I explored the post, http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/155429, by Paul Banoub, who took the lead from Dave Hart.  Please read his post as it is the background necessary for my blog posts.  I am just touching the surface of this area and am NOT an expert.  I'm lightly exploring just for fun and encourage anyone interested in this to jump in, dive deeper, and share your knowledge to the rest of the Forums.  The list of URI Schemes out there is listed here:  Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) Schemes.  There is no guarantee that Tableau will or can fully support all of them and many may be useless in a BI (Business Intelligence) environment...but it won't hurt anything to experiment

 

It's very easy to allow your Tableau Server the ability to exploit URI schemes, simply tell it to in the command prompt window

From the Windows Start menu click this:

enter the URI Scheme to allow, in this example we need the following:

tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist sip
tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist im
tabadmin configure
tabadmin restart

and you're good to go when the viz is published to the Tableau Server!

Note:  It appears that URI Schemes automatically work in Tableau Desktop so there's no need to set anything up

 

Let's Start With An Instant Message!

To use an URI scheme simply set up an Action... in your workbook or dashboard.  Following Paul's example here's one way to do it:

Hard-code a value:

Or use a variable like Paul did:

The hexadecimal values are necessary as they represent the two tag identifier symbols, < and >.  This will keep the URI tag symbols for im: separate from the Tableau tag symbols which are wrapped in the < > symbols, as shown in Paul's example, from the ATTRIBUTE tag <ATTR()>.  If you were to write the URL action as

im:<sip:toby.erkson@company.com>

it would fail to work when executing the action in normal report mode even though it will work when clicking the Test Link button!

 

Notice Paul's use of the Item Delimiter.  This allows multiple items to be used -- the <ATTR(SipAddress)> -- so if the user performs an optional CTRL + click on various marks in the chart a group chat will appear.

 

Note:  If hard-coding a value then the Test Link button will work.  If you use a variable expression like what Paul did then you will have to test by actually "running" the report i.e. click OK, OK, and then test from the actual worksheet or dashboard.

 

This functionality automatically works with Tableau Reader, cool eh?