What are Alteryx YXDB Files

  • How-Tos FAQs
  • July 15, 2021

Let’s take a look at what Alteryx YXDB files are and how they are unique to the Alteryx tool.

Alteryx has been unofficially crowned a speed demon in all that it can do. With other tools, it can run the most complex workflows and pipelines in seconds compared to hours or days. This comes from the type of files Alteryx uses. It is a particular data type called the Alteryx Database File Format or YXDB. Files of this format will end with the “.yxdb” extension. I will use these names interchangeably, but mostly yxdb from here on out.

Pros of YXDB Files

The yxdb file is specially designed to be highly efficient. Speed is a part of efficiency, and yxdb files are compressed to allow for high speeds. They can also hold a lot of information as there is no limit to the number of records or file size. Finally, a yxdb can hold metadata fields, data fields, values, and spatial objects. 

Cons of YXDB Files

YXDB files are specific to Alteryx and thus are the only tool that can use it. It only provides benefits to workflows while in the tool itself. A side effect of this is that no other tool can use it yet. I say this because I do not know anything otherwise.


Since the yxdb file can only be used in Alteryx, we have to get creative if we want to read it with another tool. The most obvious thing is to use an output tool to obtain the desired file and read it into the program of choice. Another option is to output the data directly into a database since most programming languages support connecting to a database instead of a yxdb file.

Yxdb files are only helpful in Alteryx, making it fast and an excellent ETL tool. If necessary, use one of the workarounds mentioned above to get a workable file, and you can have speed, portability, and compatibility.

If you are working with Snowflake and need an easy way to transform your data, give Datameers free trial a try. It works on top of Snowflake, so you can keep all of your data in one place without creating unnecessary uploads/downloads of your project files.


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