Engine Works

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.




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!