This is part 3 of my series on the ordering and invoicing system I made using Google Forms and Alteryx. In the last post we went through how the app functions using advanced app chaining, which you can see here. Today we’re going to go through how to use the email tool.
Using the Email Tool
For a bit of background, the reason I needed to use this was to process orders for a friends hobby business, and I needed to send a summary of what items were ordered for that week. I wanted to try this within Alteryx.
Upstream from the above workflow image, I used a Table tool to put the order summary the form on the left. I then needed to generate a pdf of the table, and email it. This is achieved through the Render and Email tools.
The problem with this is that Alteryx doesn’t know that the PDF needs to be created before sending it, so it could attempt to send the email before the attachment is ready. The solution is to use Block Until Done, which is the grey tool on the left. This tool will control the order of processing according to the numbered output, making sure that all data runs through the entire stream from output 1, before moving on to output 2.
Email Tool Configuration
The configuration for the tool itself is shown above. The SMTP identifies the email service you use, the Port and Encryption settings I’m less familiar with and used this video for tips. My suggestion would be to do some research for what you settings you’d need for your service whether it be gmail, outlook or something else, and to talk to your IT department if you want to use this within a business.
Then you specify the file name you’re about to generate, which you can see in the above image. The great thing about this tool and the render tool (as well as output data tool) is that you can use data fields to populate them. This makes it great for dynamically naming files, which I’ve been doing using the processing date. I’ve used the same field for naming the file created by the rendering tool as for the attachment email. It also means that for each row of data you could send an email to a different person, each with its own configurations and text.
–Setting up Automatic Emails on Alteryx Designer video by Data Meaning
–How to Use the Alteryx Email Tool video by Nathan Patrick Taylor