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The Directory Tool

Have you ever wondered why you would use the Directory Tool? This tool provides a listing of all the files in a specific directory (or some would say file folder) with their detailed information, such as last updated date, file size, creation date, etc. There are many uses for this tool with a just a few examples listed below;

In order to see how this tool works, drag it to your canvas and paste the URL of a folder you want to scan. I used the SampleData folder in the Alteryx program files below;

If you don't specify a File type in the File Specification pane, Alteryx will return a listing of all file types in your results pane.

If you specify a File type using a wildcard such as *.xlsx , it will return all xlsx file types. It may return some .bak files as well.

Notice that there is a check box to Include Subdirectories in the Configuration Pane. If you check this box, Alteryx will search all of those sub-folders for xlsx files.

I duplicated a file and placed it in a Test folder in this folder, as you see in the image below, Alteryx picked up that file. This button is useful if you are trying to clean up your files and identify duplicate unnecessary files.

You can add a filter after the Directory Tool and filter on the file size column. This is helpful if you are trying to conserve space on a shared drive.

You can also use a wildcard combined with a word to return files with a certain name such as below;

Additionally you can return data with the help of a macro and/or a Dynamic Input Tool after the Directory Tool. An example can be found here in the Community Alteryx discussions site.

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