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Alteryx Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

What Can't Be Cached?

Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer

With the release of 2018.3 comes very exciting new functionality – workflow caching! Caching can save a lot of time during workflow development by saving data at “checkpoints” in the workflow, so that each time you add a new step to your workflow, it does not need to rerun the workflow in its entirety, rather it can pick up from your last cache point.


To create a cache, simply right-click on the point in your workflow that you would like the data to be cached at, and select the Cache and Run Workflow option from the drop-down menu.


There are a few tools in Alteryx that cannot be used as cache points due to two major conditions that prevent a tool from being eligible for caching. The first and most straightforward is tools with multiple outputs.

2018-08-27_16-28-46.png

 

Tools with multiple output anchors cannot be cached. This includes the Join Tool, many (but not all) of the Predictive Tools, the R Tool, the Python Tool, as well as a few others. 

 

The second condition is a little trickier to understand conceptually. Any tool that is in a “circle” cannot be cached.

 

2018-08-27_16-31-08.png

 

What is meant by a “circle” is the condition where the output of a tool is being combined with a different component of the same data stream, effectively creating a circle around the tool with the connection lines. Here are some examples of un-cachable circles:

 

2018-08-28_8-43-38.png

 

The reason tools in this condition cannot be cached is similar to why tools with multiple output anchors are excluded. In a “circle situation”, the downstream tool requires data from both stream #1 and stream #2 in order to proceed. The only way to effectively cache in this situation would be to create an additional, invisible cache for the tools being joined in parallel.

 

2018-08-28_10-27-13.png

 

To make sure only expected data is being cached and prevent unintentional overuse of resources, no ghost cache is created, which disqualifies tools in "circles"  from being caching checkpoints.

 

2018-08-28_10-27-15.png

 

 

The good news is that tools with single outputs downstream from tools with multiple outputs or “circles” can be cached without any issue!

 

2018-08-27_16-32-56.png

 

Now that you are well versed in the limitations of workflow caching, you should be able to develop new workflows and test and modify old workflows faster than ever before!

 

Comments
Comet

I opened a workflow and tried to cache at a union and I got a grayed out "Cache and Run Workflow".  So I ran the workflow and went back to the same union and it now allowed me to "Cache and Run Workflow"  Problem is it reran the workflow.   

 

Is it truly necessary to run the workflow 2 times before you can cache anything?

Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer

Hi @_richardr,

 

I'm not able to replicate this behavior on my machine. Can you please try posting your workflow in a thread in Designer Discussions, and posting the link here? I would be happy to take a look at it.

Meteoroid

Did the ability to cache the Dynamic Input tool get killed off? 

Alteryx
Alteryx

Hi @Brad2 - You can still cache the Dynamic Input tool since it has a single output anchor. For instructions on how, check out Just take the Cache and Run! Caching in 2018.3.

 

dynamicinput.PNG

 

 

 

Are you thinking of the Cache Data option in the Input Data tool? We did indeed remove this option since the new feature replaces its functionality.

 

cache.PNG

 

 

Cheers,

Alex

Alteryx
Alteryx

One consideration that might not be obvious is that if you configure your workflow to Disable All Tools that Write Output, caching (or clearing the cache) will still be available as an option, but no data will get cached (or cleared).

Meteor

I can't seem to cache after In-DB tools. Is that a real limitation or am I doing something wrong? I'm using version 2018.3.


I can't attach my workflow, but here's a screen shot - you'll note upstream of the select tool (to ensure a single output tool), I have a bunch of In-DB tools doing the heavy lifting, then streaming only what I need for my report.cant cache with indb.pngCan't Cache with In-DB Upstream?

Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer

Hi @DawnR,

 

You should be able to use the cache functionality downstream of in-DB tools, as long as the standard tool you are trying to cache with isn't in a loop and only has one output. Do you have any wireless connections around tool you are attempting to cache on, creating an un-cachable circle? Do other tools further downstream in your workflow give you the option to cache? If not, please post to the Designer Discussion Forum for additional help, or reach out to our support team. 

 

Thanks,

 

Sydney 

Meteor

Hi @SydneyF,

 

Ha - I found my problem, I do have a wireless connection from an upstream interface tool that connects in downstream of where I was trying to cache.


Thanks for the help!


Dawn

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