Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
   Dynamically adding data into your workflows is one of the really great things about Alteryx. Having the ability to be able to adjust what you are bringing into the tool can create tremendous efficiencies. So how do we go about doing this? One example is to use the Dynamic Input Tool. This tool allows you to make adjustments to your SQL queries, Stored Procedures or bring in files with the same schema.   Configuration of the Dynamic Input Tool-    Input Data Source Template - Connect to your data and choose the tables and fields or files you would like to bring into the workflow. This is a “Template”, so you are able to change this template with the configuration of the tool, but this “Template” is necessary to bring in the data. Note: if your data has different schemas then you want to either fix the schema or create a batch macro that will ignore schema and either load data in by name or position . Read a List of Data Sources - This section is used for bringing in a list of files, changing table names, or adding Suffix and Prefixes to your Table Names. If you are bringing in Excel files, the sheet name will need to be added to the Full Path using a Formula Tool.   Change File/Table Name: Takes the specified database table name and changes it based on the values in the specified field. Change Entire File Path: Takes the entire specified database input path and changes it based on the values in the specified field. Append Suffix to File/Table Name: Takes the specified database table name and appends a suffix to it. The suffix is the value in the specified field. Prepend Prefix to File/Table Name: Takes the specified database table name and prepends a prefix to it. The prefix is the value in the specified field.   Modify SQL Query:   Pass field to the Output: This will allow you to pass fields that you may want to use downstream that will append to your data.   Replace a Specific String: This modification is great if you want to pull different data from your tables or fields. You can also use this to update the sheet name from an Excel spreadsheet if you are querying a specific range of cells. To use this modification you will want an input connection that has a field that you want to replace the specific String with. In the replacement window you will remove any text that you do not want to be replaced, then choose which field will replace the string.     SQL: Update Where Clause: This works similar to the replace string, the difference is that the Where clause will be the only portion that you will be able to update. The Where clause will appear in the Update window. You will be able to specify which portion you would like to update and from what incoming field. Please note that the Where portion of the statement will only show. If you have a statement that has Where (the clause) AND (another clause), the Where (the clause) will only appear in the window.     SQL: Spatial Filter: Does you database have latitude and longitude coordinates for stores, business, or customers? Have you built polygons for trade areas or customer profiling and you want to see who in your database fits into these polygons? This is the filter you will want to use. The filter will determine whether or not your data falls within the bounding rectangle of the polygon. Allowing you to look at the data contained within the polygon only.     SQL: Updated Store Procedure: Stored Procedures in SQL are great, but sometimes you need to make small adjustments to them. This Update will allow you to choose the Parameter to update and use a field from your data to replace a specific part of the Stored Procedure.        
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Between the  RegEx ,  Text To Columns , and  XML Parse Tools , the Alteryx data artisan already has an exceptionally robust selection of tools to help parse uniquely delimited data. However, there are still some data sets so entangled in formatting that it’s labor intensive to parse even for them. Enter the  Find and Replace Tool , which captures the ability to find your nightmarish parsing workflows and replace them with sweet color by number pictures. Just kidding, it finds bad jokes and replaces them with good ones. Seriously, though, you could do both if you wanted to because this tool has the capability to look up a table of any number of specified targets to find in your data and will replace them with a table of specified sources. With the help of a few quick configuration steps, this tool can simplify some parsing use cases significantly.
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Upon creating a BINGO game, I came across a technique that I thought could be useful in "real world" scenarios for users who are attempting to iterate a process and then replenishing the data after a certain amount of time.
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Have you ever wanted to restrict the fields that flow through your workflow based on their data type? What about only allowing fields that begin with the same word or are in a specific position? The  Dynamic Select  tool is just what you’re looking for!
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The  Multi-Row Formula Tool  functions much like the normal  Formula Tool  but adds the ability to reference multiple rows of data within one  expression . Say, for example, someone was on the ground floor of a house and had a Formula Tool. They would only be able to talk to the people also on the ground floor. If they had a Multi-Row Formula Tool, though, they would also be able to talk to the people upstairs, in the attic, and in the basement as well.
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The Multi-Field Formula Tool offers the same functionality as the Formula Tool, but offers the added benefit of applying a function across multiple fields of data all at once.  Gone are the  days of writing the same function for multiple fields. Say there are four fields with dollar signs ($) that need to be removed. It could be done with a Formula Tool and a function written for each field:
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How to call Windows User, Paths, or other Environment Variables in a Workflow.
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This article is part of the CS Macro Development Series. The goal of this series is to communicate tips, tricks, and the thought process that goes into developing good, dynamic macros. If you’ve ever built an analytical app and used the Interface Designer (View >> Interface Designer), you’ve probably spent some time in the Test View: This menu provides a great runtime view of the interface as you’re adding and configuring tools and also allows you to interact with them, much like you would when selecting “Run As An Analytical App” in your Designer. You can clear (Reset), save (Save – as an .yxwv analytical app value file), reopen (Open – search for your .yxwv files) and investigate the xml capture of your test values (View – these will initialize to your specified defaults) in here, but the real value is in using the “Open Debug” button to open your app debug workflow: This will create a new module with the workflow that would result from executing all the actions of your interface tools (individual values, tools, even xml, can be updated). You can also see these values, along with an actions log, in a comment box preceding the tools themselves. The workflow will even show you errors if your interface tools created any after updates! This comes in handy as you’re updating detours, opening/closing tool containers, and performing complex updates to your workflows via interface tools because it gives you a snapshot into what, exactly, is happening with each set of Test View values and, in effect, at runtime. For example, in the screen capture of the Test View above, we have the default app (attached as v10.5 App Debugger.yxwz) values. When opening the debug workflow (attached as v10.5 Debug Workflow Default Values.yxmd), we can see the result of them in that our row value is still “Test” and our detour defaults to the right: However, if you update the values in the Test View and reopen the debug workflow with the values below: You’ll see in the new workflow (attached as v10.5 Debug Workflow New Values.yxmd), that our row value is now updated to “DebugTest” and our detour no longer goes to the right:   The above is a simple example of the power of the tool, but using it more often in your troubleshooting will help pinpoint where your errors or conflicts are arising, freeing more time for you to build out more apps!
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This article is part of the CS Macro Development Series. The goal of this series is to communicate tips, tricks, and the thought process that goes into developing good, dynamic macros. The Detour Tool and its counterpart, the Detour End Tool, are tools that come in handy in building out custom Analytical Apps and Macro workflows when you want to “turn on” or “turn off” entire sections of the workflows based on a user input. While handy, there is an alternative to the approach in using Tool Containers to encapsulate the sections that you’d like to turn on/off and using a Radio Button (or other Interface Tools) and action to “Enable/Disable Container from Condition.” There are other action types that are also useful if you’d like to implement more logic to the enable/disable approach. As long as you conjoin the outputs of each Tool Container to a Union Tool none of your data streams require records to be output, successfully completing your bypass!   Attached is a short v10.5 example of the approach, using Radio Buttons, and the “Update Value with Formula” action to update the “Disabled” attribute of Tool Containers:
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Imagine this – you’re on vacation. You’re on a sandy beach where the sun has been relentless all day. It’s hot and you need something to cool you off. Ice cream would be perfect!  The  Find Nearest  tool can help!
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“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”  - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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The  Dynamic Replace Tool   is an under-utilized tool in the   Developer Toolset  that is very powerful. It allows for dynamic formulas or conditions to be used in your workflow.  It was first introduced in Alteryx 6.1 . It’s one of the few tools that is currently multi-threaded which makes is fast.
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The Dynamic Replace Tool allows the user to quickly replace data values on a series of fields, based on a condition or expression.
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