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Creating a Gallery Data Connection will allow ease of access for Alteryx users to connect to databases. The feature also allows the Alteryx Gallery and Database Administrators more governance over what connections are being made as well as who are making the connections.
What are the advantages of using a Gallery Data Connection?
Centralized area for Administrators to create and share database connections
Avoids the need for IT to create database connections on each users machine individually
Easy permissions management - access to the connections can be enabled or disabled instantly
Users no longer need to know the connection information to connect to their data
What actually happens when you create the connection on the Gallery?
When you create a Gallery Data Connection, a record is created in MongoDB under the AlteryxGallery > dataConnections collection.
What happens when the connection is used in Designer?
As soon as a user links their Gallery to Designer, a sync takes place that grabs all the connections they have access to and creates a file called GalleryAlias.xml in the user's* profile:
*99% of the time this will be the user logged into the machine, but there is also the possibility that the user is right-clicking and running Designer as a different user.
This file will be updated/synced when you:
Open the Manage Data Connection window from Options > Advanced Settings > Manage Data Connections.
Click Sync All in the Manage Data Connections Window:
What happens when you execute a workflow on the gallery that uses a Gallery Data Connection?
The Gallery 'translates' the connection from an XML file. One of the following will be used:
The Gallery performs a permissions check.
The permissions check ONLY applies to the user who uploaded the workflow. If the connection has not been shared with the uploader, it will error:
Unable to translate alias SQL_on_Gallery
The workflow is executed and the connection to the database is attempted. Any further any further errors will be around the connection string/driver itself, i.e.
Error SQLDriverConnect: [Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified.
What does 'translate the alias' mean?
This refers to the unpackaging and reading of the XML file to take the alias name (SQL_on_gallery) to the actual connection string. This must first happen before the connection to the database will even be attempted.
If this fails for any reason, you get the following error:
Unable to translate alias X
What is the __TemporaryAlias.xml file, and when is it used?
When you publish a workflow to the Gallery that contains one of these connections, a file called __TemporaryAlias.xml is packaged with the workflow.
You can see this file when you click Manage workflow assets during publication:
By default, this asset is checked - it should be checked so that the workflow can use this XML to translate the alias.
Once the workflow runs, it is pulled down and unpackaged into the Staging folder.
Which of the two XML files are used?
The Designer first will try to use the __TemporaryAlias.xml file. This is the preferred way, because as mentioned this XML file is packaged with the workflow,, meaning it can successful translate on whatever machine (worker) it runs on:
If you don't package the __TemporaryAlias file, it will then try to use the GalleryAlias.xml file. As mentioned, since this is in the User's profile, you would need the Run As user to have this file synced and available in their profile. This method is not preferred. Another issue with this method is that the file will need to be synced on all worker machines.
What are the most important things to know to make sure my workflow will run successfully on the Gallery?
Always package the connection when publishing to the Gallery.
From a permissions perspective, once the workflow is on the Gallery, it doesn't matter who runs the workflow for the translation to happen. Only the uploader of the workflow needs to have the connection shared with them.