First Pre-Release of JDTools for Alteryx (v0.1)

Having created my simple framework for making custom C# based Alteryx tools, I thought I would release an initial version for people to take a look and try. Please note these are pretty experimental and while stable enough on my PC, I don’t have the resources of Alteryx to test widely and confirm stability. Please let me know if you do use them and if they work or not for you.

I won’t go into too much technical detail on the code, that is for another post, but will give a feeling of how I worked through the initial three tools. The whole project is on GitHub and will continue to be developed there, I welcome any suggestions of features or bug reposrts (or if anyone interested in helping out let me know!).

No pretty installer or anything yet, just a simple batch file which will create the necessary ini file and copy to the correct location. Download the zip file from GitHub, extract it somewhere that you want to keep it and then run Install.bat.

After that open Alteryx and a new tool group should appear called JDTools:

image

Inside it you will find three tools:

imageDateTimeInput

A slightly expanded version of the Date Time Now tool. This was the first tool I created as a learning exercise, but still quite useful in itself. It will create a date field equal to one of the following values:

  • Today
  • Yesterday
  • StartOfWeek
  • StartOfMonth
  • StartOfYear
  • PreviousMonthEnd
  • PreviousYearEnd

If you want to get started on creating custom tools, this is probably a good place to look. The code for this tool is here.

imageCircuitBreakerTool

This is an expanded version of the the Test tool. The idea here is that the input data (I) is only passed onto the rest of the workflow if there is no data received in the breaker input (B). I always find not being able to pass through the test tool frustrating as often that was what I needed to happen.

This was a great learning exercise on handling input data, copying and caching records and passing on to the output. The code for this tool is here.

imageDateTimeParserTool

Probably the most generally useful tool, this exposes the .Net DateTime parse functions to Alteryx. For this I needed to find a way to allow the user to pick an input field (see the InputFieldTypeConverter), to copy most of the values, parse a date and add to the result. As this tool supports all formats that the DateTimeParseExact function does, I hope it will help the community deal with parsing all the random formats that keep coming up.

Again learnt loads writing this tool, but this one involves by far the most moving parts. The code for it is here.

More coming soon…

Lots more hopefully coming soon. I have lots of ideas I’d love to try (like using NuGet as a tool distibution platform, and my favourite a vlookup style join tool), so hopefully this is just the first of a stream of releases.

Updated 1st March 16 to v0.1.1 release. And to v0.1.2 to try and sort installer!

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