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With the release of 2018.3 comes a 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. There are a couple conditions where tools cannot be selected as cache points, including tools with multiple output anchors, and tools in "circles".
This article will walk you through how to install a macro, so that it can be accessed from the tool palette in the Designer.
Download or save a macro to a directory
Open Alteryx Designer
Click Options > User Settings > Edit User Settings
Click the Macros tab within the User Settings window
Click the + icon and select the directory used to save your macro(s)
Enter a Category Name for the directory to appear as in the Designer
Macro(s) will now show up in the category specified
Things to consider:
- all macros within the folder specified will be installed
- the category specified within the macro Meta Info will take priority over the Category Name specified in step 6:
A macro can be added to a workflow without installing it. Do this by right-clicking on a blank-portion of your wokrflow and selecting Insert > Macro.., then navigate to the location of the macro you'd like to insert.
When bringing data into Alteryx a lot of users often add a select tool to check the data type and structure. Data types are very important because of the available operations/functions in tools can be adjusted to fit the data type being used!
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.
If you are un lucky while rendering a map in Alteryx with a Carto base map, you may encounter the error message Error: AGG error loading font (C:\WINDOWS\fonts\C:\Program). This article explains the cause of this error, and how to resolve it.
“Unhandled Exception occurred” error is thrown when you copy and paste text (Ctrl-V) using the R Tool.
Now, to witness it happening:
Looking at the error log you will see error message below:
Default Log path - C:\ProgramData\Alteryx\ErrorLogs\AlteryxGUI
If you look at the log, you can see the error is directly related to the FIPS cryptographic algorithms. According to Wikipedia, FIPS stands for Federal Information Processing Standards and it is a “standard developed by the United States federal government for use in computer systems by non-military government agencies and government contractors”.
As of right now, “Unhandled Exception occurred” error will be thrown in the R Tool if FIPS compliance is turned on .
Our Development team is fully aware of the problem with the FIPS compliance and is planning to sort this out in the future releases. As for temporary solution, you can consider turning off the FIPS compliance, of course after checking and making sure your IT manager is okay with it, and this should resolve the “Unhandled Exception occurred” error.
Here’s how you can turn off FIPS compliance:
There are other ways to turn on/off FIPS compliance and you can find them here:
As most of us can agree, predictive models can be extremely useful. Predictive models can help companies allocate their limited marketing budget on the most profitable group of customers, help non-profit organizations to find the most willing donors to donate to their cause, or even determine the probability a student will be admitted into a given school. A well-designed predictive model can help us make smart and cost-effective business decisions.
This directory was generated by the Alteryx install script, and contains an instance of the Oracle Instant Client. Oracle Instant Client is a collection of installed Oracle Database libraries for connecting Alteryx Designer to local or remote Oracle Databases. There’s no need for tnsnames.ora file.
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.
Question Did you know that instead of having to choose a save location in the Output Tool, you could leverage the directory that is used to save your temporary files?
Answer This can be handy if you are running chained apps locally or have macros that have a file output process. To use temporary space instead of actually writing out a file to a specified location. All you have to do is add the following onto your file name: %temp%..\Output.yxdb. Once you run your workflow you can navigate to your temporary directory (which can be found in System Settings->Engine->General->Temporary Directory) to view your saved file.
The same path you used in the output tool can be used in an input tool to read in the file that is saved to the temporary directory.
If you’ve gotten accustomed to having headers and sub-headers (fields/sub-fields) in your tables, much like those you can build with the “Merge & Center” Excel feature, you’ll be happy to hear with just a couple formatting steps we can build the format below:
In Alteryx, with similar formatting:
The attached v10.5 workflow goes into the details of the approach, but the essence is below:
Split your columns/fields your desired categories (making them sub-headers)
Create tables from your categories, add your supra-headers
Combine the reporting elements we have now, use the Union Tool to stack and the Summarize Tool to combine the reporting elements horizontally
Combine your sub-tables into a larger table, if needed (adding another header)
There you have it! Your tables are now rendered in style.
Question Is the Alteryx Help available in languages other than English?
Answer Yes! Currently the Alteryx Help file is translated in French, German, and Portuguese (Brazil). For the latest, click here:
You will also find the Alteryx Server Quick Start Guide in the same languages.
You can control-click any number of tools to highlight them, then move them around as a group.
You can click, hold and drag (to draw a box), and all tools covered by the box will be highlighted as you go; release, and then pick up and move that assembly of tools around as a group.
Employing the tactics in a and b above, you can also copy and paste tools within your module. You can cut too. To go a step farther, you can copy tools in one module and paste them into another, which is a great way of breaking a process out for a little more focus, or to minimize the amount of processing your machine does every time you click Run.
Another great tip is to Copy and Paste your Text Comment tools. Perhaps you’ve taken our advice about annotating your modules… You can create a module that’s designed only as a container for your most frequently used Text Comment settings. This will save you the effort to change background colors, font sizes, etc. every time you add a Text Comment.
Depending on the tool, formulas and other configuration selections will carry over when copy/pasted. This is especially useful when configuring formulas that have been used in previous modules.
Sometimes multiple conclusions can be drawn from the same data. Ok, often multiple conclusions can be drawn from the same data. This is especially the case with the Connection Progress that pops up between tools. You may be a bit familiar with this already. When you run a module, you may see something similar to the following: 114gb of data is being passed through my data stream! Is this a lot? Well, yes, but ultimately we have to remember that Alteryx processes everything in memory. Knowing this, the information that we see above doesn't mean we have 114gb of data being written directly to disk (many PC's don't even have this much available). Simply put, there is a ton of data there but if you do not have any type of output connected to the tool, it stays in memory. If we were to connect say, a Browse Tool to the end of my XML Parse Tool shown above, the temp file written out by my Browse Tool would in fact be every bit of that 114gb. Luckily, I don't really need the data written out at this point (I'm performing further analysis downstream), so I simply add a Select Tool just after this and de-select the field with the massive amount of data and just like magic, my module runs very fast and efficient. This little bit of info can be both extremely valuable and scary at the same time. The value is simply that it shows you the amount of data you are dealing with. The scary part is that it can be assumed this is all being written out to disk during runtime. We now know that as long as we're not attaching a Browse Tool to the data at this point, and we deselect the fields we do not need further downstream, we keep our module tidy and efficient! Until next time, - Chad Follow me on Twitter! @AlteryxChad