Calling all Racers for the Alteryx Grand Prix! It's time to rev your engines and race to the stage at Inspire! Sign up here.

Alteryx Server Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Server experts.

Avoid getting "\external\1" when Publishing an Application to the Gallery


When you publish an application to the Alteryx Gallery it packages this workflow up into a yxzp and creates folders called 'Externals'. In these folders it might contain macros within your workflow or more commonly input and output file locations.


The Designer does this is to ensure your application has the read and write capabilities when published to the server. However, you may be confident that the server has access to a mapped drive or database. Therefore, you can do the following to keep your macros, input & output file paths absolute (C:\Users\etc.) rather than relative (.\etc):


1. Within the Alteryx Designer go to File>>Save As>>Gallery


2. Before Saving go to 'Workflow Options' >>> 'Manage workflow assets'

Pic 1.png


3. Make sure all macros, input and output files you want to keep absolute are unchecked

Pic 2.png


4. When you publish to the Alteryx Gallery now these macros, input and output file will keep the same path and not kept in external folders.


Consideration: When uploading to the Gallery the location of the macros needs to be accessible from the server. Hence, it is best practice to have these on a mapped drive or on the server itself so the workflow does not error.




Jordan Barker

Solutions Consultant


10 - Fireball

Why does this happen with macros that come packaged, such as data cleanse? 


If a macro is packaged, can we be confident that the server will have it? 


If not, how to install? 


@davidhenington the workflow will refer to these assets when they are packaged rather than looking at the server machine designer location. The server lands in an admin folder as well, whereas local designer can be installed as non-admin, hence looking at another user profile folder structure. 


If the macro is packaged the workflow saved to the server will refer to it on the server. 


It you want to maintain macros outside of the Alteryx server, I would recommend setting up on a network location and then referring to these macros in the workflows. When you upload to server un-check these assets in workflow options and they will not be packaged. 





8 - Asteroid


I was pulling my hairs out each day wondering why the locations of the files keep changing.  I don't understand the logic behind this as it should be the default settings.  Anyway, this helps greatly and I appreciate the tips. 


8 - Asteroid

I'm currently experiencing an issue where the workflow, when run from the server, appears to be looking at older cached files at a network location and is exporting an incorrect report. 


A little background: 

I have a workflow that does a comparison between a SharePoint source and 3 Excel reports. I download and replace the Excel reports in a network accessible folder prior to running the workflow from the server. The email report that I receive from Alteryx does not match the data in the most recently saved Excel reports. I've checked the items in the "manage workflow assets" for the items that are located on a network drive. I have a runtime report mailed to me upon every workflow execution and I see that the server is pulling it from a staging folder. 

00:00:31.569 - ToolId 50: D:\ProgramData\Alteryx\Service\Staging\5440_cca0813e4fcc4a21941900b1b681fa5c\_externals\3\Upcoming HMHS New Hires.xlsx 

Is this what I should expect? Is there a way to have the staging folders cleared after every run? Am I missing something else? 

6 - Meteoroid

I have found updating my paths to UNC paths in designer resolves this. I go to options>advanced options> manage workflow dependencies and select All UNC.



8 - Asteroid

That didn't seem to fix anything. I ran my workflow, received the email report, then manually updated a line of data, saved it (overwriting the source file) and ran the workflow again. The changes weren't picked up.

6 - Meteoroid

The only other thing I can think of is that the user that the Alteryx Server is configured to run as on Gallery doesn't have access to the file location you are specifying.

8 - Asteroid

Wouldn't that cause an error in the workflow if the file was inaccessible or would it just pull it from \external\ on the server every time?

8 - Asteroid

I deleted the source Excel files and didn't update the workflow to reflect the change. I ran the workflow on the server and it completed successfully I expected an error for files not found. I ran it locally (as an analytic app) with the same result. It appears as though once a file is copied to the specified staging directory, then it will not be refreshed from the listed location. This is an issue that hinders a lot of planned efforts.


9 - Comet

Dear fellow Alteryx users - the most annoying thing for me personally has been 'this' topic of assets . I never understood why it comes with up with default 'checked' on the input/output . . Often times I forget to undo into this and after few days I realize i am running with cached data ( running from Gallery) 


the only time I ever wanted this 'checked' for is ....'when accepting user input file' ....{ so I need to package a file ...with workflow - static }


Can I not make the tool just drop all 'check boxes' by default on any workflow I am trying to publish to gallery . and the only scenario i need to check is ...'accepting input file via app ' and in that case it will error out if its unchecked anyway ...wont allow me to save in Gallery ....


I am lost with this poor design for this so called ' grouping of assets' interface 

6 - Meteoroid

I am similarly running into issues with this feature. in v 2021.1, even unchecking the asset boxes has no effect, and the paths will automatically change to 'externals/1' after publishing workflow.


If you are using a Dynamic Input tool with a mapped drive letter in the path, this is expected.  Gallery runs in session 0, so cannot handle mapped drive letters.  If you are using a Dynamic Input tool solely because it has an incoming anchor, I strongly recommend you use a batch macro instead, per The Ultimate Input Data Flowchart article.  Using only UNC paths and batch macros should resolve this behavior.

8 - Asteroid

hi JOrdan, thank you for this post. i am building a solution for the business and i dont have access to their folder so i have to create everything on my local c drive, now when i share this app on gallery how macro will work as it is saved on my drive. further when they try to run they are having directory issue.




5 - Atom

I have unchecked all the boxes but still its referring to _externals/1 for input file location and I am unable to locate the absolute path.

Any info?