Wednesday 8 November 2023

Introducing Our Latest Innovations: CReW Macros - Ensure Path and ZIP Output

 Greetings, data enthusiasts and Alteryx aficionados! We are thrilled to unveil two exciting additions to our Chaos Reigns Within Alteryx Macro family. Say hello to "Ensure Path" and "ZIP Output," two remarkable macros designed to take your data workflow to the next level.

Available now on Alteryx Marketplace...

Key Take-Away:

These macros were designed to give you more flexibility in automation of your workflows.  They permit you to message, warn and error so that you can take full advantage of the control containers.  

They use Python tool for the execution of the creation of paths and zip output.  As such, we capture error codes returned (if any) in a STATUS message on each macro.  Python takes time to load, so there is a penalty to pay for using the tools.

Ensure Path

Ensuring Smooth Sailing in Your Data Journey

Managing directory paths can be a daunting task, often leading to errors and disruptions in your data processing. But fear not! Our "Ensure Path" macro is here to simplify your life. Here's why it's a game-changer:

✅ **Dynamic Directory Checking**: This macro intelligently reads incoming directory or full-path file names and dynamically checks the existence of all distinct directories.

✅ **Versatile Path Handling**: Whether you're working with absolute or UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path types, Ensure Path seamlessly accommodates both.

✅ **Comprehensive Status Updates**: Stay in the loop with detailed status reports on all directories, empowering you to monitor your workflow with confidence.

✅ **Swift Error Resolution**: In case of path creation failures, the macro provides clear error messages, enabling quick identification and resolution of issues.

✅ **Workflow Automation**: Designed with a dynamic structure, Ensure Path seamlessly integrates into your workflows, enhancing automation capabilities and eliminating manual path management.

Ready to streamline your data workflow and bid farewell to path-related hassles? Download "Ensure Path" now: [](

ZIP Output

Effortless File Archiving and Sharing**

If you've ever found yourself drowning in a sea of output files, our "ZIP Output" macro is here to rescue you. This macro simplifies file archiving and sharing:

✅ **Space-Saving Magic**: Combine multiple output files into a single, compressed ZIP folder, reducing clutter and saving valuable disk space.

✅ **Simplified Sharing**: Easily share your results with colleagues, clients, or collaborators by sending a single, compact ZIP file.

✅ **Workflow Efficiency**: Automate the archiving process within your Alteryx workflows, ensuring a smooth and organized data pipeline.

Ready to streamline your file management and sharing? Download "ZIP Output" now: [](

**Get Started Today!**

Empower your data journey with these innovative CReW Macros. You can access and download them directly from the Alteryx Marketplace using the following links:

📁 **Ensure Path**: CReW_EnsurePath

📁 **ZIP Output**: CReW_ZIPOutput

We believe that these macros will greatly enhance your Alteryx experience, making your data workflows more efficient and error-free.

Stay tuned for more updates and additions to our Alteryx Macro collection on We can't wait to see how these macros help you conquer your data challenges! Happy data crunching! 🚀📊✨

Friday 3 November 2023

Alteryx Obscura and Wordyx

[ Cross-posting from ]

One of my favourite sessions at the Alteryx Inspire conference in recent years has been the fantastic "Alteryx Obscura" session invented by Alteryx's Steve Ahlgren. For anyone who hasn't seen the session: it is a series of lightening talks from Alteryx ACEs, employees and customers, making Alteryx do fun things that it was never designed to do.

For anyone familiar with my prior work of ChessFractals and Conway's Game Of Life in Alteryx, will find it no surprise that Obscura is my kind of session! If you haven't managed to see one of these sessions live at Inspire yet then the Polish User Group did a re-run which you can watch here.

My presentation from 2022 was Wordyx: an implementation of a rather well known word game inside of an Alteryx workflow, played with a text input and browse tool.

The implementation in Alteryx takes a surprisingly few number of tools!

We recently did an internal re-run here at Alteryx and I was asked if I could share the workflow from my Wordyx presentation, which I am very pleased to do here.

My 2023 presentation Blackjayx was less of a successful workflow (and not one that is yet in a state to share), but I did have the great pleasure of sharing a stage with a "virtual" Sir Ian Livingstone! Certainly a highlight of my career.

Adam Riley

Thursday 5 October 2023

Announcing Alteryx Marketplace | CReW Macros Available via Alteryx!

Alteryx has launched their new Marketplace for Add-Ons.

The Alteryx Marketplace will be the place to find the latest and greatest for your data journey. 

Featured Add-Ons in October include some of the most used tools and macros created and managed by CReW Macros. CReW Macros have already saved Alteryx users hours, if not days, with their efficient and thoughtful tools, and now you can access them on the Alteryx Marketplace as verified and supported Add-Ons. See their power in action in quick demo videos here.

Featured Macros Include:  Ensure Fields, Expect Equal, Expect Records, Expect Zero Records, Grouped Record ID, Control Container Error Check, Only Unique.

More are coming soon!

Ensure Fields                      
Expect Equal                      
Expect Records                  
Expect Zero Records          
Grouped Record ID            
Control Container Error Check
Only Unique                       

Don't worry!  CReW isn't going anywhere.  We are simply making it easier for access to the best macro add-ons directly from Alteryx.  


Mark (and Adam)

Please Subscribe to my youTube channel. 

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Control Containers - Part 2 - CReW Container Error Check Macro

In part 1 of this series we looked at the case where we didn't have an input hooked up to our control container in the logging container. This time we are going to look at what we can do with the input anchor connected.

How does the Input Anchor work?

We noted in the last post that without an input anchor the control container works very much like the CReW Runner macro. Well if we connect up the input anchor then the control container works very much like the CReW Conditional Runner macro. That is to say:
  • If the Input Anchor is disconnected
    • All tools inside run as though they were in a regular container (or straight on the canvas)
  • If the Input Anchor is connected
    • If the input anchor receives 0 records – The tools in the Control Container DO NOT run
    • If the input anchor receives >0 records – The tools in the Control Container run AFTER the last input record is received
Or in pictures

Introducing the Container Error Check Macro

With this we now are very close to replacing the CReW Runner macros with Control Containers! All we need is the S and F outputs provided by the runner macros. We replace this with the Container Error Check Macro.

You can download it from:

(To install it copy it into the macros folder where you have the CReW macros installed on your machine. For example C:\CReWMacros\Macros)

You connect it directly after a control container and it has the following behaviour:
  • If the incoming log messages contain an error all records get pushed out of F (Fail) output
  • If incoming log messages have no errors all records get pushed out of S (Success) output
Anyone who has used the Runner macros will find this very familiar.

Conditional Running

Using this macro we can now conditionally run parts of our workflow!

Success case:

Failure case:

This workflow generates a PDF report and then if there are no errors uploads it via an API using the download tool. If on the other hand there are errors, then the file is not uploaded, but an email is sent instead.

Learn More

If you are at Inspire today, please come to my breakout session to learn about this use case and more. 

If you aren't at Inspire, but would like me to present this talk at your local user group them please get in touch and we can set up a date!

Monday 22 May 2023

Control Containers - Part 1 - Logging Container

Well it is Adam here. I'm back posting on my personal Alteryx Blog after a very long time, but Control Containers are such an important new feature to desktop designer (that I have wanted to see in the product for so long) that I just had to write a blog post about them.

What are Control Containers?

In short Control Containers are the biggest innovation in controlling the order of how things run in an Alteryx workflow since we released the CReW runner macros over 8 years ago. Ever wanted to control what order your outputs write in? Or run one section of a workflow before another? Or how about capturing logging and error messages? Control containers can do all of this and I suspect more things that we havn't even thought of yet. I don't say this lightly, but I think Control Containers are going to be a game changer with what you can do in an Alteryx workflow.

They were released last week as part of the 2023.1 release

They are so innovative that myself and Jeff Arnold who worked on the initial design for control containers got a patent granted for the idea

This series of blogs is going to teach you about how Control Containers work through a number of example use cases of what you can do with them.

First up the Logging Container!

When Jeff and I were first throwing around ideas for Control Containers, I actually had proposed that the feature would consist of two tools: A Logging Container and a Control Container. The Logging Container being exactly the same as a Control Container, but with no input anchor. In the end we ended up with a single Container with an optional input. So for now let us pretend the Control Container has no input anchor and just focus on what that output anchor does.

First of all like a regular container a Control Container groups together a set of tools. The first difference we will look at though is that new output anchor.

When a workflow runs, all of the log messages for tools inside the container that usually get written to the messages window, also get output as data from the Control Container's outpur anchor. For anyone familiar with the CReW runner macros this use case is very much like the CReW runner macro, but in a single workflow!

So what is this useful for? Well a number of things, but today we will use it to create an audit trail for our workflow. We enclose the entire workflow in a Control Container and then using regular Alteryx tools we add the current datetime and workflow name and write it to a database.

Now every time this workflow runs we can capture this information and build up a historical record of how things change over time!

Next time we will introduce a new CReW macro tool for making this logging data even more useful.

For anyone at Inspire this week in Las Vegas, please come to my session on Wednesday when we will talk about this use case and a lot more!