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The Konami Code or Why all of the workflows moved to one subscription

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Alteryx Partner

The Konami Code is a feature of many video games where you press a secret sequence of buttons on your controller and then a cheat code is activated in the game. Alteryx Server has a similar function that can cause some major negative consequences.

 

Alteryx describes this hidden function in a Knowledge Base article and other Server users have stumbled upon it. What happens is that you will move a user from one studio to another... and discover that potentially hundreds of workflows have migrated along with the user. There is no easy way (as of the date of writing) to move the workflows back from whence they came. You can download and upload each workflow one by one, but the common advice is to roll back to a MongoDB backup, which is disruptive for the end-users. 

 

According to the Alteryx engineers, a specific set of circumstances and actions must be met in order for this to happen:

  • The user's current subscription must be set to free
  • The subscription they are moving to must be set to paid and not expired
  • The initial subscription must be empty after the user is moved
  • The user must be moved by manually updating the subscription/studio key in the user's profile (in Admin panel user's section or from the User's settings). Using the Add Artisan button in the subscription settings will not trigger the workflow move.

However, we had an accidental Konami Code yesterday and took some time to carefully recreate what we did to cause it, and what were the effects.

 

  • The user's current subscription must be set to free Confirmed. This was the case. 
  • The subscription they are moving to must be set to paid and not expired Confirmed. This was the case. 
  • The initial subscription must be empty after the user is moved The initial sub had 15 Artisans in it. 
  • The user must be moved by manually updating the subscription/studio key in the user's profile (in Admin panel user's section or from the User's settings). Using the Add Artisan button in the subscription settings will not trigger the workflow move. Confirmed. This was the case.

Even without satisfying item #3, the workflows from the initial studio did move to the target studio. Additionally, all of the workflows from a handful of other studios ALSO moved to the target studio. At least one of those was set to Paid, not free.

 

Lessons to be learned:

  1. The Konami Code requirements are softer than we think.
  2. The effects of the Konami Code are larger than we think.
  3. Back up your MongoDB daily.
  4. It would be great if this feature/bug could be toggled by the Server admin or turned off completely.

Be careful out there!