10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2011 6:36 PM by Dimitri.B

    Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop

      Hi everybody,

       

      I've done a search and found a lot of topics regards data refresh and Tableau server.

       

      However, I am using a MySQL DB and Tableau Desktop and was wondering whether it is possible to somehow automatically refresh the data extract each x minutes?

       

      If not - is there a shortcut to the Data => Refresh Extract command?

       

      Thanks,

      Peter

        • 1. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
          Richard Leeke

          The best any of us has come up with is some sort of keyboard automation tool.  You need to send the string:

           

          <alt>da<enter>r

           

          to Tableau to drive the menu options with keystrokes.

           

          Have a look at this thread for a discussion of the pitfalls with this approach - though extract refresh works better than a lot of things because you  don't have to try to detect completion of pending operations mid way through.  However, if Tableau is busy (say refreshing a view) when your regular process tries to initiate a refresh the keystrokes will (probably) just be dropped, I think.

           

          As well as the tool I mentioned in that thread I recall someone talking about using the VBA "sendkeys" method.

          • 2. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop

            Again thanks for your reply Richard, that really is a good workaround.

             

            But also again my wish to Tableau: enable users to decide whether they want to automatically refresh their data extract! For me this goes inline with the DB password issue.

             

            Why does Tableau sell a Desktop version with connectivity to databases if I then several times a day have to a)enter the DB password when opening Tableau and b)way more often manually refresh the data extract to get an updated view on my more or less real time data?

             

            Peter

            • 3. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
              guest contributor

              Hello,

               

              I work with Tableau Public (Tableau Desktop). I used an excel data base. Recently I added new data (rows) to that excel. I went to Tableau Public to refresh the viz (Data - Refresh) and date time information were transformed into Null! I didn't find any solutions to update my viz. Why Tableau did not recognize anymore the date time data?

              How can I fix this? I need to refresh the viz on a daily basis!

               

              Thank you!

              • 4. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                Dimitri.B

                Marina,

                since it is on Tableau Public - can you share both the link to the viz and the data file, so others can take a look and help find the problem?

                Often a value in Excel looks like a normal date to you (human) but Excel (software) might treat it as just plain meaningless text. Maybe your added data has some of those "dates"?

                • 5. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                  guest contributor

                  Hi,

                  if any chages in the database occurs ,how that change reflect to tableau desktop worksheet automatically without using 'refresh' option..?

                  Also how the visualizations in tableau reader and public changes automatically according database changes without reopen/republish it?

                  My data is in excel format....Can anyone help me in this doubt?

                  • 6. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                    Dimitri.B

                    There are essentially two ways Tableau works with data sources - live connection and extract.

                     

                    With extract, Tableau grabs the data it needs, transforms it to make it fast and stores it locally. The extract maintains the connection to the original data, but it doesn't know when new data is added. In Desktop, the user has to manually refresh the extract (two clicks). If the workbook is published to a server, it takes the extract along and refresh can be scheduled to run automatically.

                     

                    Live connection, I believe, is refreshed every time user opens the workbook or interacts with it (filters, actions, etc.), either in Desktop or on a server. Desktop would also query the live data every time a change is made to a sheet. It is also possible to refresh data manually via menu in Desktop.

                     

                    Depending on the nature and configuration of the live data source, it can be painfully slow or lightning fast. In my case I only use extracts, but with small Excel files there may be no benefit. However, if you are planning to publish your workbook to a server, you can either use extract and configure a refresh schedule (max. frequency is every 15 minutes), or use live connection, but in both cases your Excel file must be accessible to whatever user Tableau Server is configured with.

                    • 7. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                      guest contributor

                      thanks..

                      In desktop,i made visualizations with live connection.But its not changing when the data (excel)changes without refreshing manually .Also i saved tis as a packaged workbook and opened with reader.Let me know that,the changes in the  database reflect in reader visualizations automatically..if not wat we can do to see this changes in reader.I am accessng reader from a remote machine through network.pls reply

                      • 8. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                        Dimitri.B

                        If you have a packaged workbook, then all the data is packaged inside the workbook and Reader will not automatically try to get any fresh data. I don't even know if Reader can refresh the data manually (I don't have one installed). Does it have Data -> Refresh or similar in its menu?

                        Maybe if you don't package the workbook, then Reader will be forced to connect to data every time the workbook is opened, or at least prompt the user to connect, thus getting the fresh data.

                        • 9. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                          guest contributor

                          But if we are not packaging the workbook,tableau reader wont open that.I am trying display the live data through reader visualizations whenvr it changes in the databas.Any other solution is ther for this?Also let me know if we are uploading dashboard in server,wil it reflect automatically if any changes in the database?pls reply

                          • 10. Re: Automatically refresh data extract with Tableau Desktop
                            Dimitri.B

                            Had to look it up - Reader only opens packaged workbooks, so no luck there.

                             

                            If published to Server, you can either schedule periodic updates of data (max. every 15 minutes), or publish unpackaged workbook and the Server will try to connect to data every time the view is accessed. If your data is in Excel, and its location is accessible from the Server, then it should load whatever data is in the file. For databases, it will either prompt user to log in, or you can embed the password and Server will just connect without bothering the user.