Connecting to On Premise SharePoint Lists

Version 3

    Connecting to On Premise SharePoint Lists
    by Toby Erkson, as of version 10.2.0

     

    There are a few ways to set up this connector and this is what works for my environment.  It took a lot of experimentation, especially with the distraction of the ODBC setup which turned out to be unnecessary for us, so this may not work for everyone.  If you find a different way for your location please explain it in the comments section below

    Driver setup

    You will need to install the driver package on your computer.

    Get the drivers from the Tableau site, Driver Download.

    The one you want is SharePoint Lists.

    Use the default settings but do not include any demo options (they aren’t necessary but will not hurt anything if they are accidentally installed) and there is no need to set up the ODBC driver.  Once the driver package has been installed you are ready to go!

    Note that Tableau only supports extract connections for SharePoint lists.  Additional help is in the Tableau Desktop documentation.

    Setting up the connection

    SharePoint Site:

    This is the URL of a site, not the URL of the list itself.  To help explain I’ll use our DBA (DataBase Administrators#_edn1) SharePoint site:

    This is the URL for our Data Management Services (DMS) Task List:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA/Lists/Data%20Management%20Service%20Task%20List/DMS%20Tasks.aspx

    That URL points directly to the list and that won’t work for the connector so we need to go up to the site level:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA

    The connector will automatically seek the Lists location.

    Sub-sites

    If you have lists in sub-sites and want to connect to them then you would point to the sub-site URL. For example, in our DMS site there is my Tableau sub-site:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA/Tableau/default.aspx

    To access the lists I have there I would use the following URL:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA/Tableau

    This would allow me to see only the lists for that sub-site.

     

    Now, the Tableau sub-site has its own sub-sites, including the Tableau User Group sub-site:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA/Tableau/iTUG/SitePages/Tableau%20User%20Group.aspx

    If I want to get a list from that sub-site then I will use this:

    https://yourSharePoint.server/sites/04861/DBA/Tableau/iTUG

    Edition:

    On Premise

    Authentication:

    There are two options you can use, in order of preference:

    1. Integrated Authentication
    2. Username and Password
    • Use your Windows logon and password
    • Not a good option since passwords expire, thus requiring a workbook or data source update periodically
    • Acceptable if using a machine/service account.
    • Any list you connect to will be the existing default SharePoint view only.  You will not be able to get all of the underlying row data if the default SharePoint view is filtered.  Thus if your default SharePoint view of a list is filtered then only that filtered data is what you’ll receive in the extract.  If your goal is to access everything in a list then you will need to display all rows in the SharePoint view.  The good news is that you do not have to show every column in the SharePoint view as Tableau will retrieve all of them.
    • You cannot preview a SharePoint table (see the data) like you can when connecting to other data sources.
    • There is no Live connection, it is always an extract.
    • Some of the tables cannot be used (e.g. Views) and you will get an error if you try. There is no work-around so just don’t use them.
    • Images in the list cannot be displayed.

    Niggles

    • Any list you connect to will be the existing default SharePoint view only.  You will not be able to get all of the underlying row data if the default SharePoint view is filtered.  Thus if your default SharePoint view of a list is filtered then only that filtered data is what you’ll receive in the extract.  If your goal is to access everything in a list then you will need to display all rows in the SharePoint view.  The good news is that you do not have to show every column in the SharePoint view as Tableau will retrieve all of them.
    • You cannot preview a SharePoint table (see the data) like you can when connecting to other data sources.
    • There is no Live connection, it is always an extract.
    • Some of the tables cannot be used (e.g. Views) and you will get an error if you try. There is no work-around so just don’t use them.
    • Images in the list cannot be displayed.

     

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