Run Command Tool

The Run Command tool allows you to run external command programs within Designer. This tool can be used as an input, output, or an intermediary tool.

Gallery compatibility

This tool is on the Alteryx Analytics Gallery list of prohibited tools. Apply for an exemption to publish a workflow containing this tool to

Using the Run Command tool is similar to running applications directly from the Windows command line, but with the convenience of remaining within the Alteryx GUI. For example, you can use the tool:

  • when Designer does not have needed functionality.
  • in conjunction with curl.exe to download data from web or FTP sites.
  • to call third party applications.
  • to wrap custom functionality written in other programming languages.

If the program you are using does not set error flags, you should wrap it in a batch file to make sure the output file is deleted before it is run.

Configure the tool

When you run the workflow, the Run Command tool configuration is executed in sequence: Write Source, Run External Program, and then Read Results.

  1. Optionally specify a Write Source [Optional] output. The write source is data that comes into the tool as a file, SQL server connection, or any supported output type. Only specify a write source if you are using the Run Command tool as an output or intermediary tool.
  2. In the Run External Program section:
    • Specify the external program Command: to run. For example, this could be a program that acts on a write source and generates read results.
    • UNIX operators

      If the external program is a UNIX-style command line app that takes input from stdin and writes to stdout, you can use the << and >> operators to pipe the information to and from files. For more information, see the Microsoft documentation.

    • Type the Command Arguments [Optional]:, if any. Most commands are used together with one or more arguments. Whether arguments are required or optional varies by command.
    • Optionally specify a Working Directory [Optional]:. If you leave this field blank, the default is the directory where the workflow is saved.
    • Select Run Minimized to minimize the Run Command window to the task bar when Alteryx executes the external command.
    • Select Run Silent to not display the Run Command window when Alteryx executes the external command.
  3. Optionally specify a Read Results input. This file is carried through the rest of the workflow. Only specify a read results input if you are using the Run Command tool as an input or intermediary tool.