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It's the most wonderful time of the year - Santalytics 2020 is here! This year, Santa's workshop needs the help of the Alteryx Community to help get back on track, so head over to the Group Hub for all the info to get started!
The Analytics Gallery What is an Analytic Application? Pre-packaged data and analytic integration published to the Alteryx Analytics Gallery by Data Artisans to answer specific strategic analytics questions. What is the Analytics Gallery? The Analytics Gallery is a publicly hosted web service where applications can be published, securely shared, and run in the cloud. What is a Viewer? A Viewer is a free user of the Analytics Gallery. A Viewer can run all applications published in the Public Gallery. What is a Member? A Member is a user who can run applications that are shared privately through Collections. A Membership is granted by a Data Artisan. A Member also shares the privileges of a Viewer to run all applications published in the Public Gallery. What is a Data Artisan? A Data Artisan is a user who creates analytic applications using the Alteryx Designer Desktop and then shares them publicly and/or privately in the Analytics Gallery. A Data Artisan also shares the privileges of a Member. What is required to run applications in the Public Gallery? Anyone can sign up and become a Viewer, with the ability to run all applications in the Public Gallery, for free. As soon as you confirm your email, you will have access to the Public Gallery. What is required to run an application in a private Collection? You must be a Member to run applications shared in private Collections. Memberships are granted by Data Artisans, who create and share applications. What is required to build applications? Applications are built with Alteryx Designer Desktop. Download the Designer Desktop Free Trial. What is required to publish applications in the Analytics Gallery? Applications are published from the Alteryx Designer Desktop into a private Studio. •A Studio is automatically created for license holders of the Designer Desktop.
Guide to Gallery Data Connections - FAQ
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.
"_id" : ObjectId("5a5882573b910b5758cdd7e2"),
"ConnectionString" : "4D35F08105015D7A81E5E274760D1C3529146D9516CACD028F1A353994C7DFB2ABAC8A99B1F284CCB7935B96F0FBD2EC9A9239B3305D4DE60D1C749C4E7BC65A597ED943742FB057EDD0F1882FFF98D6ED7888312215761DB1FA02B0EF425F9F98E645E73FB98481AC130D05F1A0CC0DBD42D4AC1F38E8DF8CA5759A6A4823F86C6FC212BD93263F83B90515DF6926B934FA086466A70992DF984C297A47C1DFFD749A642A6267B9FFC87B766127CE6C3D945FC64A8A25A2414DB2450AD6CAAD8D9202BFEBAF22C91B1371E1BA4C9CEB6E454B46B3BF4417D5280E53BCB5BE6AA734B",
"PasswordSecured" : "",
"ConnectionName" : "SQL_on_Gallery",
"Subscriptions" : ,
"Users" : [
Once the connection is shared, it is also attached to that person's entry in AlteryxGallery > users collection.
"_id" : ObjectId("503bac145031af11f8f8e479"),
"Curator" : true,
"Anonymous" : false,
"LicenseCurator" : false,
"Sponsor" : "",
"Email" : "firstname.lastname@example.org",
"FirstName" : "Ash",
"LastName" : "Ketchum",
"DataConnections" : [
"CanSchedule" : true,
"CanSetPriority" : false,
"CanSetWorkerTag" : true,
"RecaptchaResponse" : null
What happens when the connection is used in Designer?
The user is authenticated. With Windows Authentication, the user who is logged into the machine/running Designer is authenticated automatically - it is not possible to change this. This means that this user must be a domain account that can authenticate to that server, and only that user's connections will be synced.
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:
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Alteryx\Engine *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 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.
Gallery API documentation incomplete when using Internet Explorer
When viewing the Gallery API documentation in Internet Explorer, the page does not load completely. However, using a different browser like Chrome and Firefox works. Or using Internet Explorer to connect to the documentation at https://gallery.alteryx.com/api-docs
Product - Alteryx Server
Product - Internet Explorer
The issue is caused by the Compatibility View settings for Internet Explorer when enabled for intranet sites. The Compatibility view forces Internet Explorer to view web pages which were designed for previous versions of IE.
In Internet Explorer click the Gear Icon in the top right corner of the browser and select Compatibility View settings.
In the settings pop-up, uncheck Display intranet sites in Compatibility view.
Click the Close button.
Refresh the API Documentation page.
The Alteryx Analytic Gallery
What is an Analytic Application?
Pre-packaged data and analytic integration published to the Alteryx Analytics Gallery by Data Artisans to answer specific strategic analytics questions. What is the Analytics Gallery?
The Analytics Gallery is a publicly hosted web service where applications can be published, securely shared, and run in the cloud.
What is a Viewer?
A Viewer is a free user of the Analytics Gallery. A Viewer can run all applications published in the Public Gallery.
What is a Member?
A Member is a user who can run applications that are shared privately through Collections. A Membership is granted by a Data Artisan. A Member also shares the privileges of a Viewer to run all applications published in the Public Gallery.
What is a Data Artisan?
A Data Artisan is a user who creates analytic applications using the Alteryx Designer Desktop and then shares them publicly and/or privately in the Analytics Gallery. A Data Artisan also shares the privileges of a Member.
What is required to run applications in the Public Gallery?
Anyone can sign up and become a Viewer, with the ability to run all applications in the Public Gallery, for free. As soon as you confirm your email, you will have access to the Public Gallery.
What is required to run an application in a private Collection?
You must be a Member to run applications shared in private Collections. Memberships are granted by Data Artisans, who create and share applications.
What is required to build applications?
Applications are built with Alteryx Designer Desktop. Download the Designer Desktop Free Trial.
What is required to publish applications in the Analytics Gallery?
Applications are published from the Alteryx Designer Desktop into a private Studio.
A Studio is automatically created for license holders of the Designer Desktop.
Trial users of the Designer Desktop can set up a Studio with a 30-Day Studio Free Trial
A user with the Designer Desktop and a private Studio is known as a Data Artisan.
How do I run an application?
Click on the title of an application to view application details and click the Run button; or simply click the icon.
Configure the application to suit your needs. Depending upon the application, you might be prompted to enter an address for geocoding, to input a customer file for demographic analysis, or to select data from a range of choices that apply to your business.
Click the Run button at the bottom of the application.
What are the results of running an application?
Applications can be authored to create a variety of different reports and data outputs. When the application processing finishes, the results will appear in the same window as the questions you answered before running the application.
Reports can be previewed after an application has completed by clicking on the Preview link.
Additionally, results for applications that have been run can be found in the application detail view and the "App Results" tab on the left of the screen.
What kinds of reports can an application create?
Depending upon how the application was built, it may produce Word, Excel, HTML, and/ or PDF files, containing a variety of text, tables, charts, and maps.
What kinds of tabular and spatial data output can an application create?
Depending upon how the application was built, it may produce CSV, MDB/ ACCDB, DBF, FlatFile, MID/ MIF, SHP, TAB, YXDB, and/or KML files.
I ran an application but I closed the window before it finished running. How can I view the results?
Application results are stored with your account and can be accessed at any time. As long as you are signed in, the results of any applications that have finished running can be found in two places:
Under the application details page for an application.
Under "App Results" (visible on the left side of the screen when you are signed in).
How can I view more details about an application?
Click on the name of an application to view details, such as the upload date, description, author, studio, copyright, and number of times run. The application details page also includes buttons enabling you to Run, Share, and (if enabled) Download the application.
What browsers are supported by the Analytics Gallery?
We always test and support the latest versions of the most popular web browsers. For more detail about specific browser versions see ‘System Requirements’ of the Technical Specifications page.
How can I find the applications I need?
Each section of the Analytics Gallery features a context-sensitive Search field you can use to find applications.
Searching in the Public Gallery returns applications in the Public Gallery.
Searching in the Studio tab returns applications in your Studio.
Searching in a Collection returns applications in the Collection.
Additionally, a Collection created by you will offer a second search window, which allows you to find applications in your Studio and add them to your Collection
Publishing and Sharing Applications
What is a Studio?
A Studio contains all of the applications published by the Data Artisans within an organization.
Who has access to the applications published in a Studio?
All of the Data Artisans within an organization, and only those Data Artisans, can view and run any applications in their Studio.
How can I rename my Studio?
Click on your User Name to go to your Settings.
Select the Studio Tab.
Enter a new name in the Studio Name field.
Click the save button.
How can an application be shared?
When an application is published in a Studio, all Data Artisans belonging to that Studio can access it.
An application in a Studio can also be shared to the Public Gallery, where anyone can access it.
An application in a Studio can also be shared in a Collection. Any users added to the Collection can access it.
As a Data Artisan, how can I share an application privately with someone?
Publish an application from the Designer Desktop to your private Studio.
Add the application to a Collection.
Add the User to the Collection. In order to run the application, the user must be a Member.
As a Data Artisan, how do I grant a Membership to someone?
Click on your User Name to go to your Settings.
Select the Studio Tab.
In the Members section, enter an Email address or User Name.
As a Data Artisan, how can I tell how many Memberships I have to distribute?
Click on your User Name to go to your Settings.
Select the Studio Tab.
Find "Memberships available to distribute" in the Members section.
How can I purchase additional Memberships?
Please contact Sales@Alteryx.com.
What applications can be added to a Collection?
Only applications published in the Data Artisan's Studio may be added to a Collection. Applications in the Data Artisan's Studio may also (at their discretion) be shared in the Public Gallery. However, applications in the Public Gallery that were published from other Studios cannot be added to a Collection.
Can an application be added to more than one Collection?
As a Data Artisan, do I also need a Membership?
No, Data Artisans are also Members.
I am a Data Artisan or Member. I want to run an application shared with me from a different organization. Do I need a Membership from that organization? No. A single Analytics Gallery Membership entitles you to run private applications shared from any Collection.
As a Data Artisan, how can I add another Data Artisan to my Studio?
Please contact email@example.com for assistance.
My organization has more than one Data Artisan. Who controls the distribution of Memberships?
At present, all Data Artisans have equal access to Membership distribution under Studio Settings.
What types of users can be added to a Collection?
Data Artisans, Members, and Viewers can all be added to a Collection. You can even enter the email address of someone who has not yet visited the Analytics Gallery.
Can a Viewer who is added to a Collection run the applications in the Collection?
Only those applications in the Collection that have also been shared in the Public Gallery by the Data Artisan can be run by the Viewer.
What types of users can run private applications in a Collection?
If an application in a Collection has not been shared in the Public Gallery, Viewers (who have been invited to join the Collection) can view the application, but cannot run it. Only Data Artisans and Members can run the application.
How can I find users to add to a Collection?
Select the Collection and use the Search Users field on the right. Any registered users of the Analytics Gallery that match your search terms will be returned.
Additionally, you can add someone who has not registered with the Alteryx Analytics Gallery by entering a valid email address. An invitation will be sent.
Is there a limit to the number of applications or users I can add to a Collection?
When I add a new application to a Collection, are the users in that Collection notified?
Can I allow users within my Collection to share it with others?
Each Collection includes a checkbox on the upper right that states "Other users may share this collection." When this box is checked, anyone in the Collection will have the ability to add other users to the Collection.
The Data Artisan who created the Collection will see the names of any additional users who are added to the Collection, and can remove them.
I published an application and shared it in a Collection (or in the Public Gallery). Since then, I have made changes to the application in the Designer Desktop. Can I update it? First, select the original version and delete it. Next, re-publish the application and add it to your Collection (or to the Public Gallery)
How can I share an application in the Public Gallery?
Click on the name of an application to view the application details page. Click the Sharing button and choose "Place in Public Gallery."
How can I remove an application from the Public Gallery?
Click on the name of an application to view the application details page. Click the Sharing button and choose "Remove from Public Gallery."
How can I share an application through email or social media?
(Public Gallery applications only) Click on the name of an application to view the application details page. Click the Sharing button to share via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
What is "private data?"
A license of the Alteryx Designer Desktop may include a variety of private data sets, including demographic data, psychographic data, business list and consumer list.
Can I publish applications using private data?
Yes, applications using private data can be published in your private Studio and can be shared in Collections. They cannot be shared in the Public Gallery.
What data is allowed in the Public Gallery?
Please see Alteryx Analytics Gallery Data Inventory
What capabilities in the Designer Desktop cannot be used in the Analytics Gallery?
The following tools are prohibited in applications published in the Analytics Gallery.
Run Command tool
Run Command event
R tool (Macros included in the Designer Desktop that use the R tool are permitted.)
Send Email event
I built an application that uses a prohibited tool in a safe manner. How can I apply for an exemption?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain how and why each prohibited tool is used, along with the general purpose of the application.
Publish the application in your Private Studio and check the box "Others may download this application."
Add the application to a Collection and share it with email@example.com.
Your application will be reviewed and an exemption may be made to allow it to be run.
What tool configurations or question types cannot be used in the Analytics Gallery?
Input and output files referenced by Tools must be in the same directory as the application.
The application Question type "Folder Browse" cannot be used in applications published to the web.
In the application Question type "File Browse," the "Save As Dialog" configuration cannot be checked.
Application results (under analytic application properties) cannot include Browse tools.
Are there limits to the file size of applications and/or data published in the Analytics Gallery?
Yes, applications and data are limited to 100MB.
What are my options if I want to publish an application and data that exceed 100MB?
Please use the Cloud Connector tools within the Designer Desktop to host your data on the cloud.
Are chained applications supported in the Analytics Gallery?
At present, chained applications are not supported.
I forgot my password. How can I reset it?
Click Sign In and click the Forgot Password link. Enter the email address associated with your account and a new password will be emailed to you.
Can I download an application?
Yes, many applications can be downloaded. View application details and click the Download button. Use the Alteryx Designer Desktop to open the *.YXZP files that are downloaded. Go to Designer Desktop Free Trial to get started if you're not already an Alteryx customer.
I need help with my account. Who should I contact?
Please log a case at www.alteryx.com/community.
I want to change the email address associated with my account. Who should I contact?
First, go to gallery.alteryx.com and sign in with your current email. Confirm that you have accepted the licensing terms and conditons. Then log a case with www.alteryx.com/community and we will help you reassign your account.
I found a bug on the Analytics Gallery or in an application. Who should I contact?
Please log a case at www.alteryx.com/community.
How can I purchase additional Memberships, Data Artisan accounts, or extend my subscription?
Please contact Sales@alteryx.com.
How can I recommend a feature for the Analytics Gallery?
Please send your feedback to GalleryFeedback@alteryx.com.
Where can I connect with other Alteryx users to ask questions and learn about best practices?
Who is the better captain, Kirk or Picard?
Have you ever built an Alteryx App only to realize that some part of the process must remain in Excel? Instead of abandoning your Alteryx App all together, you may be able to use the Alteryx API and call your app from Excel. We’ve put together all the necessary VBA code so that it should be quick and easy for you to call an Alteryx App from Excel and get the results back. The Alteryx app for our sample, API Tester.yxzp, has been included in case you want to upload it to your private gallery and test out the Excel to Alteryx API using your Alteryx server.
SAMPLE EXCEL FILE - Input
We are going to be working with the attached “Reverse String.xlsm” to demonstrate the API. Suppose you wanted to reverse a string in excel (“Hello World” should be converted to “dlroW olleH”). You can’t quite get it in Excel, but you could quickly use the ReverseString function in Alteryx. Now the only trick is getting your data from Excel to Alteryx and back to Excel. We’ll have the user enter the string on cell E5 and then hit the Run Alteryx Button. Cell E6 will then be the results we get back from Alteryx
HOW TO SETUP THE VBA
When working with the Alteryx API, you need to setup some settings/configurations in your excel file before you can deploy it. If you open up the VBA editor (Alt + F11), there is Sub called Doer where we will have to enter a few key settings that apply to your Alteryx App. This is a one time setup for each different application that you setup.
strKey – this is your unique Alteryx Key. It is unique to all the apps in your private studio. It can be found here for the Alteryx public gallery
strSecret – this is your unique Alteryx Secret. It is unique to all the apps in your private studio. It can be found here for the Alteryx public gallery
strAppID – this is your app’s unique ID. When you look at your app in a browser, the appID is the unique ID at the end of the URL. For our sample, our AppID “589b70eceffc2a0bb0a2d530” can be found at the end of the App’s URL
AlteryxURL – this is the base URL where the app resides. For the public gallery, it is : https://gallery.alteryx.com. You would switch this your URL if you were going to use your private gallery. A private gallery would be of the format resembling: https://server.domain.com/gallery.
Data – Any data that needs to be passed from Excel to Alteryx can be saved as string variables in the VBA. For our simple app, we’re only passing one item, the string that we want reversed. In order to pass more complex data, we’ve found it easier to save the data to a .csv and then have the Alteryx App read the .csv as part of the app.
strQuery – This is the entire set of information that is being sent from Excel to the API for processing. It’s in JSON format. For each item, you need a name and value. The name corresponds to the interface tool’s name in your Alteryx App. The value corresponds to the value that want to set. From our Alteryx App, you can see that we’ve given our textbox tool the name “input_string”. For the value, we’ll be passing whatever string the user enters into excel.
To see all the questions for a given app, the API documentation is immensely helpful. After you enter your key and secret, you would go to the second GET, type in the appID, and then try it out to get a list of the name value pairs that we must send from Excel to Alteryx. Note that you only send the name and value fields from the response body.
Save – This variable is a Yes or No answer for whether or not you want to save the data coming back from Alteryx. In this case we would say Yes. For more complex apps, we may have our Alteryx workflow save the data to a network folder that our excel VBA would go grab once Alteryx is done. That post run coding would be added under the Part_Deux sub in the VBA editor. There we would have Save=”No”
Output_Name – this is the column name of the output data that we want to retrieve from Alteryx. In our sample, the column Name is “Output_String”. This only applies if Save=”Yes”
SaveLocation – this is the cell range where the output should be written. This process currently only supports writing one cell of data back to excel. Anything more complicated should be handled through custom VBA in the Part_Deux sub. This only applies if Save=”Yes”
NOTES ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES
While I won’t go through everything that is going on in the background, here are some key points:
Ensure that you have references to Microsoft XML, 6.0 if any errors pop up.
The VBA takes all the settings and adds the time and a random string before posting a request to the Alteryx Server to run the job in the RunAlteryx sub. It has to combine all these items, URL encode certain parts, create a base64 hash, and send this to the Alteryx server in just the right order.
It then makes a Get request to check the status. If the status is complete, then the VBA moves on to get the results; otherwise, the VBA creates another request to check the status in 1 second. Note that Excel will be operational during this time since it’s not during any work. This loop will continue until the status is either completed or error. Note that it will update the status on the bottom left of your screen to indicate that Excel is waiting on Alteryx to run the job.
Once the Alteryx app returns a completed status, the VBA will then make another get request for the output that you’ve requested (only if save=”Yes”). If Save=”Yes”, the VBA then saves the output to the specified cell.
If you want to write any of your own code that should execute when the code is done, place it in the part_Deux sub. For example, perhaps you have a private server setup where the Server will write an output file to a network folder that excel can read in from. The code in part_Deux might look something like the below:
Dim ActBook As Workbook
Dim FromAlteryx As String
FromAlteryx = "\\server\" + Environ$("username") + "_out.csv"
Set ActBook = ThisWorkbook
On Error GoTo 0
Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues, Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks _
Workbooks(Environ$("username") + "_out.csv").Close
SAMPLE EXCEL FILE - Output
Assuming we have everything setup correctly, our app should return the reverse of the string that is input:
Alteryx Server provides a fully scalable architecture that allows an organization to scale Alteryx to automate data analytics, tackle bigger projects, process larger datasets and put self-service data analytics into the hands of more decision makers. From scaling Worker nodes to Gallery nodes to the MongoDB persistence layer, Alteryx Server allows organizations to efficiently manage their automated and self-service data analytics needs.
Now, find all your Server and Gallery questions and answers in one place! The new Gallery Admin Help Page has your Server Installation Guide, Configuration instructions, and the much-requested Administer Gallery management features - Subscriptions and Studios defined! Manage your user permissions! Edit user accounts!
As more and more users become familiar with macros it is useful to know the potential ways of scaling and sharing these insights within your business.
Here are just a few ways to achieve this aim!
Push latest macros to users/automatically ensure that users are using the latest version
Alteryx Designer Desktop
Working with colleagues and sharing macros?
Within the Alteryx designer you can create your own macro ‘Parent Category’. When specifying a file path, you can choose either a local or a network/mapped drive. If you are building macros within a team and looking to share or update macros dynamically, having a mapped location will allow you to reflect any changes on everyone’s machines.
As a best practice when overwriting a macro it would be best to update the Meta-data tab (Within workflow properties tab) within the macro to add initials or details of what has changed. This can help you track who edited each version. Unfortunately, if you choose to use an overwrite function, you will be unable to control the version of the macro overtime.
Therefore, you may choose to add “V1” etc. to the macro when saving it to the network location. This macro parent category could then be used as a development location and then you could have another macro parent category where you publish production ready macros.
The Alteryx Server can adopt a similar outline to that of the Alteryx Designer however, it has a greater flexibility in terms of version control. When building a macro you can publish it with a description.
Then when a change is made to the macro you can press the save icon and add another description.
Within the gallery this is then reflected when you click on the macro and click on the version number. You then have the capability of running & publishing up and down versions.
Include macro pack as part of installation procedure for new users
You could zip all the macros together and get a user to extract them to their own macro folder (mentioned above).
Or to the Admin (C:\Program Files\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\Macros) or Non-admin (C:\Users\%USER%\AppData\Local\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\Macros) folders.
If you use the metadata tag when building the macro workflow it can land in that parent category as well.
Alteryx Server on Azure
To work with Alteryx Server on Azure, you will need:
An Azure subscription. If you don’t have an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial.
Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP) software. Remote Desktop is used to connect to the virtual machine (VM) running Alteryx Server.
An Alteryx Server license.
An Alteryx Server installer. Installers can be downloaded from alteryx.com.
Select your Windows Server version and VM size
Select a Windows Server version and VM size that meets or exceeds the system requirements for Alteryx Server. Take a look at Azure’s VM size table to see what size best fits your needs. Make sure to consider price vs. performance. Larger VMs perform better but cost more.
Step 1: Create a VM
1. Log in to the Azure portal.
2. Click on the Newbutton in the top left.
3. Click on Virtual Machines
4. Choose a version of Windows Server. Select Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter if you don’t have a preference.
5. At the bottom of the page, click the Create button.
6. Fill out the required information in the Basicssection of the Create Virtual Machine pane. Click the OK button at the bottom to move on after you’ve filled out the required fields.
Name: A name for your VM.
User name: A user that will have the ability to RDP into the VM.
Password: The password for the above user.
Subscription: If you have multiple subscriptions, choose which subscription to put the VM in.
Resource group: Resource groups help group together related VMs. Either create a new resource group or place the new server into an existing group of similar resources.
Location: Where you’d like the server to be placed. You should select a location that will be closest to your users for optimum performance.
7. In the Sizesection, choose a size that meets the tech specs for Alteryx Server. When ready, click the Select button at the bottom.
8. In the Settingssection, configure the various settings for how you’d like to configure the VM. Generally, you’ll want to leave the defaults in place. For Availability Set select None. Click the OK button at the bottom when done.
9. Review the VM settings in the Summarypane and make sure everything looks correct. Click the OK button at the bottom when ready.
10. Click on the VM once it’s been deployed. Click Settings > Network Interfaces > $INTERFACE > Network security group > Inbound security rules > Addto start adding a new rule to the security group.
11. Add a rule for HTTP access. This will allow installations of Alteryx Designer to talk to the Alteryx Server VM. Give the rule a name and change the Protocol to TCP. It is highly recommended to change the Source setting to be locked down to an IP address or an IP range that you control. When finished, click the OK button. Add more access rules as needed for any other IP addresses or IP ranges.
Step 2: Connect to the VM
Click on the Virtual Machinesentry on the left side of the page.
Click on the VM’s name in the list.
Click on the Connect This will download an .rdp file for Remote Desktop connections.
Open the file downloaded in the previous step. If you see a warning that the publisher of the remote connection can’t be identified, click Connect. This will open a new Remote Desktop connection. Enter the user name and password set during VM creation.
Step 3: Install Alteryx Server
Installing Alteryx Server in Azure is similar to installing on any other server.
Note: If you plan on using a Gallery with Windows authentication, you’ll need to set up Active Directory in Azure. For more information, see Install a replica Active Directory domain controller in an Azure virtual network in the Azure documentation.
Download the installer from alteryx.com. Note: The default security policy of Internet Explorer in Azure is set to High. This means that you’ll have to manually add downloads.alteryx.comto your list of trusted sites. OR
Copy the installer from your computer. If you’ve already downloaded the Alteryx Server installer to your computer, you can copy it as you would any other file into a folder on the Azure VM.
Double-click on the installer from the Azure VM. This process is the same as installing Alteryx Server on any other computer.
Step 4: Connect to Alteryx Server
Activate your license.
Get the Controller Token from the Azure VM from the Alteryx System Settings
Open port 80 on the Windows Firewall.
In Alteryx Designer, go to Options > Schedule Workflow.
In the Controllerdropdown, select Connect to Controller...
Paste in the DNS name or IP of the Azure VM and the Alteryx Server Controller Token from Step 2.
I have encountered a few situations recently that resulted in data loss because a backup of the Alteryx Server wasn't available. I can't stress enough the importance of regularly backing up your server. This article, the first of two-part series, will cover some options and best practices to ensure you have the necessary backups available in the event they are needed. Part II will focus on the embedded MongoDB instance provided with the Alteryx Server install. If you are utilizing a user-managed MongoDB instance, please refer to MongoDB's documentation for backup and recovery procedures at https://docs.mongodb.org/manual/administration/backup/.
Let's go over some widely accepted best practices for backing up servers and databases:
Schedule Regular Backups - Backing up consistently on a scheduled basis is key to ensure you minimize data loss and downtime. I recommend backing up nightly during non-peak hours to minimize potential impact to users and for the minimal amount of data loss in the case of a crash or another failure. If backing up nightly isn't feasible, scheduling weekly backups is also an option. The important thing is to set a regular schedule.
Keep Historic Backups for a Defined Period - Sometimes the unexpected happens and a backup fails, becomes corrupt, gets lost/deleted, or the issue isn't noticed immediately (causing the problem state to be present in the backups). Having historic backups available helps ensure you have a backup available, and allows you to choose one created before the issue began.
Store Backups on Network or SAN Storage - Storing your backups on the same server where the data resides runs the risk of those backups not being available during a failure event. Let's consider what happens when your server suffers a disk failure. If the backups are stored locally on that disk, then they are gone too, making recovery impossible. However, if your backups are stored on the network they would not be impacted by a failure event on the server.
Keep a Copy of the Backup Off-Site - This falls along the same lines as above. If the only backups are on a file server in the same data center as the Alteryx Server, and that data center suffers a disaster, you will lose both your server and your backups. Keeping an additional copy offsite will allow you to bring the server back up in the Cloud or at another data center if need be.
Validate your Backup Files - You should periodically check to ensure your backups are occurring successfully, and confirm that the backups are valid and usable. There is nothing worse than putting a backup process in place and then finding out after a failure occurs that the backups stopped working 6 months ago or that all of your backups aren't usable.
Practice your Recovery Procedures Regularly - Recovery drills allow you to become familiar with the restoration process and the amount of time needed to return to a fully functional state in the event of a disaster. Practice is also proven to reduce the occurrence of mistakes, and can save valuable time. I recommend running a recovery drill quarterly or bi-yearly.
Keep in mind that, in most cases, backing up the entire server including the OS and all data isn't necessary. In fact, it can actually significantly increase the average time to restoration. Instead, I would recommend backing up only the critical data and configuration files for the server. This is because it is significantly faster to clean install the server and necessary software, and then restore the backed up data/configuration than it is to restore the entire server. This is especially true in the case of virtual servers, as deploying a new virtual server takes minutes in most cases. These limited backups can also reduce the time it takes to complete and validate the backups and reduce the storage needs/costs involved in keeping those backups.
Part 2 - Alteryx Server Backup & Recovery Part 2: Procedures