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Now everyone loves to talk about their workflow masterpieces, however the notion of documenting them doesn't always hold the same appeal. The Comment Tool would be happy to help and can make documenting and structuring your workflow easy and straight forward. Whether you want to include images, text descriptions or categorize parts of your workflow, the Comment Tool can act as a great refresher when revisiting workflows and make it far more intuitive for work colleagues to follow along. This article provides a few examples on how.
One of the most underrated tool groups, the Documentation Category is full of gems that can help you improve the aesthetic, organization, and shareability of your workflows. Chief among them is the Tool Container Tool – in addition to better aesthetic this tool has the ability to disable all the tools within it, lending itself to a handful of functional applications as well:
How To: Embed an Internet Window in an Explorer Box
You can house an internet window or file location within your workflow - additional files, embedded help videos, etc.
With the Explorer Box you can open a webpage or a specific file location from within your workflow! This would be handy for having a community article open in your workflow for reference; or even a training video (yes! youtube does play in this window!). Or you could have the location of your commonly used input file for easy drag and drop into your workflow!
As you can see in the screenshot below, I have both the Alteryx homepage open and the default save location of the sample data that is installed with the Designer. Right clicking in the file browse window gives the same familar options you would get if you were to right click in a normal windows file browser:
Attached is the same workflow from the screenshot above - please note that the file location portion of this example may not work if your sample data is installed in a location other than the default location of C:/Program Files/Alteryx/Samples/SampleData. To correct this or just view the the explorer box working properly you can paste any path on your machine in the explorer boxes configuration window:
Leave yourself a map by which to navigate your module. This will allow you to quickly view what processing occurs in each area throughout your module. Look at the following image as an example. 1) A title is worth a few hundred tools. Sometimes a module’s file name just isn’t enough information; give your module a real title, even if it’s a long one. 2) Is your module based on something else (like a sample module, or someone else’s process)? If so, make note of it. 3) Who created the module? When did they make it? How can they be reached if someone has a question? Be proud, stamp your module. 4) If something special is occurring in a particular tool, it might be wise to throw in a quick comment about it. *If you take an hour to create a nice module, you might as well take another minute to annotate it. It’s worth it - you can trust Alteryx Customer Support on that!
The Tool Container is a tool that allows you to organize your module by placing tools inside of the Tool Container. Because the Tool Container can be opened and closed without impacting the behavior of the tools they contain, you can effectively minimize sections of your module so as to bring greater clarity to the overall picture. From a visual perspective, the Tool Container encourages object-oriented design!
Another feature of the Tool Container is the ability to disable/enable an individual Container.
An example application for this is a module where you need to do some design/testing, but you do not want to write the Output file until everything is working properly. By placing your Output tools inside of a Tool Container, and then disabling the container, you will be assured that no files will be generated. Re-enabling the Output tools is a piece of cake; just uncheck the “Disabled” checkbox. This feature allows you to easily control the generation of Output files or the processing of portions of your module. For users developing complex modules, the Tool Container delivers a powerful time-saving tool for the module design process.