Specialized Functions

Version:
Current
Last modified: September 23, 2020

These functions perform a variety of specialized actions and can be used with all data types.

EscapeXMLMetacharacters

EscapeXMLMetacharacters(String): Replaces XML metacharacters with their escaped versions. There are 5 characters that are escaped.

Character Escaped Version
" "
' '
< &lt;
> &gt;
& &amp;

Example

EscapeXMLMetacharacters("2>1&1<2") returns 2&gt;1&amp;1&lt;2

GetVal

GetVal(index, v0,...vn): Returns the value (v0, ..., vn) specified by the 0-based index.

GetEnvironmentVariable

GetEnvironmentVariable(Name): Returns the environment variable specified in Name. To get a list of environment variables, on your machine go to Control Panel > System and Security > SystemAdvanced System Settings > Environment Variables. A list of system variables appears. Any value from this list can be used.

Gallery Support

Alteryx doesn't support the GetEnvironmentVariable in apps saved to the Gallery.

Example

GetEnvironmentVariable(CommonProgramFiles) returns C:\Program Files\Common Files

GetEnvironmentVariable(OS) returns Windows_NT

Message

Message(messageType, message, returnValue): Use with a conditional statement to output a message to the message log and update column data with a specified value when a condition is met.

The message type and text is shown in the Results window. If logging is enabled, the output log file also resembles this information. Visit Results Window and Output Log File for more information.

Parameters

messageType: A number that corresponds to the type of message:

  • 1: Messages
  • 2: Warnings
  • 3: Errors
  • 5: Conv Errors (field conversion errors)
  • 8: Files (input)
  • 9: Files (output)

message: The text of the message expressed as a string between quotes.

returnValue: A value to output to column data. This can be a numeric value (for example, 0), null, or a text string between quotes (for example, "False").

Example

In this example, the Message function is used within a conditional expression to output a field conversion error message and update column data with a value of "False" if given date-time values do not contain valid time data.

If [Hour] = "0" and [Minutes] = "0" then
Message(5, "Invalid time in DateTime", "False")
Else
"True"
Endif

NULL

NULL(): Returns a Null value.

RangeMedian

RangeMedian(...): Calculates the median from a series of aggregated ranges. Visit Range Median for more information.

ReadRegistryString

ReadRegistryString(Key, ValueName, DefaultValue="): Returns a value from the registry.

Soundex

Soundex(String): Returns the Soundex of String. Soundex creates a code based on the first character in the string plus three characters based on these items:

Character Soundex
Non-Alpha Characters (numbers and punctuation) -1
a, e, i, o, u, y, h, and w Ignored unless it's the first character in the string.
b, f, p, and v 1
c, g, j, k, q, s, x, and z 2
d and t 3
l 4
m and n 5
r 6

Example

If the resulting code is only 2 or 3 characters long, Soundex uses zeros to fill out the code to 4 characters. For example, in the name Lauren, only the L, r, and n are translated (Lrn), so the resulting Soundex code is L650.

If the resulting code is more than 4 characters long, all characters after the fourth character are ignored. For example, in the name Patrick, the P, t, r, c, and k can be translated (Ptrck), but the resulting Soundex code is only 4 characters: P362.

Soundex_Digits

Soundex_Digits(String): Returns the first 4 digits or the Soundex if none.

  • If there are digits (numbers) in the String, the first 4 digits are returned.
  • If there are no digits, the Soundex code is returned.
Example String Soundex_Digits
3825 Iris 3825
55555 Main 5555
14L Broadway 14
Commerce Street C562
L Street L236

TOPNIDX

TOPNIDX(N, v0, v1, ..., vn): Returns the 0-based index of the Nth from the maximum value from the list. With N==0, it is the same as MaxIdx(...).

  • N is the starting point. 
  • v0 is the indexed field (subsequent variables are optional).
  • vn is the goal.

Example

TOPNIDX(0, [IndexedField], 5) returns the top 5 of a stream.

UrlEncode

UrlEncode(String): Encodes UTF-16 String as a web-legal URL for both original engine and AMP. 

Example

C:\temp\Alteryx URL Encode returns C:/temp/Alteryx%20URL%20Encode

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