Python Tool

The Python tool is a code editor for users of Python. Proficiency in Python is recommended before using this tool.

Run for info about useful functions. To do this, run the function after importing the module:
from ayx import Alteryx

Python support

Designer accepts custom Python code. Alteryx does not provide support for custom Python code.

Alteryx public gallery compatibility

Planning to publish your workflow to You must first apply for an exemption. This restriction does not apply to private instances of Alteryx Server and Alteryx Gallery.

Getting started

The Python tool configuration window interface resembles a Jupyter Notebook. If you are unfamiliar with Jupyter Notebooks, go to Help > User Interface Tour or Help > Notebook Help. For code assistance, see the additional references that are available under the tool's Help option.

Because the tool mimics the Jupyter Notebook interface but is within the constraints of Designer, some options behave differently from the expected behavior of a standard Jupyter Notebook.

Install additional data science packages if needed

The Python tool includes the following more common data science packages:

  • ayx: Alteryx API
  • geopandas: Extends the data types used by pandas to allow spatial operations on geometric types.
  • jupyter: Jupyter metapackage
  • matplotlib: Python plotting package
  • numpy: NumPy, array processing for numbers, strings, records, and objects
  • pandas: Powerful data structures for data analysis, time series, and statistics
  • requests: Python HTTP for Humans
  • scikit-learn: A set of Python modules for machine learning and data mining
  • scipy: SciPy, Scientific Library for Python
  • six: Python 2 and 3 compatibility utilities
  • SQLAlchemy: Database Abstraction Library
  • statsmodels: Statistical computations and models for Python

Additional package installation

Depending on what installation type of Designer you're using, you can install additional packages using Alteryx.installPackages. The example below installs keras.

from ayx import Package
  • If you are running Alteryx non-admin, you can install additional Python packages without any special permissions.
  • If you are running Alteryx admin, you must first run Alteryx as administrator to install additional Python packages. If you are unable to run Alteryx as administrator, you cannot install additional Python packages.

Connect inputs

The Python tool accepts multiple inputs. Once inputs are connected, you must run the workflow to cache the incoming data streams.

To access an incoming data connection:

  1. Import the Alteryx library: from ayx import Alteryx
  2. Access the connection and provide a variable to use a data reference:
    • Use the connection name:"<connection name>")
    • from ayx import Alteryx
      data1 ="#1")
    • Read in all connections and reference the returned 0-index array:[<index number>])
    • from ayx import Alteryx
      data2 =[1])
  3. Run your workflow before beginning to work with the Python tool. Running your workflow caches your data and makes it accessible to the Python tool. Your data is then treated as a pandas data frame. More information about pandas data frames can be found at

Configure the tool

Run your workflow before beginning to work with the Python tool.

Set workflow execution mode

Start development using Interactive mode. That way, all errors, warnings, and print statements will display in the Jupyter Notebook. Use Production mode to improve speed when you have completed development and want to run your code through a standard Python interpreter.

Once you're finished developing your code, switch to Production mode. This will execute your code more efficiently when the workflow is run.

Need to print multibyte characters sets (MBCSs)? See Troubleshooting for steps to print multibyte character sets (MBCSs) in Production mode.

Set data storage format

The recommended and default back-end storage format is YXDB. Alternatively, you can select SQLite.

Blob Not supported Supported
Spatial objects Not supported

Supports passing spatial objects between the Python tool and other tools.

It is helpful to use the metadata tags when creating spatial object outputs from the Python tool.

Spatial object columns are loaded into the pandas DataFrame as strings containing geojson. In order to send a spatial column (represented as geojson strings) back out of the Python tool, the optional third parameter of `Alteryx.write()` must be included, specifying the type as SpatialObj. (eg, `Alteryx.write(df, 1, {"my_spatial_field": {"type": "SpatialObj"}})`)

In addition, several packages such as `geopandas` and its dependencies are included and can be imported into the Python tool to make further use of spatial data.

Column limitation Limit is 2000 No limitation
Null values note Numeric/byte columns containing null values will be converted to a data type of float64 - double precision float. YXDB supports null values in float64 using numpy.NaN and in integer types using pandas nullable integers.

If you are not changing the arrangement of the rows or using GeoSpatial python, Alteryx recommends that you slice the GeoSpatial data off the dataset and rejoin it after the Python tool. The reason for this is the conversion to and from Alteryx Binary to GeoSpatial text is not speedy.

Import a file or directory

Depending on how much control you want over relative paths, you can use the Alteryx import function from the Alteryx menu or use the import command. You can import an existing Python script or Jupyter Notebook using the Alteryx import function. If you want to manage relative paths, use the import command in the cell. Import examples include using the import command to import a directory, or using the Alteryx import function to import a single script.

To import a Python script or Jupyter Notebook

  1. Click the Alteryx menu and then select Import Script.
  2. Click Choose File and then navigate to a .py or .ipynb file.
  3. Click Import.

Alteryx imports the file.

Use the Kernel menu

  • Stop processing: Click the Kernel menu and then select Interrupt to stop processing.
  • Restart processing: Click the Kernel menu and then select a Restart option to restart the processing of the interactive environment.
  • Restart processing: Click the Kernel menu and then select Reconnect to clear the workbook of intermediate results.
  • Change kernel does not provide functionality.
  • It is recommended that you do not select Shutdown.

Output data from the tool

Use Alteryx.write to output data from the tool.

  • To send data to other tools on the canvas, use Alteryx.write(<pandas data frame>, <output anchor number>).
  • Alteryx.write only accepts pandas data frames. If you have data in another format, use the pandas library to convert it to a pandas data frame. The pandas library is pre-installed with Designer and can be accessed in the Jupyter Notebook using import pandas.
  • You can send up to five data frames to the output anchors.

Best practices

The following best practices will help you work with the Python tool successfully.