2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 24, 2012 4:48 AM by Mike Penney

    What are the implications of publishing workbooks with two data sources showing?

    Mike Penney

      Normally, when I design report views in Tableau Desktop Pro (v7) workbooks, I begin with a live connection to our SQL database. In some cases, I may change my data source to one of my published data extracts before publishing. I would then close the live-sql connection just prior to publishing so as not to have two data sources listed in my published workbook. But lately, I am wondering if it matters. If I leave two data sources listed in my workbook with only one (the published extract) being active, does it have an effect on the published version of my workbook?


      It concerns me because at the time of publishing, both data sources are showing in the publish dialogue when I press the Authentication button. That suggests to me, that the published version still retains some (connection) to the original live-sql datasource. I'm hoping that this is not the case and that it just remains listed so that I can download the workbook at some later date and re-establish the original live-sql data source since it is listed. I would assume that leaving the original (inactive) datasource listed in the published workbook does not affect performance or unnecessarily tie up Tableau Server resources (as long as I am not including any local extracts in the published workbook).


      Would that be a correct assumption?  Sorry, its a tough question to phrase.

        • 1. Re: What are the implications of publishing workbooks with two data sources showing?
          Mark Holtz

          Hello Mike,


          I'm a bit outside my expertise here--this is more "under the hood" than I usually go... But as I understand it, Tableau hits the source only when it has to render a view from that source.


          e.g., Say you have source A supporting view A and source B supporting views B and C. If you publish the workbook to Tableau Server, users will only activate source A when they go to view A (or a dashboard containing view A). Likewise, they will only fire source B when they go to view B or C.


          I could be wrong--I'm only suggesting this because of my own observation. We have a SQL statement as a source across several identically structured databases on different servers (different sets of clients on each). The SQL statement that generated the source data for a single database took ~10min to run.


          On Tableau Server, when I went to the view built from one source, it took ~10min to  to render, causing me to assume that Tableau ran only the sources needed to construct the view requested.  Then when I went to the next, it took another 10min. 


          So back to your question, I think if you leave the source "active" in the workbook, but nothing actually utilizes it, Tableau does not pull the data or waste resources to support it.  I cannot however determine whether Tableau maintains an open connection to the source, but that doesn't appear to impact Tableau's performance.

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          • 2. Re: What are the implications of publishing workbooks with two data sources showing?
            Mike Penney



            Thanks for taking the time to address my inquiry. Your response makes sense. Yes, Tableau needs to be able to list a number of data sources for use with any particular worksheet and it would seem obvious to me now, that the the server would be designed not to tie up resources un-necessarily. Thinking about it, Tableau doesn't appear to use any data source until a refresh is triggered and that would include only those sources identified in the query.


            So I'm comfortable with your answer unless anyone has more to say.


            Have a relaxing and peaceful holiday season!