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    Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader

    thierryjakircevic

      Hi,

       

      I have a workbook containing several views each with the same User Filter (Country).

      It works well. However when I download it from Tableau Server and open it with Reader, the content of each view is blank.

      I suppose that's because Reader does not prompt me for my server login hence is unable to determine the data I am allowed to see.

      I would need the data associated to that user to be included in the extract at the time of downloading from Tableau Server.

      Is it possible?

       

      If not, I would need to create separate workbooks for each of my users without the user filter. A major pain obviosuly!

       

      Hope you can share some light on this with me. Thank you!

       

      Thierry

        • 1. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
          Joe Mako

          It is my understanding that User Functions/Filters only work when connected to Tableau Server, and Tableau Reader cannot connect to Tableau Server, so the way to distribute your workbook is to have people log into Tableau Server and view them embedded into a webpage.

          • 2. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
            Russell Christopher

            +1 on Joe's answer. The best way to think about this is "if I'm securing" (anything, really), it's gotta be on server.

            • 3. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
              thierryjakircevic

              Understand both of your points. But can't Tableau Server include in the downloaded packaged workbook only the data associated to that specific user? I don't see any security threat here.

               

              I am planning to expand the use of Tableau across the whole Asia Pacific region within our organization, including countries where the Internet connection is relatively poor (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos etc...).

              There is no way, each user would/could use Tableau Server to interact with data due to performance issue (response time).

               

              The only way to offer an acceptable user experience is to let them download the workbooks and interact with data using Tableau Reader.

               

              Now, all these markets (more than 15) are accessing the same workbooks (20 of them). Without the use of "User Filter" I would need to create 15 different sets of 20 workbooks (one for each country). That's just not possible. Hence making the implementation of Tableau in our organization pretty much impossible...

              • 4. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                Russell Christopher
                Hi Thierry - When a user downloads a packaged workbook, it isn't really "personalized" for them based on identity. In other words, even if user “Russell” doesn’t have permissions to see data from the USA, that data is in the workbook when he downloads it. When “Russell” opens the workbook, we check his identity via Tableau Server and then we filter OUT the data he’s not supposed to see. We always need Server to figure out that “Russell is Russell”, and then Tableau Desktop does the filtering. What you’re looking for is the ability to automatically/dynamically re-build a packaged workbook in response to an interactive download request, and have that packaged workbook include a new extract which has been pre-filtered based on user identity, right? This is a neat idea, but not something we do now. That being said, you have two choices if you want to rely on user identity to do filtering:
                • Users view the workbooks via Server
                • Users view the workbook via Desktop, which does security.
                I know neither of these scenarios are ideal in terms of your bandwidth issues and the cost of Desktop, but you need “identity”, and you’re not going to get it with Reader. I’ll ping around to see if any of my cohorts can think of any interesting workarounds and post them if worthwhile.
                • 5. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                  thierryjakircevic

                  Thank you Russel.

                   

                  Your understanding is right: I am looking for the ability to automatically re-build a packaged workbook in response to an interactive download request.

                   

                  Tableau Reader is a fantastic tool and, to me, a significant differentiating factor of Tableau against the competition.

                   

                  From a cost perspective, it enables us to very quickly give new users a "taste" of the business value of BI with minimum upfront investment.

                  We can start with 1 key person in each sales company having a server license and spreading packaged workbooks internally consumed by Reader.

                  The number of server users will then increase naturally as the business value of these workbooks is more and more acknowldedged by business users and they request more frequent access to the information.

                   

                  From a "bandwidth" perspective it indeed allows us to bypass the limitation of slow internet connection (especially in our part of the world).

                   

                  I understand that promoting Reader (a free software) cannot be at the core of Tableau's business model but from my perspective it can really help pushing your solution, especially in the early stages of deployment.

                   

                  Anyway, would be great if a workaround can be found or if a future version of Tableau integrates such feature.

                   

                  Thierry

                  • 6. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                    thierryjakircevic

                    Hi Russel,

                     

                    Did you hear of any workaround on this? Any chance that Tableau Server 7 helps in this area may be?

                     

                    Thierry

                    • 7. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                      James Baker

                      Another common alternative is to implement the user security at the level of your database.  But again, that isn't supported (remote connections) with Reader.  7.0 contains no fundamental changes for your exact situation.

                      • 8. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                        guest contributor

                        Does Tableau server have any feature that can modify or filter a report based on user login. For example, if I publish a bonus report for 5 employees, can I set up Tableau to show each of those 5 employees their own bonus report, based on their individual login?

                        • 9. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                          Russell Christopher

                          You could probably get there, but it's not as straight forward as you'd probably like. I'd recommend you simply publish 5 workbooks and secure them on a per-user basis.

                           

                          If you wanted to "go for it" anyway, you can lean on the fact that a chart will only be displayed in a dashboard if there is actually data to show. So, if you created a filter based on user identity, you could essentially return "no data" to particular charts (making them disappear) based on who the user is.

                           

                          This is purely personal opinion, but I've found that attempting to create a "monolithic" workbook that does all things for all people in all situations is exponentially more difficult than breaking things out into smaller, more manageable components (workbooks). The "monolithic" approach is more interesting from a technical perspective, but I'm not sure it adds real value to the business. I'm babbling now :)

                          • 10. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                            thierryjakircevic

                            I have been following the same method you suggest in your post.

                             

                            I only have 3 workbooks but since I have 10 different users from 10 different countries (each allowed to only see their own data), I will end up with 30 workbooks to manage.

                            You can imagine the nightmare when I want to add a new feature or modify the SQL source code behind them (I need to apply the same change for the 30 of them one by one).

                             

                            Tableau Reader is a huge selling point for Tableau (love it). If not for the issue above, it would really be the perfect companion to Tableau Server (at least in our business case)

                            • 11. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                              Siva Tunga

                              Is there a way we can sequence the columns in the CSV extract in specific order.

                               

                              I have a requirement where the CSV download is used by another application. The challenge is in 6.1 version it was in one order. Once I upgraded to 7.0 the column order has changed  and is causing errors to the other application. How can we control the columns to sequence in the CSV extract.

                              • 12. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                                Ron Bates

                                I totally agree with the need to develop a method for securing downloaded workbooks, such that:

                                1) The user's permissions are preserved for the twbx, so that they can see the same views of dashboards and worksheets that we've worked so hard to create

                                2) Other users who happen to have Tableau Desktop cannot deconstruct the twbx and disclose data that was previously hidden via the original user's permissions.

                                Examples based on a Sales organization hierarchy:

                                       Salespersons call on a list of accounts and report to Region Managers

                                       Region Managers can view all data for all of the Salespersons and accounts within their Region

                                       If region managers download a view  to a twbx, the managers can only see information from their own region. 

                                       Within the current versions, the twbx shows a complete blank!

                                       If a region manager opens the twbx in Tableau Desktop, the manager still cannot view the data for other Region Managers.

                                      The same logic should apply to a salesperson who downloads a view to a twbx.

                                Simply stated, in your prior posts, "Tableau Reader is a huge selling point for Tableau (love it). If not for the issue above, it would really be the perfect companion to Tableau Server (at least in our business case)"

                                • 13. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                                  Shankar Mishra

                                  Have you got solution for download twbx  file applying filter on it for a particular user

                                  • 14. Re: Downloading Workbook with User Filters and Opening them in Reader
                                    Yuan Wang

                                    Has anyone got this issue solved or know any workaround?

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