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alteryx server Ideas

Share your Server product ideas - we're listening!

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@SteveA did an article about server logging a few years ago which was very helpful.

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Engine-Works-Blog/A-deeper-dive-into-Server-logging/ba-p/22389

 

... and in the training events at Inspire this year there was a session on how to find and interpret server logs.

 

it would be very useful for large server environments to move away from discrete log files as much as possible, and instead move towards a world where the logs are stored in a data format, and one logging infra is used for all so that an admin team can see these all in one place.

 

Granted - the initial boot-up of a server, where it needs to connect to the logging DB is going to be a challenge - but after this initial primary boot sequence it would be great if all server logs and logging events were stored in a database of some kind so that we can analyze and collect events.     That way, server admins can have a great UI experience; as well as a great analytical experience without having to regex through multiple different .LOG files.

So, .YXI files are great, they allow a much simpler installation process of macros from the Gallery to your local machine and server. 

 

However one problem; they are not supported to be hosted on the Alteryx Gallery. This means that in order to share .yxi files they have to be hosted on some other drive and then you have to have a workflow in the alteryx gallery which provides users with the download link.

 

This makes that clean process a bit less clean, and it also causes problems with big customers who cannot whitelist these share drives for which the .yxi files are hosted. I myself have had about 20 emails from one global consulting firm in the US requesting access to a macro, I can't link them to the content as they are blocked, and therefor I have to email them individually. 

 

It's a tad tedious and ruins the 'install experience'.

 

If you don't know what I'm talking about you can follow my colleagues (Peter Gamble-Beresfords) blog here:

 

https://www.theinformationlab.co.uk/2017/10/05/create-share-alteryx-tool-installer-yxi-file/

 

What I'm asking for is simple, support for .yxi files in the Alteryx gallery, in the same way you do with macros.

 

Ben

For professional alteryx admins - it is important to know if a particular asset has been updated (so that we can bring the updated version into our env), with some idea of release notes so that we can understand if the update breaks backward compatibiity and what has been changed.

 

Additionally - it would be very helpful for admins to be able to be notified of new assets created by particular authors whom I trust.

As Alteryx makes more and more use of the Public gallery - it would be valuable for Alteryx to explicitly have a section devoted to items that are certified by Alteryx so that we can be safe bringing them into our corporate env.

 

The assets created by Alteryx are currently listed with Alteryx as the author, however it would be useful to have a completely separate section with Alteryx assets only, and with these broken down by type.

As the Server Admin I'd like to have the ability to view ALL "Workflow Results" for all Subscriptions.This will give the highest level admin the ability to monitor all schedules (on the entire server instance) and monitor if they are unable to complete successfully (example- unable to allocate memory) and any other errors are occurring. 

 

Knowing this information will help the server administrator understand if there are issues with the server itself (e.g. if we need more workers or to simply adjust actual server system settings..etc..)

 

 

 

 

Given the need for administrators to be able to perform analysis and monitoring on server performance; user usage etc - it is necessary to provide full documentation for both the API and the database underlying the server so that admins can use this to good effect.

 

Ref: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Server-Discussions/Server-API-Download-packages-for-surveil...

 

Although very limited documentation is available on the server API (https://gallery.alteryx.com/api-docs) what we're looking for is a much more fully formed and navigable experience like some of the examples below.

 

This will make building helper processes substantially easier; as well as allow admins to fully manage their environment.

 

Many thanks

S

cc: @Heather_Harris @revathi @AshwiniChezhiyan @LizaNemchynova

 

When we create a shared macro on the Gallery, the desire is that we are able to:

- publish this down to users simply and seamlessly

- Allow them to use these assets in their canvasses

- Allow them to simply update to the latest version of the asset on an existing canvas.

 

Unfortunately - right now the only way to distribute shared macros is to create a shared folder; and the only way to manage version upgrades of a shared macro is to manually find every single usage and manually upgrade.

 

 

When an artisan moves positions (within or external) away from their current responsibilities, their collections and workflows should be able to be transferred via an administrator to another user.

This post illustrates the current state of how the Gallery and Scheduler interact with time zones as of V11.7. The behavior it showed in that test is unintuitive and may lead to issues with setting schedules correctly. One possible correction would be to unify all times on the server to server time, but I think we can do better.

 

What I suggest instead is to add time zone as an option on the scheduler. This way users that set schedules don't ever have to wonder at what time the workflow is actually going to run. That information can also be passed through to results such that users that want to make sure a schedule is working as planned don't have to back track and figure out if 5pm means 5pm their time or server time. Finally, it would allow a more intuitive way for an employee in Denver, CO schedule a workflow such that his or her boss in Irvine, CA receives the resulting report exactly when needed/expected.

Please Enable OAuth 2.0/OpenID Support for Alteryx Server  & Connect. Currently, it supports only AD , SAML . 

 

Current SAML has limitations, Unable to import Security groups from LDAP/AD if SAML is enabled.  

 

 

We've confirmed with @KevinP that the Alteryx Gallery / Server API does not currently support downloading canvasses in unzipped data-stream format. (https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Server-Discussions/Server-API-Download-packages-for-surveil...)

 

Please can we add an API end-point that allows the following:

  • Connect to the gallery and download a canvas; along with all of its sub-canvasses and helper macros. 
  • Format required:
    • Plain XML (not zipped)
    • Provided in a data stream so that we can perform analytics and surveillance on this data
    • Fields required
      • Canvas filename
      • Application ID
      • Some unique ID per macro / sub-macro
      • XML for the canvas
      • Last run date
      • Last changed date
      • Environment (this is important once Server actually allows a Dev; UAT; Prod progression cycle - so we can see which environment people are in)
      • User details who uploaded
      • User details who are marked as the owners
      • Any other meta-tags on the canvas (important once server allows for meta-tagging of canvasses for categorisation)

 

Current API only allows this to be downloaded to a zipped file; which then needs to be unzipped; and then loaded back into a data stream.

 

Thank you

S

 

CC: @revathi @AshwiniChezhiyan @LizaNemchynova 

 

The AlteryxService addtoqueue command is great, but it leaves me wanting more.  My simple use case is to run WorkflowB via the addtoqueue command in an after run event from WorkflowA, which is run daily.  The result is that i end up with a cluttered scheduler with many instances of WorkflowB that i need to manually clean up, since addtoqueue creates a new record in AS_Applications each time it runs

It would be useful if there was an AlteryxService command for each of the subroutines already built in to the scheduler front end app: schedule workflow, update workflow, add workflow, remove workflow, edit schedule, etc

MongoDB objects could be identified by oid which the user can get from querying the AlteryxService database

I don't want to rebuild what you've already built, just need a little more control over it Smiley Happy

image.png

 

 

 

 

I have three team members all in the same private studio. We can see each others' workflows. However, when looking at a workflow that another team member has published to the gallery, it looks like:

  1. The workflow has never been run
  2. The workflow is not scheduled to run

This is a massive impediment to collaboration because my team handles ETL for most of the company. If a user complains that their data isn't up to date, whoever receives that support ticket needs to be able to see if the workflow is actually running and whether it was successful or had an error during the last run.

Preventing a team from seeing this for each others' workflow schedules and results means that the only person who can deal with an issue is the person who originally made the workflow. Which makes the idea of a shared private studio wholly pointless as we may as well be operating in different universes.

 

Please create a studio-level setting where all members of a studio can see all schedules and results of all workflows in that studio.

We currently have the ability to store connections on the server which protects the credentials - however this capability does not exist for APIs for Sharepoint sites etc.

 

Please could you extend this to cover authentication for ALL connectors?

 

Many thanks

Sean

 

cc: @revathi

Currently there are certain locations on server that are paginating content results:

 

  • /gallery/#!apps/studio
  • /gallery/admin/#!apps
  • /gallery/admin/#!subscriptions
  • /gallery/admin/#!users

Each of these pages require users to either know exactly what they want to find by using keyword filtering or know exactly what page they want to go to and use the bottom arrows/page numbers to navigate to that page. Ditching pagination for something more intuitive helps users that may not be as acclimated with the depth of content when there are a lot of results, and also saves users multiple click interactions to find what they want.

 

There are tons of solutions for this, but infinite scroll is the most user-friendly & least taxing server & client side.

 

https://infinite-scroll.com/ has code & examples, and jquery seems to be the most widely used implementation.

 

pagination.png

As users change roles; or possibly even leave the firm - we need to automatically manage the ownership of their and their permission.

 

- We need to be able to export all permissions and ownership of assets by user using an API

- We then need to be able to revoke permissions using an API (we have a central entitlement management process that this can be tied into)

- we also need to trigger a revoke on all licenses via API.

 

If done within Alteryx server:

- When a dept code on a user changes; or user leaves - trigger an invalidate on all assets.

- Workflow to both the primary and secondary owner to ask for a new owner

- Also automatically trigger a revoke on all licenses

So - one of the biggest challenges that we have with the MongoDB used by Alteryx Server is that we continually have issues with locking (where our admins have to go in and undo locks)

Additionally - the current implementation of MongoDB connectivity does not support full Kerberos authentication which means that we're on a non-compliant install (which in a large enterprise is an uncomfortable place).

 

Given that a very large amount of what the server does is transactional - it would make sense to have an option to use a large-scale SQL server instead of using Mongo.   For large enterprise customers, there must be flexibility to allow the databases that they have large supported instances of (my strong preference would be MS SQL 2016).

 

MS SQL natively supports XML so all the canvasses can be stored in native format.   Additionally, MS SQL allows very fast query across XML, and given the clustering and reporting capabilities in MS SQL, this would dramatically increase our ability to self-manage our infra.

 

Given that Alteryx is looking more and more at large Enterprise customers - a move to a large-scale clustered SQL env as the back-end would be a very positive move.

 

NOTE: as we consider DB options for a SQL backend - please consider your large-scale enterprise customers.   For example - MS SQL or Oracle or DB2 are all much more prevalent in enterprises than databases like Postgres - so it's important to focus on the enterprise support for the DB that you choose.

 

@Deeksha @avinashbonu @revathi @BenB

 

This idea covers 2 things:

- Disabling certain tools for users

- Pushing out other tools

 

Disabling;

- If we want to disable a particular tool for everyone or for specific users - then we need to go to every single deployed machine and adjust settings or delete some DLLs.

- What we would need is to be able to take a user / group of users - and de-select certain tools or apply limits

- In our corporate environment - every designer needs to check in with the server before fully starting up.   If it cannot connect to the server, it needs to terminate gracefully

- As the designer logs in - the first negotiated conversation is "What tools and capabilities and standard default settings should I have"

 

Pushing Out:

- If a useful tool is brought into our environment (like the JIRA connector here: https://gallery.alteryx.com/#!app/JIRA-Connector/58d87c2feffc2a0dd0b5ed8f or the CREW macros) - we want to be able to push these out to all the users

- Again - every designer checks in with the server first

- Then negotiates tools

- then downloads any missing tools or updates new versions of existing tools.

 

This kind of central server capability is essential in any enterprise deployment of several hundred seats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish Alteryx would allow more control over user access to scheduling workflows. Currently there is only a radio button that globally allows users to access the scheduler. I wish we had another layer where we could limit access by Permissions. For example, we would like all Artisans and Curators to have access to the scheduler, but not viewers.

 

 

When restoring an Alteryx Gallery instance to a second box for test & dev it's highly likely that you don't want all your workflows scheduled from your production instance to run in your secondary instance.

 

However there doesn't currently seem to be a kill switch that you can implement up front to stop your scheduled workflows from running. The only way to disable scheduled workflows in your test gallery is to manually delete them all, which is annoying when you have hundreds.

 

It would be great to have a config flag to disable scheduled workflows before the service is started.

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