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But, I do seem to be having a problem getting Alteryx to recognize any new plugins I create by manually creating folders in the D:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Alteryx\Tools\ folder
The only thing working so far for me is the HTML_GetSet_Example. After installing the .yxi, I altered the HTML_GetSet_ExampleConfig.xml to point to my own dll in the plugins folder. I altered the metainfo to have the tool and icon appear in my own category, and, with relative path to the dll folder, it loads into Alteryx without error ( using D:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Alteryx\Tools\HTML_GetSet_Example )
I installed that example using the .yxi file.
But, it seems any attempt to manually create a folder in D:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Alteryx\Tools\MyNewTool and Alteryx doesn't appear to load the tool icon. No error messages. But no new tool icon either.
(This is on an AWS workspace with latest Alteryx Designer installed yesterday. Today I'll try a normal desktop environment in case that's a factor).
1. Do I need to create a .yxi to have Alteryx recognize my plugins in the AppData roaming folder?
2. Are there any registry settings required? ( I assume no, but can't seem to get Alteryx to recognize my plugins ).
A yxi is not required. It is simply a convenient installer for users of your custom tool
No registry settings should be required
Setting up a plugin with a DLL engine has 2 parts. The first part is the config and UI. The folder for the tool config I posted earlier looks like below. The major point to note is the name of the config file: The config file should start with the name of the folder and end with 'Config'. So my config file is called 'clean_nullsConfig.xml'. Your config file might be called 'MyNewToolConfig.xml'.
The second part is the DLL file, which needs to be installed in the bin\Plugins folder in the installation folder. Here is a screenshot of my Plugins folder:
If your folder and file names are correct and your config file is properly set up, you will see the custom tool in the toolbar.
Oh... it has to end in Config! That's what I'm missing! Thanks, that worked!
Also, I should mark your first response as accepted answer, apologies for digression. For that original problem, the dll directory location, I'd been specifying it as a relative path to get from HtmlPlugins folder over to plugins folder ( eg: "..\Plugins\MyPlugin.dll"). When I hit problems, tried with absolute path. It's certainly finding the dll now using the answer from your first response ( that the assumption is the folder is relative to the Plugins folder inside bin ).
Could be I get this sorted today ( need to fix up some other problems in passing config to the plugin first though ).