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Alteryx Designer Desktop Ideas

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Currently when debug mode is entered in analytic apps and macros, the direct inputs to the app/macro when the error occurred are hardcoded into a workflow in debug mode, so that errors can be more easily detected.


However, inputs into analytic apps also create global variables which can be used in the more code-heavy aspects of Alteryx such as the Formula Tool. These are not updated in the same way which can cause workflows to break in debug mode - it would be really helpful if global variables could be updated in the same way as the inputs into tools are.

Currently : the "Label" element in the Interface Designer Layout View is a single line text input.


Why could it be impoved : the "Label" element is often used to add a block of text in an analytical application interface. And adding a block of text in a single line text input is **staying polite** quite the struggle.


Solution : make this single line text input a text box just like the formula editor.


As many of you know, i'm a big fan of Alteryx Apps. However, one of the most painful parts of Alteryx Apps is moving around elements in the Interface Designer. Currently when you have many elements in your interface designer:


And add a new element from the dropdown, or through a new tool:



It is added to the bottom of the interface. Moving it to the top is currently done with the arrows, however this is very slow, especially when you have many interface elements:


Currently (with 9 radio buttons) it takes 18 clicks (each taking a couple of seconds due to delay between movements) to move it, because it moves between each step:


It would be fantastic if we could drag and drop the elements of the interface to where we like, for speed of development and ease of use.




This is a hybrid idea related to both posts regarding dynamic tool configuration during runtime / without having to run an analytic app.


What I would like to propose is a new optional connection type for the interface tools that can be updated with incoming connections (having a Q letter with white background), namely Drop Down, List Box, Tree and Map tools. This could be a simple R letter in a square for example, which would be located to the left of the incoming question anchor.


Use Case


Imagine an app where there are two control containers and three interface tools (Action tools excluded from the count) outside those containers, one of them is a Text Box connected to a filter tool (via an Action tool) in the first control container with the purpose of limiting the dataset by specifying a city for example, another one is a Numeric Up Down for limiting the dataset by the average transaction amounts that are greater than the specified amount. These two interface tools are contained in a Group Box in the Interface Designer.


The third interface tool is a Drop Down tool which obtains the values (which will be Store Name for this example) from the results of the Select tool (in the second control container that is connected to the output anchor of the first control container) that is connected to an incoming filter tool which is modified by the previously mentioned interface tools. Output anchor of this Select tool is connected to the hypothetical R anchor on the top of the Drop Down tool, which is then connected to an outgoing filter tool that is connected to a series of tools which ends with a Browse tool that displays basic KPI information for the store specified from the Drop Down tool.


The main difference of the R (Refresh) anchor from the Q anchor is that it will enable the user to dynamically update the incoming values (i.e., choices for a drop down tool) without having to run the workflow. Alteryx Designer will automatically execute only the tools necessary to be able to update the values (up to a certain point of the workflow only, which may also be indicated by the boundaries of the control containers containing the target tool) for the R anchor connected applicable Interface tools specified above. This will be possible by clicking the hypothetical confirm button (same appearance with the Apply Data Manipulations button) which only appears next to the Interface tools (or the Group Boxes containing them instead) that are automatically determined by Alteryx Designer to be providing downstream data to the the tools (T anchor of the Filter tool for example) sending values to the applicable Interface tools having an incoming R anchor connection.


I saw that a similar feature recently became available with Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform with the App Builder product, and I think that Alteryx Designer Desktop could definitely benefit both from this feature and additional App Builder features (that can be adapted to Desktop counterpart) in the upcoming releases.

Hi there,


My idea comes when I've built an application, where user select filter from drop-down list. However it contains thousands of records, so it takes lot's of time to find desired record.

In Excel and MS Access when you use filter you can put many letter and filter shows rows that match the input. In Alteryx user can only put first letter, which is huge drawback to my users.


This is how it works in Excel:



Hope you like it!

To help in adding tools quickly it would be useful to have some form of quick keys or maybe somewhat a combination (enhancement) of search bar / right-click. 


So here's the pic and a 1,000 words




And here's the blurb

The idea being that hitting a key whilst mouse is over the canvas would display the search bar at the mouse cursor position. Once you've selected the tool you want it hitting return[+shift] adds it to the canvas either:

  • In a dragged (mouse down) state to help for final position and automated connections and then a final left-click to add to canvas or,
  • Just add it at that position.

This would also speed up adding tools as you could include things like 'Recent' or 'Favorites'. I grant you that you could just incorporate this into the search dialog but save you a bit of eye movement. Don't get me wrong the search bar is great but it's the lots of drag-drop that can slow things down a bit. 

Our company often builds applications where we need the ability for it to dynamically update dropdowns based on a user's previous selections. 


For example: 

  • A user needs to select their Server, database, and table for analysis (3 dropdowns).
  • When the user selects their server, a query is run to get a list of all databases on that server. Then the database dropdown will automatically populate with this list of databases. 
  • The user then makes a database selection, and a query is then run to get all tables within that database. The table dropdown will automatically populate with this list of tables. 
  • The user makes their table selection, and then runs their analysis using the server, database, and table variables with values that they have selected from each dropdown.

We can do this in other programs, but unfortunately the lack of dynamic selections/dependent dropdowns is a big limitation for us when building Alteryx applications. Our current workarounds are chaining applications together, or using PyQt within the workflow. Chaining is clunky and often causes unforeseen issues when uploading to Server with errors that are non-descriptive, and using PyQt comes with Python versioning issues. 


If this interactivity can somehow be added to Alteryx applications it would be a huge upgrade to our current Alteryx processes. Any suggestions for further workarounds would also be helpful!


Thank you, 




Hey all,


I would love to be able to have an interface tool that allows a user to search through drop down values (when there are more than 100 or so) similar to autocomplete. It would be helpful as a multiselect or single select drop down. I have inserted a very poorly mocked up picture below. It would essentially be a modified version of the drop down as all the values would be in the tool, but the user could type to find what they are looking for.

Alteryx Idea - Searchable Drop Down.png

When training people on the use of action tools, something that I always have to hit on is that when you are telling the tool which piece of the XML that you are adjusting, it's sort of difficult to tell what you have selected, and super easy to accidentally select something else.



When you initially select the action to take it's this nice Blue Color. However, it still doesn't feel exactly like you have actually selected anything or told the Action Tool what to do, since it's so easy to just select any other one of these actions.



A slightly different problem is that if you are selecting an action that has been previously configured, it is just this light grey color. So it can be easy to accidentally change your settings because you may not realize it's actually set up.




Here is a recent community post that sort of outlines a few of these problems.


In the Gallery, the File Browse tool returns the file location on the server where the file was uploaded. This allows the file to then be read in as input to a workflow.

If you need the file path of the original file location, you have to add a Text Input for the user to manually add it.


In my case (#00293302), I used a chained app to populate a list box for the user to select the Sheet Names they would like to process through the application. Unfortunately, since I was not able to capture the original file location the application errored out. This is due to the second app using the file location on the server where the file was uploaded, which is provided by the first workflow. This file location (from the Browse tool) is a temporary file location, where inputs are immediately deleted after processing.


Want to test this out? Create an application where you Output the file path from a File Browse tool.


i know.....grrr, this doesn't match your original file location!


Thank you,


Hi Alteryx Devs - 


It would be *really tight* to have a drop down interface tool that would support auto completion based on a odbc connection to a table/column or ajax call.  I recently had a situation wherein we need to give the users the ability to select an address, then run a workflow.  But the truth is, our address data is terrible, and what I really needed was to be able to let the users start typing the address, then give them a list of choices to pick from, they pick the correct (but usually wrongly formatted) address, and then I send that value into the workflow. 


I could not find a decent way to give a gallery user a reliable way to pick an address from our list, so eventually wound up having to write an ajax piece to handle the auto completion, capture the user input, then post to a service that would in turn, interact with gallery through the API, get the response, and send it back calling page, and back to the user.  A significant amount of work to put into something that is an exceedingly common web operation of auto completion.  


This would make a lot of gallery operations flow so much more naturally.  


Thanks for listening! 


I know this has been posted before, but the posts are fairly old, and I have just confirmed with Support that it is still an issue.  Seems to be a pretty basic request, so I'm putting it out there again under this new heading.

The issue is that if you have data in a field, and you have that data separated by a new line (\n), it will show up fine in a browse tool, or pretty much any other output (database file, Office Document file, etc.). But if you try to use the Table Tool under Reporting, it ignores the line break and strings the data together.


The field data looks like this in a browse or most other outputs:

Hello, my name is 

Michael Barone

and I love



But when I try to pull this field into a Table Tool, it shows up like this:
Hello, my name is Michael Barone and I love Alteyrx


Putting this out here again in hopes that it gets lots and lots of stars so it gets put on the road map!!



This is along the same lines as my other thread:

I love building Analytic Apps, and i wish it was just a little bit quicker to do.

Currently when adding an element from the dropdown to the interface designer:



it will always be added to the bottom of the interface:


And requires moving manually. It would be great if depending on where you have selected on the interface, the element is created. For instance, i would like to select one of my elements:


Hit add - Label:


And the label be created under my element:



Similar to being able change the parameters of a tool using the interface tools, it could be very useful if Alteryx Designer had an option where the configuration of a tool can be modified by another tool's output (which can only consist of one row & column and may include line breaks/tab characters, only first row is used if there are multiple rows) while the workflow is running, therefore reducing the need to chain multiple apps.


This feature could be made possible as the "Control Containers" feature is now implemented, and it could work like below:


Suppose you need to write to a database and may need to specify a Pre-SQL statement or Query that needs to be dynamically changed by the result of a previous tool in the workflow.


In this case, as the configuration of a tool in the next container needs to be changed by the result of a previous formula, there would need to be an additional icon below the tools, indicating that the tool's result can be used for configuration change.


This icon which will appear below the tools will only be visible once at least one Control Container and an Action tool is added to the workflow, and will automatically be removed if all the control containers are removed from the workflow. User can change the configuration of the destination tool using an action tool, which must be connected to a tool in a container that will be run after the one it is contained in has finished running, as a tool (or several tools) that is contained in the next CC in the workflow needs to be dynamically modified before the container it is contained in is activated.


If a formula tool containing multiple formula fields is added to the action tool, the user will see all the formula outputs similar to connections (i.e. [#1], [#2]...) that can be used as a parameter.


The screenshot below demonstrates the idea, but please note that this is a change where adding an action tool may not mean that this workflow will need to become either a macro or an analytic app, so a new workflow type may or may not have to be defined, such as "Dynamic Configuration Workflow (YXDW)". Analytic Apps and Macros which utilize this feature could still be built without having to define a new workflow type.




When we industrialize our workflows, we often use a parameter file with a command like :



AlteryxEngineCmd.exe MyAnalyticApp.yxwz AppValues.xml



I would like to have the parameter file path with its extension as an engine constant, like we have the workflow name.

I've been spending some time looking at low-code app development platforms, and one of the features that these have which it would be great to see added into Alteryx Analytic Apps is the ability to display results directly in the app interface pane.


At the moment when an app successfully runs the results can be shown in a pop-out window, as shown below:




An example from a low code built app is this:




Therefore the new feature it would be great to add is a browse result window within the interface tool, or a way to render the results and display that in the window.




Looking forward to hearing from others and what else have you seen with web apps that it would be great to improve Alteryx Analytic Apps with?



When using a File Browse to get a file from a user on the gallery, I want to be able to limit the sheets available as options to select from. Currently all sheets and named ranges in the workbook appear in the list. In the example below, I would want to be able to limit the options to just the Allow sheet so that the <List of Sheet Names> and the Don't Allow sheet are not even options for the user.




It would be great if we could set the default size of the window presented to the user upon running an Analytic App. Better yet, the option to also have it be dynamically sized (auto-size to the number of input fields required).

I've recently been delving into using the interface tools and there are a couple of glaring issues for me as a developer/designer, all having to do with the UI, ironically (yes, I used that correctly!) with the interface tools. The irony here is that the interface tools utilise a poor user interface.


Firstly, I finished this video to ensure I was indeed doing things correctly, and I was.


The UI for designer's interface tools is incredibly sluggish. In order to rearrange tools, each time you create a new one, you have to push the up arrow for each tool and you have to traverse the groupings.

This will take forever. I counted 36 clicks.This will take forever. I counted 36 clicks.


Instead of this, I suggest two changes to the interface designer.


  1. 1. Allow a control-click in the interface designer layout view so that multiple elements can be selected and they can traverse the groupings and be moved together. When one has, say 4 elements in 2 nested groupings, that is a lot of clicks to get your new element to the top. Having to do it with its radio-button partner: pretty much infuriating.
  2. ONE at a time, children. No control-clicking. That would lead to pandemonium?ONE at a time, children. No control-clicking. That would lead to pandemonium?Allow control-click in the tree view as well. The fact that we can only click one item at a time and move it one slot at a time is incredibly time consuming. It seems a no-brainer to at least allow a control-click here.
    • Bonus: Include the ability to jump to the top and/or pop out a level with left/right arrows in the tree interface. 

I know not everyone is building macros/apps and dealing with this, so I have little faith that this will jump to the top of your queue. But this is a painful part of the UI. I don't know if your UX designers could easily fix this or if it is more pain on your end than the pain you're giving me, but I just want to say: This hurts. 35 clicks every time I add a new element with no option to 'move to top' like you (wonderfully) do in the select tool is a big drag on my time (hint: maybe add that sort of functionality too; the select tool manages this stuff so well!). Which is supposedly valuable. In theory. But it certainly doesn't feel that way when I've spent 10 minutes clicking an up arrow (and yes, my UI is slow. And I may be exaggerating, but not by much!). 

Thank you for your continued improvement!


-Çædric Justice
Alteryx Developer
Cambia Healthcare




For a improved presentation of the GUI elements (Inteface Tools), may be to use for an Analytic App.


It would be great if it were possible to position the Interface Tools also side by side, instead of one above the other.




Best regards


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