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alteryx server Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Server experts.

Assets and Packaging Workflows

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager
Created on

Assets are an important part of your workflows in Alteryx. Assets will need to be included if you want to share, schedule, and publish your workflows to your Gallery. We run into many cases where users are able to run workflows on their Designer but they fail on Scheduler and Gallery. In a lot of cases it is due to the pieces of the workflow are not all there in the Scheduler and Server database. In this article, we will talk about when you need assets, how to package the assets, and what assets you want to make sure are a part of your workflow.

 

When You Need Assets:

When building and using workflows in the Alteryx Designer you don’t need to do anything with your assets as they are a part of your workflow locally, but if you want to move the workflow somewhere or to someone, you will need to package the workflow.

 

Alteryx Designer:

When sharing your workflow with another user, the workflow will need to be packaged with those assets so that the user can run the workflow without error. This would include input files as well as macros. If the workflow is connected to a database or using Alteryx Data, the user will not be able to run the workflow successfully unless they have access to those data sources on their own machine.

 

Scheduler:

If you have Server or Desktop Automation, the Scheduler will be using a database separate from your Designer. If you have Server you will be using a MongoDB and if you have automation you will be using a SQLite database. This would mean that any macros that are not on the server or SQLite database would need to be added. By packaging the workflow and scheduling the package, the Scheduler will be able to access any custom macros or macros not included with Alteryx. This would include Predictive as well unless you have installed the predictive tools to your Server. If you have version 11.0 Server or later, you can send your workflows to your private gallery and schedule them on your server. When you do that, Alteryx will package the workflow the same as if you were sending an app or workflow to the Gallery as below.

 

Gallery:

The Gallery works a little different than packaging a workflow or Scheduled workflow. The difference is that the Assets will need to be on the Alteryx Server along with the workflow for the app, macro, or workflow to be used on the Gallery. Basically, the Save As option to the Gallery of your choice will start the packaging process of your workflow and Assets. The Save As a workflow window will appear with information about your workflow that you are sending to the Server Gallery. Select Workflow Option. Below the Workflow Options you will select Manage workflow Assets. This is where you can include and exclude information being sent to the Gallery.

 

Packaging the Assets:

 

Select in the tool bar Options ->Export Workflow. This will then launch a window that will show the name of your workflow, the location where the package will be stored, and the list of workflow assets.

 

Asset.png

  

When sending your workflow to the Gallery, you will do a Save As to and the Company’s Gallery. A window will open and you will see Workflow Options at the bottom of the page.

 

Workflow Options.png

Select Workflow Options

Manage.png

You will then reach the Assets window which is similar to the packaged Assets window above.

 

You also have a second option when sending workflow to the gallery. In the Workflow Configuration window, select the Events tab, Select Add, Run Command. You will see a tab called Assets where you can add assets to the workflow. This is especially helpful when you are adding a chained app to the gallery. Check out Jordan’s article for the step by step: Adding-Files-to-the-Gallery.

 

 

What Assets Do I Need:

 

Great! I found the assets, but why are some missing, some checked, some not checked and which ones do I really need and what don’t I need?

 

Input/Output Assets

You may see that you have Input and Output assets. When you are packaging a workflow to send to a user, you can include those assets if the user does not have those files to run the workflow. If the user does have the files or they are going to update the Input files or Output files, then you would not include them. The Input and Output assets will never include database connections only files.

 

Macro .yxmc

The .yxmc files can be an important part of your workflow. Many of the Alteryx tools are .yxmc files and if these macros are a part of the Designer package, you won’t need to include them in the package as Alteryx knows that these tools will be in the workflow (example Report Header Tool is a macro). If macros are downloaded from the Alteryx Gallery, custom created, or sent from another user, these macros will need to be included as Assets.

Comments
Meteoroid

It is still not clear to me how to add assets that are Missing. Is this feature disabled/broken in 11.0? I cannot even upload 02_Mortgage_Calculator to My Company's Gallery. What am I doing wrong?

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@BryanG If the assets already exist on the server you won't have to select them. When you say you can't upload the Mortgage Calculator are you getting errors or your just not seeing assets to choose? 

Meteoroid

@DanM I am getting the error "There were errors validating your workflow. This may cause issues when running in the gallery."

 

Below that in red it says "There was an unknown error validating the workflow."

 

When I check the assets in the Export Workflow as seen in the picture in the original post, I am missing the same file: ...\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\Macros\ReportInput.yxdb. Is it possible that this is causing my error? I also may have something wrong on the server because I tested it by downloading a workflow, then tried to re upload it immediately without making any changes and got the same error. Is there something I am missing?

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@BryanG You should be missing that as that is a yxdb that will be updated when you run the workflow on the Gallery. Sometimes the workflows do get errors during the validation point, but still run on the Gallery depending on how the workflow is setup. The validation attempts to validate all of the pieces of the workflow, but depending on what your workflow is doing not all of those pieces may be there at the time of validation, but once you run it on the Gallery it then runs fine as the workflow feeds all of the pieces needed to run. Try checking the workflow on the Gallery and see if you can run it.

Meteoroid

I was able to solve the issue with the help of @AlteryxSupport. It turns out the problem was due to trying to upload to Alteryx Server 10.6 from Alteryx Desktop 11.0. Using an older version of Desktop solved all of the problems.

 

Thanks!

Meteoroid

Hi, I included all the assets when I save my workflow to the gallery. However, I still can't schedule this workflow on the gallery, it says "Macros stored in the Gallery cannot be run and are intended to be downloaded and opened in Alteryx Designer". Any suggestions? 

Alteryx Partner

Hey @DanM -- I have a quick question regarding Manage Assets that I am still trying to get my head around. I have a screen shot attached of an App I have published out that I want a user to be able to use. The first unchecked box is a SQL Server alias we are using within our Alteryx Gallery. I have no problems hitting it locally and publishing it packaged(with it checked), however when I do that and have the user run the App, the data is static to the last time I published the App.

 

Conversely, I am receiving an Alias Error when I publish it unpackaged (unchecked). The Server Account has access to the SQL Server Data Connection within the Gallery, so I am unsure what other avenues to try.

 

The second two are network drive locations that both myself, the server machine, and the end user have access to. I have tested this multiple times and there are no issues with my OUTPUT files seen below.

 

So -- The question is... What do I need to do to save this workflow with my SQL Server connection unpackaged so that the end users will have current data each time they run the App? And how do I do this without receiving an Alias error when publishing?

 

Let me know if there is anything else I need to clear up.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

 

Picture for DanM.JPG

Community Operations Manager
Community Operations Manager

@WU1993,

 

SQL driver and database connections must exist on the server. If you are using I believe 11.0 or newer you should have the ability to create the database connection on the gallery and then share that connection with a user. That should then take away any issues with the database connection as it should work on the Server as well as the desktop Designer. Similar to the SQl as you mentioned the the network the server must have access. These issues typically involve security, but without understanding your environment, permission, and server setup it will be difficult for me to assist with this on Community.

I can suggest that you take the workflow and open Designer on the Server and see if the workflow can run from there. If it cannot, then your SQL connection or network settings and or server setup does not have the permissions necessary to access the database or the network paths. I also suggest for the network paths that you make sure you are using UNC paths as well. If that does not work, please reach out to Alteryx Support.

 

DanM