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Friday, 31 December 2010

Alteryx 2011 - New Features - Connection Progress

I don't know how many Alteryx users are familiar with Microsoft's SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)?  It is Mircosoft's attempt at an Alteryx Engine type tool which I could write a whole article about.  But I'm not going to risk boring you with what I see as SSIS's shortcomings.  All I will say is I was very disappointed with SSIS when it was released and when I started using Alteryx I never looked back.

However this time last year there were two features of SSIS which I thought Alteryx lacked. 

The first was the ability to hide away sections of the module in collapsible sections.  At Extend 2010 Ned demonstrated this same functionality in Alteryx courtesy of Tool Containers.  After that demo I mentioned to Ned that now there was only one thing which I thought was better about SSIS than Alteryx, namely the displaying of record counts on data connections.

Well now in Alteryx 2011 we have connection progress in real time as data flows through them.  These are a great new feature and allow users to:
  • See progress of the module more easily
  • See mistakes in their module before it completes processing
  • Easily check joins and filters are behaving as expected without needing to cross reference to the log
  • Identify inefficiencies in their modules
The below video shows them in action: