Publish to Tableau Server from Alteryx using Run Command

March 30th, 2016 No comments

One of the things I often read about on the Alteryx forums is people asking how to publish to Tableau Server from Alteryx. Previously I wrote a post about publishing to Tableau Server from Alteryx using the Events functionality. A downside of this is the timing of the publish to Tableau – it either happens before or after the workflow has run. To publish to Tableau server from within an Alteryx module the Run Command tool can be used, meaning publishing from Alteryx to Tableau Server can happen from anywhere within the worklow. Read more…

Install Alteryx non admin version

February 10th, 2016 No comments

Installing the Alteryx non admin version was a slight challenge as I couldn’t find the right link simply from the Alteryx home page.

Therefore here is a link taking you to the page containing the latest admin and non admin versions of Alteryx: http://downloads.alteryx.com/downloads.html

Categories: Alteryx Tags:

Using Tableau SIZE to display nothing

January 4th, 2016 2 comments

This post is about the Tableau Size function being used to control whether data is displayed based on user filter selections.

This was inspired by a post on the Tableau Forum asking how to display nothing on a dashboard until the lowest level of detail is selected from a number of cascading quick filters.

In this case the questioner wanted a blank dashboard to be shown until a single City was selected, with the user using the filters to navigate from Region > State > City.

This is possible using the SIZE() function. Using ‘Compute Using’ enables the SIZE function returns how many of a given dimension are selected. Read more…

Categories: Tableau Tags:

Publish Tableau Data Extract directly from Alteryx

December 29th, 2015 No comments

For those Alteryx and Tableau Server users the ability to publish Tableau Data Extract (tde) files directly from Alteryx to the Tableau Server is a huge benefit for report automation. There are a number of good posts already published advising how this should be done, such as this excellent guide from Interworks. In this post I’ll replicate some of what is said in the post, should that link break at some point, and also add to it where I ran into difficulties.

To publish to Tableau Server from Alteryx requires using Tableau’s tabcmd. I expect it’s also possible using the REST API from Tableau but I was unable to work it out, so this post will focus on the tabcmd solution, which, in my opinion, is far simpler. If you’re not a Tableau Server administrator in your role you may need to install tabcmd.

Do the following to set up a workflow to publish directly to Tableau Server from Alteryx, using the workflow configuration Events:

Step 1

Open the Alteryx workflow that creates the tde file.

AlteryxOutputToTde

Step 2

In the Events section of the Workflow – Configuration add a Run Command. Also ensure ‘Enable Events’ is checked.

AlteryxWorkflowEvents

Step 3

Choose “After Run Without Errors”

AlteryxEventRunCommand

Step 4

Enter the location of the tabcmd.exe in the Command box

AlteryxEventTabcmd

Step 5

Enter the command line to execute in the Command Arguments section. I would recommend entering this into Notepad first and copying into the Command Arguments section.

For some unknown reason when I typed directly into Alteryx or into MS Word, copying to Alteryx, when the command was passed into tabcmd by Alteryx, the quotation marks in the command string weren’t being recognised causing it to fail. Entering the command into Notepad and copying it into Alteryx helped me get around that problem.

AlteryxEventCommands

Example tabcmd command line:

publish “\\NetworkLocation\TableauDataToPublish.tde” -s TableauServer -u UserName -p Password -t TableauSite -o -r “Data Sources”

Important things to note about the string:

  • publish = the tabcmd being called
  • -s = tells tabcmd which Tableau Server to use. This doesn’t need to be the “https://TableauSite” URL, it is better as the server name as entered to the Tableau Postgres database
  • -u = the username used to login to the Tableau Server (also needs to be set up on the Tableau Server)
  • -p = the password used to login to the Tableau Server
  • -t = the name of the Tableau Site on the Tableau Server to use
  • -r = the project name to publish to. If this is not included the Default project is used.
  • -o = Overwrite the existing tde file with the same name

There are a number of things that can be specified in the tabcmd command string. The Tableau help documentation has a comprehensive list of those items.

Step 6

Ensure the Timeout (in seconds) is set appropriately to give enough time for the tde file to be published to the Tableau Server

 

Now it’s complete, run the workflow and you should no longer need to manually publish tde files.

Important notes:

  • If using the Alteryx server the Alteryx service account will need setting up on Tableau Server with a Publisher role.
  • If tabcmd fails use the tabcmd.log file to see the error message(s). Alteryx will only tell you it failed, the tabcmd.log will tell you why it has failed. This is copied from the tabcmd overview on the Tableau website advising where to find the tabcmd.log:Status messages and logsWhen a command is successful, tabcmd returns a status code of zero. A full error message for non-zero status codes is printed to stderr. In addition, informative or progress messages may be printed to stdout.A full log named tabcmd.log that includes debugging, progress, and error messages is written to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Tableau.

 

Tableau Install Tabcmd

December 10th, 2015 No comments

If you need to install tabcmd without involving the Tableau server administrator, provided you have admin rights on your machine, there’s a simple way to do this.

To begin install the trial version of Tableau Sever to your machine. It’s very simple, the same as installing any bit of software where a basic knowledge of IT is all that’s required.

Assuming you’re just using Tableau’s default options during the install, go to the Tableau Server directory during installation and watch for the tabcmd installer file (TabcmdInstaller-x64 for 64 bit install) to appear. Read more…

Send an email from Tableau

November 5th, 2015 No comments

Using URL actions it’s relatively simple to send an email (assuming you’re using a client such as Outlook) directly from a Tableau workbook or the Tableau server. Set up the Tableau URL Action to be run on Menu, so it can be made clear to any user they’re making a conscious decision to send the email.

In the URL field enter:

mailto:[Email Address]?subject=Your Email Subject&body=Your message text

Mailto Tableau URL action

Wikipedia has more detail on the syntax of mailto

 

Alteryx output to Tableau Data Extract tde file

October 6th, 2015 No comments

To output data from Alteryx to Tableau is incredibly simple, Alteryx has the output File Format of a TDE file.

Alteryx Output Data Tool

Just select your data, drag in an Output tool and set the file type to be Tableau Data Extract (tde). Alternatively enter a .tde file name into the ‘Write to File or Database’ input box and it’ll default to a Tableau Data Extract File Format.

If you don’t have a tde file already created, Alteryx will create it for you – although this isn’t 100% clear. Type the name and location you want for your Tableau Data Extract in the ‘Write to File or Database’ location and Alteryx will create and put your tde file in that location.

Alteryx Tde Output Configuration

In the Output Options you can now append to an existing Tableau Data Extract file, meaning you don’t need to recreate the entire tde every time, particularly useful if you have incremental data. If not then go for the Overwrite Existing Extract File (Create if does not Exist) option.

Tableau Web Edit permissions and Self Service set up guide

September 29th, 2015 1 comment

In many organisations you are likely to find increasing demand for users to directly access the data themselves, enabling them to build their own custom tabular reports or carry out ad-hoc investigations without being dependent on a different team, such as IT or BI, to assist.

The Tableau web edit functionality allows tableau developers to open up the data directly to the users in a relatively simple way and it gives similar, although not as flexible, data access to using an Excel pivot table.

When using web edit in Tableau Server there are a few things to consider in terms of data usability for the less data savvy users plus whether the users should have the ability to save their creations. In addition Tableau web edit permissions need to be set up correctly to allow users to edit and save in the appropriate places. Read more…

Categories: Tableau, Tableau Server Tags:

Tableau Server 9 Admin Views

August 18th, 2015 No comments

The Tableau Server 9 admin views are a massive improvement on those of Tableau 8 and Tableau have also made the Tableau Server admin view workbook publically available: http://community.tableau.com/thread/162348, which, in case it disappears for some reason, I have also attached it to the bottom of this post.

 

Previously I wrote a post about creating your own Tableau Server admin views which were based on my need to monitor report usage. Even with the release of the enhanced Tableau admin views I still prefer to keep my own view for usage statistics.

Read more…

Tableau Connect to Sharepoint Lists

August 11th, 2015 10 comments

Within Tableau it’s possible to connect to a Sharepoint list using the OData data connector. To connect to a Sharepoint list takes some understanding of the Sharepoint URL structure, which I’ll attempt to explain below.

Each Sharepoint site has it’s own administration, lists, pages, etc. For reporting from Sharepoint in Tableau I have always used a List, which is basically a Sharepoint version of a database table. Read more…