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Inherited field renaming

If we rename a field ‘X’ to ‘Y’  in the alteryx module, the renaming is not inherited by all the tools using that field in that module. The tools which are still using the old field name ‘X’ will fail until they are configured to use the new field name ‘Y’. Most of the tools I have worked will inherit the field renaming.
It would be very helpful if the renaming is propagated to all the tools in the module using that field name. 

9 - Comet

In addition to this, I have also seen that at times renaming of fields is not having any impact of other transformations down the line.

It sometimes work if we close and re-open the workflow, disconnect and reconnect the transformation etc, it would be good if this can be made consistent, any potential issues with caching etc can be rectified.

5 - Atom

Great idea! Being able to propagate field name changes to downstream tools will be extremely useful.  The ability to do this would save time having to reconfigure multiple downstream tools. 


However, there are times you would not want this to happen, so the user would need to have control over whether or not the change in name was propagated downstream or not.

5 - Atom


Every time I rename a field in Alteryx, I have to change everywhere that field is used. It can be time taking task for certain large workflows.

My suggestion is to enhance Alteryx so that it can auto adjust the rest of the work flow (when a field is renamed to avoid manual changes to the rest of the workflow).

This will save lot of time in case of any change to the field name.



Praveen Ande

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

Hi Praveen,


Thank you for the suggestion.  This is something that we would like to do, but is also harder to do than it seems.  We will continue to review this internally for options on how to accomplish what you are proposing and hopefully come up with a good solution.  This functionality actually has some larger implications as we would be tracking specific columns throughout the workflow and could provide more information on an individual column level as to its source and destination and the various transformations in between.





9 - Comet

I agree this would be handy however it would be nice if it was as more of an explicit step such as pressing a "Rename in all downstream tools" button or something.  Sometimes when changing the name of a field, I purposely do not want to auto change downstream tools because I may want to point them to a different field.


7 - Meteor

-I agree wholeheartedly with the above. It usually happenes when i am near the end of a complex workflow and i realise that some fields names are no longer accurate for what is required. Then to avoid complexity in the workflow (just renaming half way through a flow) i change at the point of creation but then have to run through and correct each tool that references that field. Just an option when changing a field name that asks would i like to update all references to the new field value. Or even an additional field name changing tool that allows me to view all my field names, Perhaps including the source value as we can see when selecting connections, that allows a field name to be changed everywhere.

-Another related issue to this is where we use the cross tab tool or other tools that are dynamically creating field names. It would be helpful to allow all downstream tools to be changes to match the output fields.

11 - Bolide

One of my favorite features of Tableau is when you change name of a field it updates all calculated fields, parameters, sets, etc. that uses that field. I wish Alteryx could do this as well. 


I run into this a lot where I may start a workflow and do not care so much about my naming conventions, but then the workflow may end up moving to production but I have to clean up a lot of names that were fine for exploring the data but aren't descriptive enough for production. Being able to change a name once and then have Alteryx update all other instances of that name would really increase the usability. 




14 - Magnetar

This is really a workaround more than a "solution", but you can potentially do something along these lines via a find+replace.  Alteryx workflows are saved as XML files, so depending on how your naming convention works you can pretty easily just do a replace on each field you want to update, or go tool by tool if you are worried about names being too generic

11 - Bolide

Thanks for the comment, I do use find+replace sometimes, but like you said, some names may be too generic, or I often have multiple versions of the same fields with slight differences to format. I just think that overall, it would be so much more seamless to have it auto update names downstream from where you first create the name.

5 - Atom

 Hello everyone,


Currently in Alteryx if a user uses a SELECT tool to rename a field name, and then have various different tools connected in a flow to this SELECT tool, the same field name is carried throughout. 

However, what if your project kept adapting to different needs and hence the field name in the SELECT tool had to be renamed again for some reason, this would cause all the linked tools in the workflow to break, especially if the previous field name is used in these tools. 

It would be great to allow the user to tell Alteryx to change all linked field names in the various linked tools to the new name or keep the old one.


I understand that Alteryx at the moment does not have this feature by default, in the case where the user renames a Field name, Alteryx does not want to automatically update all linked Field Names, especially if the renamed Field Name has already been used somewhere else in the workflow. However Alteryx should provide a warning that the renamed Field Name is a duplicate !


Matlab has a similar case wherein if a user changes the name of one variable, with a simple keyboard shortcut he can rename all other variables just simply.