xlsx" Create a new field,   Batch File (String) – You will take the Directory field from the Directory Input and add a name of what you want the Batch File to be. Expression: [Directory]+’Delete_files.bat' Sample Output - C:\Users\JDoe\Documents\Sample Data\Command Line Test\rename_files.bat Summarize Tool – Select the Command field and the action will be to concatenate using a separator as \n. Select the Batch file and the action will be First. You can rename the Output fields if you choose as it will change the fields to Concat_Command and First Batch File.   Output Tool (5) – Browse to save file as any name you want (you will be replacing this name). You will want to use the Save as type: (.csv) and add .bat to end of the name. We want to transform that txt file to a bat file. In the Delimiters Row in the Options section add \0 as the delimiter. Select Take/Table Name From Field and choose Change Entire File Path. Select the First_Batch file (or name you called the field) in the Field Containing File Name or Part of File Name and unselect Keep Field in Output.     Adding Batch File to Your Workflow: The last step is to add this batch file to the Events tab in a Workflow that you want to move the file or files you have chosen in the .bat file in the Configuration window. Select Add > Run Command> Run Event When> After Run> Command: Browse to the bat file and click Ok.   See attached Sample Workflow.  
View full article
Inputting Data in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Characters
View full article
Did you know that instead of having to choose a save location in the Output Tool, you could leverage the directory that is used to save your temporary files?
View full article
When bringing data into Alteryx a lot of users often add a select tool to check the data type and structure. Data types are very important because of the available operations/functions in tools can be adjusted to fit the data type being used!
View full article