5 Replies Latest reply on May 23, 2018 10:47 PM by mortenbodaugaard.jrgensen

    Tableau Prep - Live Data

    Stephen Groff

      Hi Folks,


      I have a fairly simple question that doesn't seem so obvious to me when going from Tableau Prep into Tableau Desktop.  But that's only because I'm still new to Tableau.


      Are the outputs you create in Prep based on live data?  I do not want to use extracts.  The confusion here is by which the process is a little different... that what I've been doing....


      1.  Choose data source (which in my case is usually an Excel reference file and via a Oracle database connection).

           - The confusion is selecting my file (output) that Tableau Prep saved for me when I ran the flow.

                -  Do I just open the .tds file?  Is this a direct link to my data that will auto-refresh just as it would if I directly connected to my Oracle Database?


           1a.  If the .tds file is the one I choose and is a live data connection, does that mean each 'Output' I create via Tableau Prep will have to be individually added in Tableau Desktop?


           1b.  If the .tds file is not the one I choose, then could someone define the process as far as creating the Output/Running the Flow and inserting what you've created in Tableau Prep into Tableau Desktop?


      Thanks a million.

        • 1. Re: Tableau Prep - Live Data

          Tableau Prep outputs data into three formats.


          .tde (Tableau extract for versions below 10.5)

          .hyper (Tableau extract for versions above/equal to 10.5)

          .csv (comma separated value, a flat file format).



          You cannot have a "live-query" to your datasource running through Prep.


          1: The tde is a "dead" extract. Meaning it has no knowledge of the Prep flow that created it. It just contains an extract of the data outputted from prep.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Tableau Prep - Live Data
            Stephen Groff

            Publishing to (in my case) my company's Tableau Server allows me to connect directly to the data source in real-time... LIVE data.  Yes you can save as you've describe above, but you can publish to a server and with the right authentication, you can publish as live data.

            • 3. Re: Tableau Prep - Live Data

              The scenario you describe is not possible with prep since


              A: You cannot publish a Prep flow, only the extract it creates

              B: Prep cannot create live connections - the tds file points to the .tde or hyper extract that is also created

              • 4. Re: Tableau Prep - Live Data
                Stephen Groff

                Thanks for the reply..... So some things have changed over the last few weeks.....


                1.  I received access to publish on our company's Tableau Server... so creating a flow and publishing it to the server is now possible.


                The lead up to the problem....


                I connect to our live Oracle database through Flow.  Then add-in joins, create unions, clean-up data, etc.... then I create the Output and publish to our company's Tableau Server.


                The Problem:


                The data I publish isn't live (as you said, it apparently doesn't publish as a .tds file).... I assumed that because my Oracle data comes right out of the live database; when my data refreshed it would be with real-time data... However, it isn't real-time. (i.e. the Flow I published on 5.18 still only has data from that date, nothing new).


                I just cannot fathom why Tableau would put out a preparation software that doesn't account for LIVE updating.  I'm still green in the Tableau world... but even as a new user... why would any data analyst use Prep if it cannot (in it's fullest form) allow LIVE connections?  My time wasn't wasted... my static data did need to be cleaned up... but I feel like I wasted a lot of time using Tableau Prep to manipulate my data the exact way I needed it, only to be told...  I guess I just don't understand the specific details of why this would be so difficult to do from a software development perspective.


                Thanks MJ

                • 5. Re: Tableau Prep - Live Data

                  What you need is Custom SQL in Tableau Desktop for your use case.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful