Does anyone have a good explanation of how Tableau extracts work when they are used as saved data sources? Here is my situation.
I have an Access table that is an amalgamation of several support tables linked to a primary data table through ODBC. Because my primary table is not incredibly user friendly, I create a master table that simplifies and enhances the data contained in the primary. I then connect this primary table to Tableau.
When I bring this table into Tableau, I want to do a number of Tableau-specific customizations to it (adding hierarchies, aliases, standard calculated fields, formatting, default sorting, default aggregations, etc). Some of these I could do outside of Tableau (calc fields being the notable one) but others are possible only in Tableau. A short while ago, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea - I'd do all the customizations once and then save this extract as a data source that could be used as the source of other vizes.
Based off a question by Jonathan Drummey, it seemed that I needed to open my extract, manipulate it, then save it as a data source. Importantly, Jonathan indicated that you could not manipulate the extract while other Tableau files based off that extract were open. So what I've been doing is opening the extract, manipulating it, saving it, and then saving it again as a data source. Then I close the file, open up another file, and replacing its connection to the data source with a new connection to the updated (same) data source.
For the most part, this seems to work. However, there are maddening instances where I've made changes in my source extract, saved it as a data source (with the same name) and used that modified data source in a new or existing viz. When I check the changes, however, I do not see the changes made to the source. Sometimes they're there, other times they're not. This seems to especially be true when it comes to custom groups, aliases, and default sort orders.
Does anyone have any good references to how I can create a standardized data extract/data source that can be used across multiple vizes? Is what I'm trying to do even possible/reasonable?