6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2011 1:50 AM by Andy Cotgreave

    Can I link two workbooks?

    Jessica Cha

      Hi I have 2 workbooks (A and B)


      A is a huge data set that has all the company's loss data/etc and is created by person A.


      When A sends out a packaged workbook of above, person B goes into the packaged work book and creates new sheets, etc. and builds dashboards used for his team's analysis.


      The data is updated every quarter.


      Is it possible to somehow link two packaged workbook so that B's data can come from A's packaged workbook?

        • 1. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
          Andy Cotgreave

          Hi Jessica

          You can't currently link to another workbook. Instead of sending out workbooks connected to A, why not send out Data Connections instead? From within Tableau Desktop you could export either an extract of the data or the data connection. That way, B could use the same data as found in A, but not have to open the A workbook.


          • 2. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
            Jessica Cha

            Is that something I can do with the Tableau I have on my computer? or do I need to purchase Tableau server/other products?

            • 3. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
              Jessica Cha

              ok so i tried going into tableau desktop and exported data source.


              I'm wondering..


              - The original data source is about 500mb csv file. When I connected to this data and created an extract file, it was about 100mb.

              Now, when I create the data source on tableau from the workbook that uses the above data, it creates a ~200kb data source.


              So I see two scenarios here.


              -I have a non packaged work book A that uses the 500mb csv data source with 100 mb extract.

              -I create a barebone analysis that every recipient needs.

              -Then make X copies of the work book A, and send them to all the recipients.

              -Put the extract in a common folder that everybody can access them in.

              -Every quarter, I open the workbook A, refresh the extract, and notify others that the extract has been refreshed.

              -Everyone else opens their copy of work book A and see the newly updated data.



              -I have a non packaged work book A that uses the 500mb csv data source with 100 mb extract.

              -I create a barebone analysis that every recipient needs.

              -I export a data source (~200kb) to a common accessible folder

              -They create a new workbook linking to the data source.

              -When there's a new data, I update my workbook and I export the data source again.

              -When they are notified that there's a new data source, they update their data.


              What would be the pros and cons to each scenario? and which would be easier(less hassle)?

              Also, why is the data source so small in size? Does it actually have all the data that's in the extract? or only the data that I have used previously in workbook A?



              Thank you!

              • 4. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
                Andy Cotgreave

                Hi Jessica

                Good work on progressing so far - some of this does get a little complicated.


                When you create an extract, you create a .TDE file. THis contains the data and metadata (ie any calculated fields you created, or any fields you might have renamed).


                When you create a data source, you create a .TDS file. This contains the metadata only. It is a small XML file with information on where the data is, which fields are in it, what calculated fields you have, etc etc.


                You can create both from within Tableau Desktop. i recommend the following as a solution that needs just Tableau Desktop:


                - Once a quarter, connect to the data and create an extract. THis will be, as you say, around 200MB.

                - Save the extract in a shared folder somewhere (where there's a fast connection and they won't delete it)

                - In Tableau Desktop, export the data source (Data...Data Connection... Export) to create the small .TDS file

                - you can distribute this file any way you want - via email or put it in the same folder as the extract.

                - tell your users to open the .TDS file in Tableau Desktop. They will then all share the same extract.

                - when it's time to refresh the extract, you can just change the extract file without changing the TDS file, assuming the data structure has not changed.


                Hope that helps


                • 5. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
                  Alex Blakemore



                  Thanks for the clear explanation about extracts. Could you explain one more aspect?


                  Tableau used to insist that extracts reside on a local drive, presumably for performance. At least it did when you created one. Yet you recommend putting them on a fast shared drive, which opens up whole new use cases (like the one above)


                  What are the restrictions on local vs shared drives for extracts? Did the restrictions go away when Tableau came out with their Tableau data engine for extracts to replace Firebird? Or should we create extracts on a C drive and move them to a shared drive?

                  • 6. Re: Can I link two workbooks?
                    Andy Cotgreave


                    That's right - you canconnect to extracts on the network folders now. I don't remember exactly when the restriction was lifted, but certainly with 6.1 you can connect to extracts on a network folder.


                    User beware: you are of course at the mercy of your network connection speeds!