Adjusting Alteryx Files For Different Versions…

Stealing this idea from Ken Black’s equivalent post on Tableau (sure he won’t mind!).

As we have just had version 10.6 11.3 release think worth publishing a little guide on how to make Alteryx compatible with old versions! This comes up in the community a lot when answering questions and a user doesn’t have the latest version of the designer.

There are various different file types Alteryx uses:

yxmd Standard Workflow file
yxmc Macro Workflow (all types)
yxwz Analytic App (wz stands for wizard I believe)
yxzp Workflow Package
yxdb Alteryx Database

The top three are all basically the same format – they are the XML configuration of the workflow. The first section of the XML looks like:


You can also view this within Alteryx Designer in the XML View:


The AlteryxDocument node is the same for Workflows, Macros and Analytic Apps. The yxmdVer attribute is the part of the file which tells Alteryx which version this came from. If you want this file to be able to be opened by and older version you can change the number. The table below gives the version number you need for different Alteryx versions:

yxmdVer Alteryx Versions
9.5 9.5
10.0 10, 10.1
10.5 10.5, 10.6
11.0 11.0
11.3 11.3

So what are the risks? Well, Alteryx themselves certainly don’t guarantee the format that a tool serializes its configuration from version to version will be consistent – though it normally is. The main issue is that the universe of tools that exist is continually growing and if it can’t find the tool the designer will add an unknown tool:


So that’s the easy ones. What about packages? These are actually just zip files. If you change the extension to zip you can take a look inside:


It’s just a case of updating the files inside the zip and then saving renaming it back to yxzp.

Finally, the database files. These have been in my limited Alteryx experience (only used it since about 9.1 I think), a fixed format. Ned has a blog post which links to an open source reader they released on these files, I think as long as you aren’t using a data type that didn’t exist in an older version you are fine!


Alteryx ACE Mark Frisch (a.k.a. MarqueeCrew) put together a macro to allow you change the version of your workflow. You can download it here.

2 thoughts on “Adjusting Alteryx Files For Different Versions…

  1. Pingback: Tableau and Backwards Compatibility | 3danim8's Blog

  2. Pingback: Beyond Alteryx Macros – Source Control, Testing and Installing (part 3) | James Dunkerley's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s