What's New in Designer
Release Date: November 29, 2022
New Features: Designer
As of the 2022.3 release, Alteryx Designer, Server, and the R Predictive tools use new installer technology. The updated installer detects your operating system language and installs Alteryx products in that language (if applicable). Go to Download and Install a Product for important upgrade and downgrade considerations and review updated command-line options.
Search in Select
You can now perform a search in Designer tools that use the Select functionality. The search returns only the fields that match your search criteria—it searches the Field, Rename, and Description columns. You can then quickly select or deselect all the returned fields to perform actions on them, edit their data types, rename them, and more. We've also added a check box to let you quickly select and deselect all visible fields. Available in the Select, Join, Join Multiple, Append Fields, Select In-DB, Find Nearest, and Spatial Match tools.
Formula Tool Enhancements
We’ve added enhancements to the Formula tool. Each expression now contains an Expression ID number to assist with documenting and troubleshooting your expressions. Additionally, you can now quickly expand and collapse all expressions in the Formula tool via the expand all/collapse all toggle.
Multi Anchor Caching
You can now cache tools that have multiple output anchors (maximum of 5 anchors). This feature extends the caching functionality to over 50 additional tools. Please note that some tools (including those with more than 5 output anchors and In-DB tools) might still not be cacheable.
Disable Single Output Data Tool
You can now quickly disable a single Output Data tool while you develop your workflow or troubleshoot an issue. Use the Disable Tool check box in the tool’s configuration window. While disabled, the Output Data tool is shaded on the canvas to help visually indicate its disabled status.
Fuzzy Match Support for Japanese
We’ve added support for Japanese to the Fuzzy Match tool. You can now apply predefined match styles, that account for Japanese orthography, to Japanese addresses, names, or text.
Results Grid Accessibility Updates
We’ve made updates to the user interface of the Designer Results grid to improve accessibility via screen readers and other assistive technology. Buttons and controls that were previously only visible under certain conditions are now always visible, though inactive if not applicable.
Compare Workflow Enhancements
We've made improvements to the Compare Workflows feature. When you compare 2 workflows with container tools, if their enabled and disabled states are different, the Compare Workflows functionality identifies them as different.
Start Here Updates
We’ve rebuilt and updated the Start Here experience when you launch Designer. Start Here now launches in its own window rather than a tab on the Designer canvas. We’ll update the content periodically to highlight new features and updates in Designer. If you close the window, you can reopen it via Help > Sample Workflows > Start Here.
AMP Tool Support
There are now 166 fully supported tools and 11 partially supported tools. The partially supported tools fall back to the original Engine for some unsupported functionality.
All Reporting and R tools are now AMP enabled (except the Insights Reporting tool).
There are 7 more AMP-only Connectors, with several more planned over the next few months, and even more planned for 2023*, 1 new Engines Parity tool, 13 Reporting tools, and 65 R tools for a total of 86 newly supported AMP tools, including the R tool in the Developer category.
*These Connector tools are available as AMP only, and won't work with the original Engine: Azure Data Lake File Input, Azure Data Lake File Output, Microsoft Power BI Output, OneDrive Input, OneDrive Output, SharePoint Input, and SharePoint Output.
Proxy Support in AMP
Added support for networking via proxy to AMP. Added support for SFTP over HTTP proxy to both engines. Added the ability to bypass proxy for both engines. You can now specify the Proxy Protocol Type (support for HTTP and SOCKS5h) in User Settings and System Settings. If you don’t specify the protocol, the default is HTTP.
Engines Parity Utility
Engines Parity Utility is an easy way to compare the original Engine to AMP. It allows you to run both engines in parallel, evaluate the results, and make a decision about which workflow you can confidently convert to AMP. You can run Parity Utility via the command line with AlteryxEngineCmd.exe or run it via Designer using the Gallery Macro download. For more information, go to Parity Utility.
Global Setting to Enable Allow-list for Peer Validation
As an admin with a non-FIPS Designer version, you are now able to specify a list of problematic hosts in a flat file for which peer validation will be skipped. If users encounter issues with certificate authorization, it does not need to stop the users from work.
Behavior Analysis Tools Deprecation
The Behavior Analysis tools in Alteryx Designer have been deprecated. These tools will continue to work with US Business Insights Data Packages 2021 Q4 and earlier versions.
DCM External Vault
The External Vault feature allows you to connect DCM with your Vault of choice. You can use External Vaults in DCM to fetch credentials from your Vault and securely use them in your workflow. For more information, go to DCM External Vaults.
Google BigQuery Bulk Loading
Bulk loading to Google BigQuery is now available in the Output tool. It is supported with Oauth authentication using DCM. We use Google Cloud Storage for data staging.
In-DB Support for Google BigQuery
Google BigQuery is now supported for the In-Database tools. It is supported with Oauth authentication using DCM and includes bulk loading for streaming in data.
Email Tool OAuth Support
You can now authenticate to Microsoft Exchange Online with OAuth authentication via DCM and obtain a token pair that allows you to send emails from your Exchange Online account. For more information, go to Email Tool.
Azure AD Support for Snowflake
You can now access and manage your Snowflake data with OAuth authentication via DCM. For more information, go to Snowflake Azure AD Authentication.
Azure AD Support for Databricks
You can now access and manage (read/write/bulk write) your Databricks data via the private (single-tenant) and the public (multi-tenant) applications with OAuth authentication via DCM. For more information, go to Databricks Azure OAuth Authentication.
We’ve deprecated these connectors:
- Dynamics CRM Input and Output
- Google Sheets Input and Output
- Publish to Tableau Server
- Salesforce Einstein Analytics Output
- Salesforce Wave Output
- SharePoint List Input and Output
For more information, go to Data Sources.
Display Updates in Maps
The Mapbox logo and attribute text now appear at the bottom of the basemaps.
Usage Data Configuration
New Features: Intelligence Suite
PDF to Text Tool
Extract text encoded as characters directly from your PDF files with >99% accuracy. Add OCR to extract images for additional coverage. In most cases, you’ll see an increase in accuracy, speed, and completeness compared to the Image to Text tool.
Zero-shot Text Classification Tool
Classify text into categories of your choice without the need for training data.
Text Summary Tool>
Extract a summary of your text based on the TextRank methodology. You can specify the length of the summary by number of sentences.
Image Template Tool Enhancements
Added the ability to edit annotation bounding boxes in the Image Template tool. We enabled this functionality with mini-tate, a new open-source React library from Alteryx.
Shift Step in Image Processing Tool
Added a Shift step to the Image Processing tool. Shift automatically shifts documents into alignment based on a user-defined anchor. Use the Image Template tool to define the anchor with an annotation. Shift can improve OCR results for images that shifted during the scanning process.
Image Recognition Tool Enhancements
Added Evaluation Metrics and Model Report output anchors to the Image Recognition tool. Metrics include information on the precision, recall, and accuracy of each classification label. The report output includes loss and accuracy plots for each epoch. Use these plots to visualize if the tool sufficiently trained the model.
The 2022.2 release is an Alteryx Designer-FIPS release only. Please note that there is not a 2022.2 release for the non-FIPS version of Alteryx Designer.
The most up-to-date version of Alteryx Designer (non-FIPS) is 2022.1.
Release Date: August 24, 2022
Release Date: May 4, 2022
New Features: Designer
AMP as Default Engine
AMP is now the default Engine for any new workflows you create. However, you can still choose the engine for your workflows via the workflow-level setting. Go to the Workflow - Configuration pane in Designer and select the Runtime tab. Next, enable or disable the Use AMP Engine check box to make your engine selection.
Please note that when you launch the 22.1 version of Designer, you’ll be greeted with a pop-up to notify you that AMP is the default for new workflows. You can then select to not show the message again if you choose.
Alteryx Multi-threaded Processing (AMP) is a new architecture of Alteryx Engine, designed to work with larger volumes of data at a higher velocity. To learn more about the AMP Engine, as well as the differences between the original engine and AMP, visit these resources:
AMP Engine supports Standard, Iterative, and Batch Macros. In addition, over 85 tools have been converted to run with AMP. Tools that haven’t been converted will automatically use the original Engine.
Field Limit for Input and Output Data with Original Engine and AMP
For Input and Output data, there is now a 32,000 upper limit of fields per record for both the original Engine and AMP.
- When read/write data is less than or equal to 32,000 fields, a valid workflow runs successfully.
- When read/write data exceeds 32,000 fields, an error is returned on a workflow run to indicate that the max number of fields was exceeded: "Error - Number of fields is larger than the 32,000 limit. Please reduce the number of fields."
AMP Grouping Framework Changes
The grouping framework on AMP Engine has been changed to behave similarly to the original Engine. This affects the Summarize, Join, and Join Multiple tools.
Designer User Interface Improvements
We’ve updated the Designer UI to better align with other Alteryx products. As part of the refresh, you’ll notice new fonts, colors, and icons—all part of a more modern look and feel.
One notable change is that when you run your workflow, you’ll no longer see the text "(Running)" in your workflow tab. Instead, you'll see a spinning/loading icon in the tab, beside the title of your workflow.
Auto Insights Uploader
The Auto Insights Uploader tool is now a default tool in Alteryx Designer. You can access Auto Insights Uploader via the In/Out tool category.
DCM Connection Tool
The DCM Connection tool is a new tool within the Interface tools family. With the DCM Connection tool, you can display a prompt in an app or macro, and allow the user to pick a Connection from their DCM storage.
Databricks Delta Lake Support
There is new functionality that supports Delta tables on Databricks. You can use interactive or SQL Endpoint clusters on AWS and Azure. Bulk loading is supported with data staging in AWS S3 or Azure ADLS.
Updated Gallery References to Server
We have replaced any references to "Gallery" inside of Designer to instead reference "Server" and thus align with recent terminology updates to the Alteryx Server product.
New Features: Intelligence Suite
Part-of-Speech Tagger Tool
The Part-of-Speech Tagger tool allows you to determine a given word's part of speech. You can analyze specific parts of speech and refine outcomes for other Text Mining tools. For example, you can create word clouds of only verbs or topic models with just nouns.
The Barcode tool extracts information stored in QR codes and barcodes. The tool can also generate QR codes and barcodes. You can extract underlying information in QR codes and barcodes to automate business processes. For example, some companies use QR codes to determine whether documents are relevant to certain departments, then organize documents by Finance, HR, Marketing, etc. accordingly.
OCR Optimization Feature in the Image Processing Tool
We added an OCR Optimization feature to the Image Processing tool for scanned PDFs. Use the OCR Optimization step to pre-process noisy, scanned PDFs (for example, scanned documents that contain non-white or textured backgrounds and watermarks) for Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This additional step can greatly improve the Key-Value Pair tool results.
Key-Value Pair Tool
The Key-Value Pair tool links 2 data elements, a key, which defines the data set, and its value, which belongs to the dataset. For example:
- Company: Alteryx
- "Company" is the key.
- "Alteryx" is the value of the key "Company."
OCR Speed Optimization
Introduced performance improvements to the Image Input and Image to Text tools that can make your workflows run even faster! You might notice significant improvements (up to a 40% speed increase) when you parse larger documents such as multi-page PDFs.
New Features: Installation and Licensing
Alteryx License Server
We have streamlined the activation process with Alteryx License Server so you can focus on the available products by removing license keys from view.
New Options for AlteryxActivateLicenseKeyCmd
We have added an option to update the trusted storage with the information on the License Server. We have also added an option to return the current configuration including licensing mode, email address, and License Server URL, if applicable.
Release Date: February 2, 2022
Link Designer with the Alteryx Platform
You can now link Designer and the Alteryx Platform. This lets you save your Designer workflows to the Platform as well as open workflows from the Platform in Designer.
XML Parse Tool Enhancement
The XML Parse tool now includes an option to not pass the original parsed field downstream.
Generate Support File
The tech support file now includes additional information, for example, system information, environment variables, engine logs, ODBC Drivers and Versions, and much more! Go to Generate Support File to learn more about this feature.
Reserve Products for Specific Users (Admin-only)
Administrators can reserve product access for specific users via Reservation Groups. This ensures that users have access to the products and features that they need. Go to Alteryx License Server Reservations to learn more.
Public Gallery and Designer
You can no longer save workflows from Designer to Public Gallery. Go to the Public Gallery Migration FAQ to learn more.
Error Message Enhancements
Certain error messages in the Results window now link to Community articles that will help you understand and resolve the errors.
We upgraded CEF to version 91.0.4472.124. You might encounter a blank screen when authenticating to OneDrive, Dropbox, Dataverse, Box, SharePoint, and Power BI Connectors. Please note that you need to update these connectors to resolve this issue. To learn more about Connector compatibility with Designer, go to Designer Compatibility with Data Connectors.
New Intelligence Suite Tool
The Alteryx Intelligence Suite now includes a new Text Mining tool. The Named Entity Recognition tool allows you to train a model that identifies predefined or custom entities, like people, places, or things, in text data.
New Data Connectors
These Data Connector tools are now available:
Data Connection Manager (DCM)
Data Connection Manager (DCM) is the unified secure vault to store user credentials. Use DCM to improve security by moving your credentials outside the workflow and synchronizing them across the Alteryx product suite. To find out more about this new feature, go to the DCM help page.
Engine Compatibility Mode
Engine Compatibility Mode is a new workflow-level configuration option when it's necessary to maintain the order of output records from specific tools across both engines. It provides an easier migration path allowing users to bring workflows that expect specific record ordering from the original engine to AMP. Go to the Engine Compatibility Mode help page for more information.
Record Limit for All Inputs Support in AMP
The global setting Record Limit for all inputs is now supported by AMP. In the Workflow Configuration - Runtime tab, you can set the record limit in one place for all inputs.
Instrument your Designer desktop installations to log workflow metadata and XML locally. You can use these logs to automate any number of processes, like change control or departmental utilization metrics. To maintain the highest expectations of customer privacy, these logs are customer-managed and are not sent to or logged by Alteryx.
Release Date: August 11, 2021
Use the Compare Workflows feature to compare 2 workflows and quickly identify the differences via visual indicators. You can access this feature via Options > Advanced Options in Alteryx Designer.
The new Recommended tab in the Designer tool palette suggests tools that you can use while you build out your workflow. Select a tool on your canvas and the Recommended tab displays 6 common downstream tools that typically follow the selected tool.
New Intelligence Suite Tools
The Alteryx Intelligence Suite now includes 2 new Computer Vision tools. The Image Profile tool allows you to extract helpful information from images, and the Image Recognition tool lets you train a machine learning model to classify images.
Tool Container Enhancements
We made some updates to the Tool Container tool. Now, when you disable a Tool Container, the disabled container remains expanded on the canvas and appears dimmed to indicate the disabled state. You can collapse a disabled container to hide its contents. Select the expand/collapse icon within the tool container to do so.
Performance Profiling with AMP Engine
To optimize your workflow when building workflows with AMP, you can now analyze the performance of specific tools with Performance Profiling with AMP. You can turn on profiling with the Enable Performance Profiling check box in the Workflow Configuration Runtime settings. For more information, visit the Performance Profiling with AMP Engine help page.
Microsoft Power BI
We made updates to the Microsoft Power BI connector:
- Built-in multitenant Azure App with an option to use a custom Azure App.
- Supports multiple table inputs.
- Keeps existing dataset and its structure with updating and overwriting data.
- Users can select which workspace to work with.
- Proxy support.
Generate Support File
Generate a tech support file that contains information that helps our Customer Support Engineers properly troubleshoot your issue. You can upload this file when you submit your support case. Make sure to review the file contents and remove anything you might not want to include.
Release Date: May 17, 2021
New Intelligence Suite Tools
The Alteryx Intelligence Suite now has Computer Vision tools. Use them to input, process, analyze, and then output images using Designer.
We upgraded R to 4.0.4 from 3.6.3. The R 4.0 release features improvements in R's memory management, which means R can now work with more data without memory issues. Moving to the newer version allows our users who make use of custom R code in Alteryx to continue to be able to download binary installers of R packages from CRAN.
Separate Installer for Alteryx Intelligence Suite
Intelligence Suite is now installed separately from Designer. This improves the Designer install time while allowing users to quickly install Intelligence Suite.
Updated Trial Experience
We have updated the trial experience for new and current customers. Now, individuals can independently activate an Alteryx Intelligence Suite trial from the Alteryx Designer trial. Users that want to test Alteryx Intelligence Suite now have the ability to trial this functionality even if they already have a base Designer license.
Data Cleansing via the Results Grid
You can now perform data cleansing actions directly in the Results grid and apply these actions to your workflow via a preconfigured Data Cleanse tool. We also made some user interface updates to the Results grid to better organize the Data Cleanse, Filter, and Sort options.
Convert to Macro
You now have the option to convert an existing workflow (or a portion of the workflow) to a macro. Select at least one tool, right-click, and select Convert to Macro from the dropdown menu. Visit Convert to Macro to read about important limitations and additional instructions.
Workflows (.yxmd, .yxmc, and .yxwz files) now track unique IDs in the XML. This includes the original workflow ID and the previous workflow ID. For example:
<WorkflowId value="f8e90084-fca0-4c5d-9c0e-5fe614d78df1" />
<PreviousWorkflowId value="" />
<OriginWorkflowId value="f8e90084-fca0-4c5d-9c0e-5fe614d78df1" />
Engine Asynchronous Logging
Local engine logs can now be written asynchronously for the original Engine. This improves performance, especially for administrators writing logs to a shared network file path.
Specify a Predictive Tools Code Page per Workflow
We’ve added Predictive Code Page settings to Workflow Configuration so that the predictive code page information gets saved within the workflow. This will avoid having workflows use different predictive code page settings based on the user's selected language.
Phonetic Sort Support for Kanji Characters
We’ve introduced more sorting methods available in the various areas of Designer that allow users to sort such as the Sort tool, IRG sorting behavior, Select tool, or any tool that has an embedded Select and Tile tool. These sorting methods include Pinyin, Gojūon, and Dictionary Order for all of our supported languages.
You can customize this setting via the Localization User Settings.
Updated Embedded Fonts in Predictive Macros
We’ve updated the hardcoded fonts that were embedded in Predictive macros. As a result, customers will avoid running into garbled results in their PDF reports. The font used supports the chosen language text of the user.
Topic Model Output
We've added an additional M output anchor to the Topic Modeling tool, which allows users to save models they can later use to make predictions about new data.
Google BigQuery Output Tool Updates
We updated the Google BigQuery Output tool to utilize bulk file write instead of streaming records to BigQuery. The tool now loads JSON files from the local machine into BigQuery. Please see the release notes in Gallery provided for these tools for additional update information.
Salesforce Input Tool Maintenance
We remedied defects in the Salesforce Input tool. Please see the release notes in Gallery provided for this tool for update information.
Update SafeMode Error Message Text to Restricted
When attempting to run a workflow (in Server, Gallery, or AAH) that contains restricted tools when the Safe or Semi-Safe mode is set, users will now get different error messages returned. For example, "Restricted Environment Error: The R tool is prohibited based on current run mode settings."
Deadlock Prevention Part 2: Limit Connections for Join Multiple, Action Order for Summarize, and Increase the Number of Threads if Memory Is Increased
In the case where a workflow contained multiple of these tools (Join, Join Multiple, Summarize, Tile, and FuzzyMatch), and the memory limit was too small, there was a high chance that the engine went to a memory deadlock. Now, this issue is resolved.
One Tool Example Updates
We converted several workflows into One Tool Examples. You can now find these under Help > Sample Workflows > Learn one tool at a time > Predictive. These were previously found under Help > Sample Workflows > Predictive Samples.