Introduction

Scheduling is the final step of every workflow by which we configure a process to run at different timings based on the requirement. In this blog, we will understand how to schedule a workflow in Alteryx, and a brief comparison of its scheduling features with SAP BODS.

Like any scheduler, Alteryx Scheduler makes it easy to specify the date, time and frequency to run Alteryx workflows. Adding to it, Alteryx Scheduler can also be configured to employ Distributed Scheduling functionality across your network of computers (Workers).

Every workflow that you create in the Alteryx designer can be scheduled by selecting Options >> Schedule workflow from the menu bar.
scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

On the click of the schedule option, a pop-up window appears as shown below with the list of Alteryx gallery and Alteryx controllers.

Select the location, where you want to schedule or else you can add a new location to schedule the workflow.
scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

Note: The Alteryx Gallery is a cloud-based application for publishing, sharing, and executing workflows. It communicates directly with the Alteryx Service for the management and execution of the workflows and utilizes a MongoDB persistence layer for all state maintenance.
The Alteryx Service Controller is responsible for the management of the service settings and the delegation of work to the Alteryx Service Workers which is responsible for executing analytic workflows.

It opens a new pop-up as shown below with a list of predefined scheduling options.
You can schedule a workflow from one of three methods given below with an option to provide the scheduling job name:

  • Once
  • Recurring
  • Custom

Scheduling – Once

This option allows us to run a workflow once at a specific time.scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

Scheduling – Recurring

It allows us to schedule a job to run Hourly, Daily, Weekly or Monthly for a specific period with this option.scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

Where you can select the interval in which the workflow needs to be iterated from the list available in the drop-down. The time selection options differ based on our selection in the drop-down that enables us to configure the iteration of the job.scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designerscheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer  scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

Each option in the frequency tab is used to address a specific requirement or scenario as follows;

  1. Hourly: If the workflow needs to run multiple times every day, at a regular interval of time, it can be achieved by specifying the duration in the input field of in Hours and minutes.
  2. Daily: If a workflow needs to run every day at a specific time, select the daily option and specify the time on which the workflow needs to be executed.
  3. Weekly: If a workflow needs to run at different days of a week, select the weekly option and select the days on which the workflow to run and schedule it.
  4. Monthly: If a workflow needs to run monthly on a day or a date, the monthly option can be used in which we can select a day of the month or week.

Scheduling – Custom

It allows us to schedule a workflow to run at a custom date list for different months between a period with this option.scheduling-workflow-alteryx-designer

If the workflow needs to be scheduled at a time on different days in different months, the custom option can be used and as shown.

Note: You can also assign the priority of the scheduling job and the worker, to distribute the load. Let us see more about workers and priorities of workflow in the next section.

As we have similar scheduling features in SAP BODS, we have a brief comparison of Alteryx.

Alteryx Vs BODS

AlteryxBODS
Scheduling from the tool without external servicesYes No (Need to schedule from server)
Scheduling multiple times, a dayYes Yes
Option to specify the end date of schedulingYesYes
Assigning priority for the JobYes No (Need to write Shell script)
Scheduling Daily or only in working days(Monday – Friday)Yes Yes
Scheduling at different days of a weekYes Yes
Scheduling at a specific day in a month(First Sunday)Yes Yes
Scheduling at a custom set of dates in a set of monthsYesYes
Assigning a workerYes No
Trigger a mail before/after runningYesYes
Trigger a mail when a job is completed with or without errorYesYes
Attaching assets of the Job by default in the mailYes No (Need to write Shell Script)
Running a custom command when a workflow is completedYes No (Need to write Shell Script)

Conclusion

We can schedule every workflow using the Alteryx designer with the simple steps described above. Based on the above comparison, we can infer that scheduling in Alteryx is much easier and offers far more features than SAP BODS.

 

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