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Engine Works Blog

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Starting with Alteryx 10.5, there is now a new file type that ends with .yxi.  These files are an archive containing everything needed to install new tools.  The archive is a zip format and contains metadata as well as the actual tools that implement the new tool.  When the file is opened using Alteryx, the metadata is read and displayed for the end user, and if the user chooses to install, the files are then placed into user space on the computer so that they can be used within Alteryx.

 

ToolInstall.png

 

This new file type was created primarily for Alteryx use for the first release of it.  We wanted to have a way to deliver new tools without a full Alteryx release to go with them.  Also, by being able to install tools through a subsequent download, we don't have to ship every tool we have in the base product.  This allows us to focus our base install on the tools that are the most used and then provide separate downloads for additional tools that may not be applicable to all of our users.

 

The next steps for this file type and tool installation include a process for installing tools automatically from specific public or private Gallery collections and a formal SDK so that Alteryx users or partners can create and package their own yxi tools.  We envision that a user will be able to search for new tools hosted in the gallery, and simply check a box, or click on an install link to have that tool added to their tool palette.  In addition, they may be able to add a Gallery collection as a tool source within the palette and whenever that Gallery collection is updated with new tools, the user's Tool palette will be updated with those new tools.  This functionality will help with situations where a central repository is created with common custom tools used within an organization.  The vision is that Tools will be distributed and updated without any action required from the user.

 

Make sure to update to Alteryx 10.5 to take advantaage of this and other features.

 

If you haven't already, you'll want to REGISTER for Inspire in San Diego June  6-9, 2016. You'll be among the first to set your eyes on the latest product enhancements and give your feedback straight to our Product Management and Development teams. Collaborate with Content and Solutions Engineers in the Solution Center and be Inspired by real world analysts who are doing amazing things with Alteryx.  I'll be presenting in the Technology Track covering Data Blending Best Practices & Developments. I hope to meet you there!

Comments

Fantastic new feature. Hope it will include FormulaAddIns and .Net/C++ SDK tools too 🙂

Alteryx Certified Partner
Alteryx Certified Partner

Ok @BenG.  You've convinced me to upgrade to version 10.5.  

Alteryx Certified Partner

When I'm trying to schedule workflow with Google sheets connectors (input and output), it says that the macros are not found! Macros work perfectly well when manually running the workflow.

 

And how do I employ these macros into Alteryx server? 

Bolide

@simpucca,

 

I've run into these issues before and was able to solve the problem by doing a couple of things.  First, save copies of the dependent macro's in the default macro folder on the server AND/OR add the location of the macro as one of the macro search paths on the server's configuration.  You may also have to delete the macro from your workflow and reinsert the copy of it from the location on the server.  Second, make sure to change all assets/references to UNC, as opposed to relative.  Lastly, when scheduling, I've always had better luck using the 'Run a copy of the workflow stored in the Scheduler DB' option.

 

 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Hi @simpucca,

 

Installing YXI packaged tools into the server is on our roadmap for future versions.  

 

For the public gallery, we go into where the YXI's install by default and copy them into ProgramData.  

1. Find the installed tool in C:\users\<username>\appdata\roaming\Alteryx\Tools\.

2. Copy the entire directory that has your tool in it: i.e, "Google Sheets Input"

3. Paste the folder into C:\ProgramData\Alteryx\Tools\

 

 

Meteor

Did version 11 ship with the ability to save my own YXI files to my companies private gallery?

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Hi Justin,

 

We updated YXI files with some new functionality including the ability to package samples and R packages, but we are not yet able to save or install natively from the Gallery.  That is a feature that we are working towards but we still have a ways to go before we get it into a release.  Thanks for your interest in the feature.

 

 

Alteryx Certified Partner

I have Alteryx Designer 11.05 and I have trouble installing .yxi files. Alteryx Designer will not install it from the file. Copying all the macros from the yxi zip file manually to Alteryx's macro folder does not give same experience as it did with 10.5 version. Any help?

 

I solved this by myself. It was because Windows 10 automatically gave .zip extension to .yxi file. After changing it back to .yxi file it worked and installed properly.

Alteryx
Alteryx

I should add that IE and Chrome handle the download of these type of archive files differently.  

 

When suing Chrome these works fine and it downloads with the right extension.  E.g.  WDCforTableau.yxi

 

However, IE will attempt to download as ".zip" meaning that if you double click on file it will open the zip file and there you will find no Alteryx Tool Installer.

 

Therefore if you are using IE, you have the following options:

 

ie.png 

Here you will have two options:

 

  1. Save As and change the extension to WDCforTableau.yxi
  2. Once you have saved the file locally, Right Click and rename the file to change the extension. Then you should be able to just double click to execute the .yxi file.
Alteryx Certified Partner

What is the best way to share yxi files? I have built a macro that has dependencies, and it is now all packaged up nicely in a yxi file for a seamless install process.

 

I would like to share this on the public gallery much like the google sheets / text analytics tools. What would be the best way to do this?

 

Google sheets: https://gallery.alteryx.com/#!app/Google-Sheets-Tools/5952d212a18e9e0e48a0cafe

Cognitive Services Text Analytics: https://gallery.alteryx.com/#!app/Cognitive-Services-Text-Analytics/587fe0bba18e9e1074a13b64

 

Alteryx Certified Partner

As an update to my previous post, I made a dummy workflow for sharing on the public gallery, and self-hosted the yxi file. 

I wrote a blog about creating a yxi file, and sharing it here, should anyone find it useful: https://www.theinformationlab.co.uk/2017/10/05/create-share-alteryx-tool-installer-yxi-file/

 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

@simpucca and @Coxta45 I'm happy to say that we've made it easier to install YXI tools on the server. In 11.7 admin users will be able to select "Install for all users", which will install the tool on the server (if they are logged onto server at the time of install). Learn more about 11.7 features on our Downloads page

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