Using Tableau Server to facilitate fact-based team collaboration
Tableau server promotes information sharing and team collaboration by generating interactive dashboards and views accessible to authorized individuals via any of the popular web-browsing software tools available today. Reports can be precisely consumed via IOS (Apple) or Android tablets. Beginning with TABLEAU SERVER VERSION 8, authorized staff can also edit existing reports or create a completely new analysis using tableau server.
Authorized tableau server users can also share metadata including joins, groupings, sets, name aliases, and other customized data by publishing tableau data source files to the server. You will learn how to take advantage of these features and more in this post.
Publishing Tableau Dashboard
You can share your dashboards by publishing them to Tableau Server. In order to help users, you can organize dashboards into projects, tag them, and even choose which worksheets to display and hide.
After the tableau server is installed, those creating reports and analysis were granted with publishing rights. A staff that will be consuming reports are acknowledged with access rights. Once you’ve created a workbook incorporating at least one worksheet, you can publish that information to the tableau server. Workbooks containing many different worksheets and dashboards can be presented in full, or by selecting any combination of worksheets and dashboards. The tableau desktop menus used for publishing to the tableau server are shown in figure 10.1.
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Figure 10.1 Publishing from tableau desktop to the server
- Publishing a workbook requires three steps:
- Open the workbook which you wish to publish.
- Select the server menu and click on publish the workbook.
- Enter the server URL, your user name, your password, then click OK.
The publish workbook to tableau server dialog box will appear as shown in figure 10.2.
Using this menu, you define when, how, and what details will be published to the server. If your workbook’s data source is a tableau data extract (tde) file, you can also schedule regular data updates using the scheduling and authentication button at the bottom of figure 10.2.
Tableau formulates and secures published workbooks using a variety of methods:
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- Project-folders for grouping workbooks
- Name-naming workbooks
- Tags-allowing for user-defined tagging of workbooks
- Permissions-controlling what users are permitted to do
- View-hiding or sharing specific views
Figure 10.2 Publishing dialog
By Creatively combining these entities, it facilitates to have secure access to the appropriate level for individual, teams, workgroups, and projects. The specific purpose of each is explained in more detail below.
Projects are nothing but folders for organizing your reports and regulating access to these reports. The server comes with one default project folder. Persons with administrative rights can create additional projects. As an administrator, you can create projects to collect and organize related content. The Content in Tableau Online refers to workbooks, views, and data sources, and the projects that contain them.
You access projects from the Content page in Tableau Online.
As an administrator, you can do the following five projects:
- Create projects
- Rename projects
- Change project owners
- Set permissions for projects and default permissions for their content
- Lock content permissions
Figure 10.2 shows an additional project called demo dashboards, which was added to hold the reports which are being published.
You can accept the name assigned to the workbook when it was created in tableau desktop or you can choose to define a new name that will appear in tableau server when the workbook is published. You can define new workbook names using the name field seen in figure 10.2
Tagging published workbooks are optional, but it provides another way to search for reports. They can be advantageous if you publish a large number of reports. Enter each tag separated by a comma or space. If the tag you are entering contains a space, surround the tag by using quotation marks (e.g., “production benchmarks”).
These are authorized to optionally add, edit, or remove permissions for all users, groups, or individual users through the view permissions tool. When editing permissions, another dialogue box opens, which looks like the one shown in figure 10.3. This box allows you to edit permission types for different roles (viewer, interactor, editor, or custom).
Figure 10.3 Adding and editing users and permissions
Views to share
The view to share option allows you to select specific sheets you wish to share. Any sheets that are not selected are hidden on the tableau server, but these are still available within the workbook if it is downloaded.
Appearing at the bottom of the publishing dialog box is more optional selections, that restrict the appearance of what is being published.
Checking the shows sheets as the tabs option will generate tabs when the report is published to the tableau server hence facilitating navigation between worksheets and dashboards in the published workbook. The show selections option allows selections you’ve made on a worksheet or dashboard to persist when the workbook is published to the server and will be displayed to users who are consuming the workbook.
If the data source that you are using for the report being published comes from an external database or file, you will also see a checkbox for the inclusion of external files; checking that option generates a copy of the source file on tableau server. Custom image files used in any view will also be saved. If you have a live database or an extract file is being utilized by the workbook, you should also see a button in the lower-left for scheduling and authentication.
Selecting that button allows you to set the refresh schedule for data extract sources or to change how a live database connection is authenticated on the tableau server. Details regarding scheduling updates and authentication are covered in depth later in this post under the sections “sharing connections, data models, and data extracts” and “using subscriptions to deliver reports via E-mail.”
Select the publish button seen at the bottom of figure 10.2 to initiate the uploading to tableau server. Upon completion, a pop-up will emerge displaying the newly-published workbook.
If your tableau server instance is configured for multiple sites, you will also see a select site dialog box to define on which server site you wish to publish the workbook. The tableau’s default is just a single site. Multiple sites are partitioned on the same physical server.
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