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Alteryx Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Manage Data Connections | Alteryx 11.0

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager
Created on

We are proud to introduce you to the Manage Data Connection functionality in 11.0!

 

This new functionality will replace the Alias Manager.

 

The reason for this upgrade is twofold: first, we wanted the ability to create and manage aliases to become part of your database connection process as it will make users life easier when updating passwords and remembering what connections connect to where. The second reason is to have another one of our new functionalities (Database Connection Sharing) seamlessly integrated with users own database connections.

 

The Manage Data Connections allows you to create new connections, update passwords for existing connections, and sync your Designer with database connections that your Gallery administrator has shared with you.

 

We have started the New Connections without new Microsoft SQL Server connection and Oracle connections. We also have Other, where the connection string can be added to connect a database that Alteryx supports. Please be advised the appropriate driver will need to be installed in order to connection to the database. You can find these drivers here: techspecs.

  

Manage Data Connection is located here:

 

Where.jpg

 

Manage Data Connection Window:

 

View.jpg

 

How to update password or connection string:

 

Hover over the connection that you would like to update and select the pencil. Another window will open, where you can update the information except for the name you have provided for the connection. You will not have the ability to update connections that have come from your Gallery Administrator. If changes are needed or you are having issues with the connection please reach out to your Gallery Administrator for assistance.

 

Change.jpg

 

Troubleshooting Tips:

 

Connection issues with Oracle or Microsoft SQL database please see these articles for instructions.

 

Issues connecting using the Other function, please make sure that your connection string and password are correct, as well as the appropriate driver is installed on your machine.

 

revoked.jpg this error icon will appear when a Gallery connection is no longer available. Please reach out to your Gallery Administrator for more information.

 

If you find that when you open your Manage Data Connections and you do not have the ability to update your System connections. You will need to run Alteryx as an Admin user. Once Alteryx is run by an Admin user they will be able to update the password for User and System connections. Gallery will need to be updated by your Gallery admin no matter your permissions on your machine.

 

If, when using a Data Connection, you see the 'Resolve File Type' window, there is something wrong with the Data Connection:

2017-08-03_15-12-17.jpg

Comments
Meteor

Hi,

 

Regular workflow's/Analytic app works fine with the alias (in desktop & gallery). 

I have a workflow that contains a macro and this macro uses alias to connect to db. Works fine on desktop and when i try publishing it to gallery, it gives an error saying "Unable to translate alias".

 

Are there any additional steps to be taken to make a Macro work with alias?

Can a macro recognize alias at all?  

 

 

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@mtakka1 The error typically means that the connection is not on the gallery.  If you are using alias's created on the desktop, they will not be on the gallery. This is one reason for the new 11.0 Manage Data connections, so that the connections exist already on the gallery. You may want to double check that the alias and connection are the same on the gallery.

Meteor

@DanM this looks like a bug in macro. Please see the following thread.

 

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Publishing-Gallery/Macro-unable-to-translate-alias/m-p/65821#M2158

Meteor

Great feature.

 

I am trying to migrate the local aliases to the gallery. Has anyone figure out how to do this systematically rather than manually? This should also help with sync the passwords/data connections from server to server, such as moving the passwords from one environment to another one.

 

Another question, assigning permissions to data connections is assigned to users or studios. Is there a way to assign to groups instead? Either local groups in Alteryx or Active Directory would work. This should address the scenario when 2 users are part of the same studio, but one should have access to data connection A and the other has access to data connection B.

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@jyeh at this time we do not have a migration process due to security. Please add that to the Ideas page. To address your second question, you can only share the connections with users and studios again due to security. You can again add this to the Ideas page. 

Meteor

Thanks @DanM for the response.

 

When I opened a workflow on the server that runs the gallery service to schedule the job, it did not recognize the saved data connection. Resulting in "Unable to translate alias XXXX"

 

What we are trying is to deploy the job on the server to run on disk. When I try to add the gallery through Designer, it won't allow me to successfully log in. So, I cannot add the gallery. It fails on authentication.

 

My questions are:

 

1) It is expected that the user will connect to the gallery using Alteryx Designer for the data connections aliases stored on the server to be recognized even when opening the workflow on the same server the data connections are stored on

2) If #1 is true, the issues about connecting to the internal/private gallery using Alteryx Designer is isolated to our environment

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@jyeh number 1 is true. If you create a connection in the Gallery and share it with a user to then be scheduled on the Gallery the Gallery will read the connection using the gallery connection string. Using the scheduler on the Gallery will not run on Disc as it will use the MongoDB resources to execute the schedule. If you are having issues please contact Alteryx Support to assist.

Alteryx Certified Partner

@DanM

For In-Database connections it appears that connections created in the Gallery do not appear when trying to set up an In-DB connection. Is it correct that In-DB connections still need to be created separately? And if multiple users are saving workflows to the Gallery, they should have the same names to allow for sharing of those connections?

Thanks,

Rod

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@lightalytics as of right now you must setup separate connections for In-DB. In-DB connections are not available through gallery at this time.  If users are sharing the connection, then the server must also share that connection. Yes, the alias names would need to be the same. Think of the server as another user that would need that connection shared with them.

Alteryx Certified Partner

Thanks @DanM

Meteoroid

@DanM, I have attempted as you have suggested and I still get errors when I attempt to run my workflow on Alteryx Server.  Here is what I did, maybe I did something I shouldn't have:

  1. Created a User DSN that has the same setup and name as the Data Connection in our Alteryx Server set up
  2. Did the exact same thing when setting up my InDB connection (same name, same ODBC driver all pointing to the same SQL Server database via its IP address)

Runs fine in Alteryx Designer.  Try to save it to Alteryx Server and I get an error "[In-DB Text.yxmd] Tool 1 - Unable to find connection "proddb root"" (proddb root is the name given to the data connection, User DSN and In-DB connection).  Any suggestions?

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@brucks We highly recommend using System DSN's on the server as those are shareable and User DSN's are not unless the workflow is configured to run as that user on the server. In most cases the server is set to the Run As user (typically admin credentials) or the machines local system account (which typically Does Not have access). https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Knowledge-Base/Run-As-Settings/ta-p/17830

 

The User DSN works on the desktop because the user is running the workflow. On the server, the Run As or Local System account is running the workflow and it not the user, so it does not have that user profile to find the connection so you get an unable to find connection.

 

User vs System DSN

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ie/help/966915/user-dsn-vs-system-dsn

Atom

Hi there! I'm trying to find where Alteryx stores my data connections so that I can export them to another environment. Could you point me in the right direction? Cheers!

Alteryx
Alteryx

Hi  @vivesfm !

 

Data connections are stored in XML files:

 

User Type Connections:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Alteryx\Engine

UserAlias.xml

UserConnections.xml (In-DB)

 

System Type Connections:

C:\ProgramData\Alteryx\Engine

SystemAlias.XML

SystemConnections.xml (In-DB)

 

Bolide
Bolide

Hello there @DanM

 

I have a few questions:

 

1) Is there any documentation around the efficiency differences between the two connections types (Gallery v local). It seems that when we are connecting via the gallery connection from the desktop application, it takes a little longer. Am I crazy or is this true? Is the connection more efficient when publishing to the gallery?

 

2) From a best practices standpoint, does this exist solely to create a way for customer's with an enterprise deployment to manage how users connect to the data? I ask this because, traditionally I have worked in smaller organizations where the user count is pretty small, and when creating alias's we always just made sure that their names matched to what we had created on our server. At this level it's manageable with 15 users, but I could see it becoming problem really fast for larger organizations.

 

I guess what I want to know from these questions is, is it mainly implemented for easier management of connections at an enterprise level or are there some efficiency gains from a processing standpoint?

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@Treyson,

 

 

1. We don't have any efficiency documentation. However, I can tell you that your connection gets verified from the gallery, so if you have any network lag you could experience a little latency. Technically, the connection should be faster on the gallery since that connection gets read from that machine.

 

2. From best practices, the gallery connections will be more efficient since you only have to setup one connection and then share across your users. It allows clients to be able to track who has access to what. The alias's also make it easier to update passwords. If you are not using alias's you would have to update the connection string which is not very convenient.

 

I would say from a process standpoint it does give some efficiencies as mentioned with passwords, as well as users don't have to setup connections themselves which can be a big efficiency as well. As I am sure you know, connections can be tricky for users who do not have experience with databases connections.

 

 

 

 

Bolide
Bolide

Dan, This is great information, thank you very much.