Differences Between the New and Old Python SDKs


The original Alteryx Python SDK was built around a Python package called AlteryxPythonSDK. This package is available at runtime inside of Alteryx Designer, and can be accessed via import.

The new Python SDK is a standalone Python pip package that can be installed via pip install. It doesn’t depend on any special libraries that only ship with Designer. Given that it is now standalone, we took measures to allow tool development outside of Designer.

Getting Started

Getting started in the old SDK typically means looking at an example plugin, copying the code and file structure, and then modifying it to suit your own needs. The new SDK provides a command-line interface (CLI) that takes care of all of this project setup. Access the documentation here.


In the original Python SDK, the backend of a tool is developed via a class definition that satisfies the interface described in the AYX Plugin Python Class article.

This class implements certain methods like pi_init, pi_add_incoming_connection, etc. This paradigm leads to lots of boilerplate code, and makes plugin development a burden on the developer. This typically leads to the meat of the plugin to be only a few lines of Python, while the overall tool definition is hundreds of lines.

To alleviate this problem, the new SDK simplifies the interface that must be satisfied, to a bare minimum set of requirements.

Similar to the original SDK, in the new SDK a developer must write a Plugin class. In the new SDK, a base class definition of Plugin is defined to be used as a parent. This gives the developer a level of comfort that they have implemented all necessary methods to have a valid Alteryx Designer plugin.

Additionally, in the original SDK, a class called IncomingInterface was required. This requirement was removed in the new SDK, as incoming interfaces and connections are handled behind the scenes by the SDK, and made available to the developer via the new Provider concept.


Once plugin development is complete, the plugin is often distributed via the YXI file format. The instructions for packaging a YXI in the original SDK can be found here. However, this packaging process was significantly simplified by the new SDK CLI, described in the Getting Started guide.