Last time I introduced the ordering and invoicing system I made using Google Forms and Alteryx analytical apps in order to sell fruit and vegetables in a real world setting. If you haven’t checked out part 1 you can see it here. In this post we’ll go through the Analytical App which was made to make it easy to process the orders and invoices.


App Overview

So after we’ve had lots of orders come in and we’re ready to process them, we run the app. Its got multiple analytical apps chained together to make a flowing interface (there were reasons to keep the processes separate that I won’t go into):

  1. Main Menu – From here you can choose which analytical process to run
  2. You can Process Orders, in which items are summed across orders (an order summary), and emailed to my friend so that they can buy them from the farmer.
  3. Make Invoices – This runs an app for generating invoices using the reporting tools
  4. Cancel Order Summary – If for some reason you made a mistake or someone has ordered very late you can cancel and remake the order summary and invoice pdf.

Demo Video

App Structure

The system is 5 apps chained together. All but 1 of the chaining configurations is straightforward: Within the Interface Designer on Alteryx, I selected ‘On Success – Run another app’ . This allows you to go from ‘Process Orders’ to ‘Save and Email Order Summary’ and back to the ‘Main Menu’.

The App chain that isn’t straightforward is from the Main Menu to the 3 different options.


How the Menu Chaining Works

The main menu app is configured to open a secondary app on completion. In my example this is called ‘User-Selected App.yxwz’, The user’s selection overwrites ‘User-Selected App.yxwz’ with the app file that they’ve chosen. The way that it’s overwritten is that the app you specified is input as a CSV file. with delimiter \0. This reads in the raw XML of the selected file. Which you concatenate into a single cell then save as ‘User-Selected App.yxwz’ in CSV format. Once that has completed it will then run that selected app.

Resources on how to do this can be found here. There may be others ways you can do this, such as using a macro from the community an tool that can copy and overwrite files. There is an App that does this from Teknion. Another way could be using the run command tools within Alteryx.

The way the containers work is that when you select the app you want, it will enable the corresponding container, while the other two options become disabled. The configuration on the action tool is shown below.

Here is a brief explanation of the formula: When the radio button ([#1]) is selected its value becomes ‘True’, so then we make the disable feature ‘False’. And when the radio button isn’t selected the value is ‘False’ so then we want to change the disable feature for the container to ‘True’.

Next time I’ll go through the email tool.



Frank Salmon
Author: Frank Salmon