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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.



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.




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:




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.




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.





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




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!



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.


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


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.






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.








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).


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. 






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!



Thanks for the very well written and easy to follow guide


I like the old way better in some cases.  I don't always get my joins and formulas correct on the first try.  It was nice to be able to cache just the Inputs as I refined the workflow.  Any chance we could have it as an option again?



Alteryx Certified Partner


All you need to do is right-click on the Input Data tool and the do the cache from there. It is essentially the same thing as the old way of checking the cache box in the former Input Data tool. 


I have multiple inputs in my workflow. Is there a way to cache all of their data at once, or I do have to go through the right click > select "Cache and Run Workflow" option once for each input and wait for the whole workflow to run in between each run? 


@TroyXman @Brad2 I have good news. In the 2019.1 release you will see the ability to select multiple tools and cache multiple tools at once. 


Deciding when to release features is tricky business sometimes. We want to release the feature as soon as you'll find some value in it, but sometimes that means it's not as awesome as we want it to be. That was the case with caching. We thought caching was valuable, so we released it. We also knew that it would be even more awesome with the ability to cache multiple tools at once. The good news is that we are adding that functionality in 2019.1. I hope you enjoy it!