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Release 5.0.1




Flow Structure and Objects

Within Designer Cloud Enterprise Edition, the basic unit for organizing your work is the flow.  The following diagram illustrates the component objects of a flow and how they are related:

Figure: Objects in a Flow


flow is a container for holding one or more imported datasets, associated recipes and other objects. This container is a means for packaging Alteryx objects for the following types of actions:

  • Creating relationships between datasets, their recipes, and other datasets.

  • Sharingwith other users

  • Copying
  • Execution of pre-configured ad-hoc or scheduledjobs

  • Creating references between recipes and external flows
  • Exporting and importing into different instances of the Designer Cloud Powered by Trifacta platform

A flow can be created in an empty state or as a container to hold datasets as you import them. 

Imported Dataset

Data that is imported to the platform is referenced as an imported dataset. An imported dataset is simply a reference to the original data; it is not modified or stored within the platform. An imported dataset can be a reference to a file, multiple files, database table, or other type of data.

NOTE: An imported dataset is a pointer to a source of data. It cannot be modified within Designer Cloud Enterprise Edition.

  • An imported dataset can be referenced in recipes.
  • Imported datasets are created through the Import Data Page.
    • When the data is first imported, you may optionally include a set of steps to perform initial parsing of the data into rows and columns. These steps may vary depending on the type of source data. See Initial Parsing Steps.
  • For more information on the process, see Import Basics.

After you have created an imported dataset, it becomes usable after it has been added to a flow. You can do this as part of the import process or later.


recipe is a user-defined sequential set of steps that can be applied to transform a dataset.

  • A recipe object is created from an imported dataset or another recipe.
    • You can create a recipe from a recipe to chain together recipes.
  • Recipes are interpreted by  Designer Cloud Enterprise Edition and turned into commands that can be executed against data. This data can be:
    • an imported dataset
    • the output of another recipe in the same flow
    • a referenced dataset, which is the output from a recipe in a different flow.
  • When initially created, a recipe contains no steps. Recipes are augmented and modified using the various visual tools in the Transformer Page.
  • For more information on the process, see Transform Basics.

In a flow, the following objects are associated with each recipe, which are described below:

  • Outputs
  • References

Outputs and Publishing Destinations

Outputs contain one or more publishing destinations, which define the output format, location, and other publishing options that are applied to the results generated from a job run on the recipe. 

When you select a recipe's output object in a flow, you can:

  • Define the publishing destinations for outputs that are generated when the recipe is executed. Publishing destinations specify output format, location, and other publishing actions. A single recipe can have multiple publishing destinations.
  • Run an on-demand job using the specified destinations. The job is immediately queued for execution.

References and Reference Datasets

References allow you to create a reference to the output of the recipe's steps in another dataset. References are not depicted in the above diagram.

When you select a recipe's reference object, you can add it to another flow. This object is then added as a reference dataset in the target flow. A reference dataset is a read-only version of the output data generated from the execution of a recipe's steps.

Working with recipes

Recipes are edited in the Transformer page, which provides multiple methods for quickly selecting and building recipe steps.

  • Within the Transformer page, you build the steps of your recipe against a sample of the dataset. 

    • A sample is typically a subset of the entire dataset. For smaller datasets, the sample may be the entire dataset.
    • As you build or modify your recipe, the results of each modification are immediately reflected in the sampled data. So, you can rapidly iterate on the steps of your recipe within the same interface.
    • As needed, you can generate additional samples, which may offer different perspectives on the data.
    • See Transform Basics.


Run Jobs: When you are satisfied with the recipe that you have created in the Transformer page, you can execute a job. A job may be composed of one or both of the following job types:

  • Transform job: Executes the set of recipe steps that you have defined against your sample(s), generating the transformed set of results across the entire dataset.
  • Profile job: Optionally, you can choose to generate a visual profile of the results of your transform job. This visual profile can provide important feedback on data quality and can be a key for further refinement of your recipe.
  • When a job completes, you can review the resulting data and identify data that still needs fixing. See Job Results Page.
  • For more information on the process, see Running Job Basics.


connection is a configuration object that provides a personal or global integration to an external datastore. Reading data from remote sources and writing results are managed through connections.

  • Connections are not associated with individual datasets or flows.
    • Connections are not reflected in the above diagram.
  • Most connections can be created by individual users. Admins can promote individual connections for general use.
  • Depending on the datastore, connections can be read-only, write-only, or both.
  • For more information, see Connections Page.

Flow Example

The following diagram illustrates the flexibility of object relationships within a flow. 

Figure: Flow Example

Standard job executionRecipe 1/Job 1

Results of the job are used to create a new imported dataset (I-Dataset 2).See Export Results Window.

Create dataset from generated resultsRecipe 2/Job 2

Recipe 2 is created off of I-Dataset 2 and then modified. A job has been specified for it, but the results of the job are unused.


Chaining datasetsRecipe 3/Job 3

Recipe 3 is chained off of Recipe 2. The results of running jobs off of Recipe 2 include all of the upstream changes as specified in I-Dataset 1/Recipe1 and I-Dataset 2/Recipe 2.

Reference datasetRecipe 4/Job 4I-Dataset 4 is created as a reference off of Recipe 3. It can have its own recipe, job, destinations, and results.

Flows are created in the Flows page. See Flows Page.

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