As Alteryx analysts, we’re whipping up insight at blazing fast speeds. Workflow after workflow, tool after tool, we’re gleaming functional understanding from inert webs of data that empower us to make better decisions. Good insight is only as good as it is shareable, however, and to enable better sharing any Alteryx analyst can take advantage of their Workflow Dependencies to simplify input or output path dependencies in shared workflows.
Navigate to your Workflow Dependencies menu via Options > Advanced Options > Workflow Dependencies
Workflow Dependencies: “Group by Dependency” Workflow Dependencies: “Show Individual Tools”
Found in the Options > Advanced Options > Workflow Dependencies, the menu displays all the path references in your workflow, by dependency or by individual tool, and allows you to universally change them with one click to any one of three commonly used standards:
- All Relative: changes all file dependencies to a relative path to the workflow location
- All Absolute: changes all file dependencies to an absolute path to the file location
- All UNC: changes all file dependencies to a Uniform Naming Convention; all mapped drives are renamed to a network resource
Notice how in each configuration only some of the path references are able to update to each respective standard, for example how the “All UNC” option leaves the paths unchanged because there is only one network file reference and it is already in UNC format. Similarly, the output file in with the %TEMP% reference to an environment variable (Control Panel\System and Security\System\System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables…) remains unchanged throughout all configurations because it is global system variable that is default to most machines.
Tools that Workflow Dependencies apply to
Managing your Workflow Dependencies is a best practice for sharing because of the frequency that path references become broken when sending workflows between analysts, sharing on the Gallery, or scheduling workflows. The reason for this is that most path references are done specific to the system that a workflow was created on, before the workflow is moved to another location. Understanding the accessibility of those input/output files with the final residing location of the workflow and ensuring the references to those files will not break after sharing (i.e. if I follow the reference path can I still find the file from the environment this workflow “lives” on?) is an important consideration in workflow development. Consulting the Workflow Dependencies menu and utilizing Asset Management, however, will have you on your way to setting up large networks of shareable insight that will have your organization working smarter than ever!
Be sure to check out the attached Workflow Dependencies.pdf or Alteryx Help for more information on workflow dependencies and how to best leverage them in your sharing environments!