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Here at Alteryx we believe in working smart, not hard. Building out reports to highlight business-critical metrics is a pretty smart way to track goals. Customizing those reports to everyone in the department, then distributing them as attachments to individual emails? That sounds like a lot of hard work. Scheduling those reports from a refreshing data source each month so you don’t have to remake or rerun the reports yourself - that’s genius. Logging into your work computer to open up Alteryx, then having to check the scheduled results before having any peace of mind those reports were delivered without a hitch? Hard.
The Field Info Tool is another one of the gems hidden in the Developer Tool Category – however don’t be intimidated, this is a tool for all of us! The purpose of the Field Info Tool is to give you the information about the fields in your data in a way that you can use down-stream as part of your workflow. There are no settings to configure, so just drop it on your canvas and you’re good to go!
Question How can I share my workflows if my recipients don’t have the same files they reference? Sending them all over separately and reconfiguring inputs separately seems like a lot of work. Halp!
Answer You’re right, that does sound like a lot of work. Luckily, we have an export feature to help with this exact scenario:
Navigating in your Designer to Options >> Export Workflow will open a menu where you can include assets that are referenced in your workflow and export them into a single .yxzp file to be shared. Feel free to select whichever files you’d like to include – if a file is missing, try attaching an additional asset/file to the tool it’s associated with. At that point it should appear in your export options:
Note: If your workflow uses a database connection, your recipient will need to either 1) have a DSN set up (system preferred) for the connection string used or 2) use the same alias to establish a connection in their environment.
After you select the files to be included, select “Browse” to specify the location and name of the export:
You should be all set! Share this export with your files included.
To open an exported workflow, simply File >> Open Workflow >> Browse in Alteryx or double click the green .yxzp file like any other Alteryx file type:
You should then see a prompt stating that the file is an Alteryx Package; just hit “Yes” to begin the import:
You’ll then be given the option to change the directory that the export is extracted to; below that option you will see the exported files listed with their locations relative to the destination directory:
Select “Import” to proceed:
Once the export has successfully extracted, you will be given a notification that the import process has completed. Select “Yes” and your exported workflow should already be loaded and ready to run!
Question Have you ever wanted your own help page for your custom macros or applications?
Answer If you create your own macros or applications and send them to other who aren’t as familiar with your project, or if you just need a refresher from time to time, you may try and access the help menu only to be greeted by the general Alteryx macros/apps pages:
Macro Workflows Page
Analytics App Workflows Page
You can actually create your own help pages/files that can be accessed how you would normally access the Alteryx Help Menu for any "out of the box" tool that comes with the Designer.
Using your favorite text editor (Microsoft Word, for example), you can create your help file with any instructions or graphics that you feel would be helpful to the end users who may need to access a help file. Once you are done, you can save this in any file format that your (or your users') machine is able to open, as well as any location those users would be able to access (a network drive for example).
In your application or macro’s Interface Designer Properties, there is an option to add the path of a file or hyperlink to your newly created help file.
For an example I created the following help file as a .docx, .pdf, and .htm file type. Each other these files open in their respective default programs.
You'll notice some of the menus have been rearranged in version 10+. So if you are looking to export a workflow package, you will find that under the Options menu, Export Workflow . By default, you will see all the assets that the workflow depends on to run properly, but sometimes you will want to include additional files to package with the workflow.
.NET Framework is a software framework developed by Microsoft that supports the building and running of apps and XML web services. The framework version can have an impact on the installation and operation of Alteryx.
Question Can Alteryx run a Powershell script or perform any Powershell specific commands?
Answer Yes! We can use the Run Command Tool to do exactly that.
Note: In order to run powershell scripts you must make sure you have scripting enabled. You should consult with your IT department to see if you are allowed to enable this functionality.
Below is an example I made in 10.6 demonstrating the necessary run command tool configuration. The command will just be “powershell” to enable powershell mode in cmd.exe. Then your command arguments should be the path where the script is located so it can run:
In this particular case I want to read into the Designer the results of my script, so I specify the file that is being written as the Read Results. My “helloworld.ps1” script only contains the below:
"Hello World" | Out-File c:\temp\test1.txt
As you can see, this kicks off in the Designer and opens the script output file to continue downstream, successfully implementing Powershell scripting:
There are a couple of things that can be done to make this easier, and they have been features in Alteryx for some time. Let’s shine some light on them. Renaming Tools: Change tool names as they are being used. Re-naming is also useful when a tool is used many times throughout the course of your module. (for instance, the Select or Browse tools are often used many times) Annotating Tools: To use the annotation feature, click on the tool you wish to apply annotations. In the Properties window, choose Annotation from the menu on the left. From this menu change the name of the tool. The Annotation field can be changed as well. (Note: this is the same location in which one can adjust the Name of the tool.)