Getting Started Guide


Note: V1 Python SDK documentation is available for download.

To get started with the Alteryx Core SDK, you need a valid installation of Alteryx Designer.

Python version 3.8.5 is required for Alteryx Designer plugins.

Set Up the Development Environment

Follow these steps to configure your development environment.

Create the Virtual Environment

To get started…

  1. Install Miniconda3 for your system.

  2. Once the install is done, open an Anaconda Prompt and create a new virtual environment: conda create -n ayx_python_sdk python=3.8.5.

  3. Next, activate it: conda activate ayx_python_sdk.

If you are not familiar with Anaconda/Miniconda, visit Anaconda Documentation.

Install the Package

After you create and activate your virtual environment, pip install the Alteryx Core SDK pip package. For more information on pip, visit the pip website.

Use this command to install the SDK:

pip install ayx-python-sdk

If you do not already have the Alteryx Plugin CLI, use this command to install the CLI:

pip install ayx-plugin-cli

Create the Ayx Plugin Workspace

Now that the Alteryx Python SDK is installed in your virtual environment packages, we’ll create a new Plugin Tool Workspace with default files ready to go.

Use this command to create the workspace: ayx_plugin_cli sdk-workspace-init

This initializes a workspace to manage all of your custom tools and plugins.

To create a new tool, use the create-ayx-plugin command.

The create-ayx-plugin command takes these parameters:

  • --tool-name: (Required) The name of the new Plugin tool

  • --tool-type: The type of tool to create.

For this example we’ll name our new tool MyFirstTool. We’ll use the tool-type single-input-single-output parameter to create the new tool with default input and output anchors.

Use this command:

ayx_plugin_cli create-ayx-plugin

Workspace Configuration

When a workspace is created, a ayx_workspace.json file is generated inside of your workspace directory. This file tracks metadata related to your workspace. By default, you do not need to worry about this file because it is managed and updated by the CLI commands.

Create Your Production Installer

After you have implemented and tested your new Ayx Plugin Tool, you might want to distribute it to others. In order to do this, you must create a YXI installer. The Core SDK CLI provides a command for packaging your workspace and tools into an installer.

Run the create-yxi command to generate a YXI installer that is ready for distribution.

By default, the name of the YXI produced is based on the Ayx Plugin Workspace directory name, but you can override the default with the --yxi-name flag. Alternatively, you can modify the yxi_name field in the ayx_workspace.json file. (See the Workspace Configurations section for details).

Build the Ayx Plugin Tool

The sdk-workspace-init command sets up the folder structure with a backends folder, ui folder, and configuration folder. These folders have all the files necessary for Alteryx Designer to integrate with your plugin.

Next we’re going to build your new Ayx Plugin Tool into Designer, where you can drag it onto the canvas and connect it to other Designer tools. To build MyFirstTool into the Designer application, use the designer-install command.

Use this command to build MyFirstTool into Designer:

ayx_plugin_cli designer-install


You just created your first Alteryx Plugin Tool! You can now open Alteryx Designer and find your new tool in the Tool Palette.

Ayx Plugin Tool Execution in Designer

When Designer runs a tool, it must look for an engine to use. In the case of our MyFirstTool Python tool, the engine is itself the Python interpreter. The interpreter is built out of Anaconda and includes all of the packages indicated in requirements.txt.

The ToolFamily defined in the Config.xml file within the Ayx Plugin Workspace defines the name of the virtual environment created for all of your Ayx Plugin tools. By default, a ToolFamily is set up for your Ayx Plugin Workspace for all of your tools to use.

The YXI installation package includes all of the interpreter information so that the Python interpreter can be recreated on any machine when the tools are installed.

The EngineDLLEntryPoint within the Config.xml file points to the file that contains a class definition that inherits from Plugin. This file can be changed at any time to any Python file as long as it contains a Plugin class that registers with the Alteryx Core SDK.

The Configuration Panel GUI

The Alteryx Core SDK examples provide basic Configuration Panel GUIs, however, the Core SDK only executes the engine (the Python side of the code). Therefore this Getting Started Guide does not cover Alteryx UI development. For more information on Configuration Panel GUI development, see Alteryx UI SDK.


  • Ayx Plugin Workspace: YXI development workspace with sub-directories for individual Ayx Plugin Tools and plugin tool files. The Ayx Plugin Workspace is also used to create the YXI installer.

  • Ayx Plugin Tool: An Alteryx Designer custom tool built on the Alteryx Core SDK.

  • YXI: Packaging file and directory system for Ayx Plugin Tools.

  • Tool Configuration: XML configuration file used by both the Alteryx Core SDK and Alteryx Designer to read metadata regarding the structure of the Ayx Plugin Tool.

  • Tool Family: Shared resources for all Ayx Plugin Tools within an Ayx Plugin Workspace. Tool Families define the name of the virtual environment, indicate to Designer what virtual environment interpreter to run for the Ayx Plugin Tool, and contain the pip-installed pip packages defined in the requirements.txt file.