6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2014 4:16 PM by Matt Lutton

    Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook

    Steven Soillis

      I have a saved workbook on the Tableau desktop that uses a data source on the server (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet that is unscheduled).

       

      Here is my process:

      1. Open the spreadsheet (saved data source), manually update the data, and save it
      2. Open the saved workbook on desktop
      3. Right click on the data source in the data section and Select Tableau Data Server > Refresh from Source
      4. The data successfuly refreshes from the previous day
      5. On the data source page on the server, I can see that the modified time shows the update to the data source
      6. The contents of the workbook is reviewed
      7. The dashboard in the workbook is then published to the server and it OVERWRITES the previous day's dashboard
      8. The data in the preview popup window does not show the updated data even though on the workbook it shows the current day's value
      9. To make sure the data is updated, I need to open the dashboard in a browser and press the Refresh data from this view button at the top of the screen.

       

      Is there an "auto refresh or update" option that I am not aware of?

       

      It really makes no sense that even though I am reloading a dashboard with current data and a saved data source on the server that shows it has been updated, I still need to press the refresh data button to update a dashboard I just published.

        • 1. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
          Russell Christopher

          Hey Steve -

           

          If you logout/back in you should get new data from your newly published workbook. If you don't logout, you may still be getting a cached copy...

           

          Edit: Cancel that. My fingers engaged the keyboard before my brain did. We do cache data, but it expire when you overwrite on the server. Curious what's going on here. Let me test.

          • 2. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
            Russell Christopher

            Hey Steve -

             

            I played around with what you're doing, and things work for me. From the steps you've documented above it appears either/or/all of the above:

             

            • I'm just confused.
            • There's a missing step in here somewhere
            • You have a misconception about what you need to do
            • You're running an older version of Tableau Desktop/Server that behaves differently than mine

             

             

            In step 3, you're refreshing a Data Source hosted in the "Data Server" component of Tableau Server. This Data Source is "backed" by an Extract, right? You're essentially replacing rows in the in-memory extract (on the server) with whatever rows are in your local excel workbook. The Tableau Data Server menu item won't even be enabled unless you're dealing with an extract...

             

            When I do this (with Desktop) , the values in the Tableau view (in Desktop) which uses the data source in question immediately update.

             

            In step 7, you re-publish the workbook. It seems to me you think that to properly update the data on the server, you need to re-publish the workbook? You don't. The workbook is communicating directly with the data source out on your server now and doesn't "contain" any of the data itself. So, unless you're actually making modifications to the workbook or refreshing other "embedded" extracts for OTHER data sources which are part of this workbook, you don't need to do this. Therefore, step 8 isn't necessary, either. Please give me your thoughts. Why are you doing this?

             

            In step 9 (keep in mind, I'm jumping right from step 5 to step 9), when I hit refresh, new data shows up for me in the browser.

             

            FYI, just for kicks I went through these steps a second time and  I republished the workbook (steps 7-8)  even though it's not strictly necessary...and in the preview dialog I did see the latest/greatest results.

             

            So, the good news is this stuff does work - unless I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to do.

             

            Did I miss anything above in the testing I did? What version of Tableau Server and Desktop are you running? As I recall, we've made several improvements to the way Tableau Data Server handles caching - so the first thing I'd advise you to do is "get updated" with latest/greatest versions of everything and see if your problem goes away.

             

            Let us know!

            • 3. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
              Steven Soillis


              Hi Russell,

               

              Thank you for your help with this issue.

               

              Our Tableau Server verision is currently Version 8.0.4 (Build 8000.13.0825.0947).  Our current Tableau Desktop version is 8.0.0 (8000.13.0319.1225).  Let me know if we require an update.

               

              Here are some answers:

              Step 3 - You are correct.  This step only applies to refreshing the data on the Desktop and that is updating fine.

              Step 7 - Eventually we will no longer need to republish the dashboard from the desktop to the server.  But since this is a new dashboard currently in development, changes are being made while the data is being updated.  In other instances there could be a case where a workbook will alway need to have changes made to it daily and the data will need to be updated.  So this step could always be required.

              Step 9 - The preview popup IS seeing the "latest/greatest results". Its the workbook on the server that still requires you to manually refresh the data.  This also applies if you press the "Open in browser window".

               

              So once I update the data here is the status:

              • The workbook on the desktop has the data updated.
              • The "Publish workbook" popup window and the data is updated.
              • But if I click on either the "Open in browser window" or the saved report on Tableau server window, unless I manually refresh the data it will show the old data.
              • 4. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
                Russell Christopher

                OK, that’s just a caching at work. Your extract-based data is treated the same way as a “live” connection to SQL Server, Oracle or any other database, meaning we don’t want to get overly “chatty” with the data source if we don’t have to. Where we can, we rely on the “answer to the same question” that may be sitting in cache. Normally, this is a good thing – in your case, it looks to you that Tableau Server is doing something wrong.

                 

                It’s not, really – just saving round trips. If you want to make sure that you always have the “freshest” data possible, you can adjust Tableau’s caching settings. Read about same here:

                 

                http://onlinehelp.tableausoftware.com/v7.0/server/en-us/config_cache.htm

                 

                The interesting question to me is why the Preview manages to show “new” data while the “in browser” view of the report still shows “cached” data. That is weird. If you’re curious, you might open a support case, after you get the caching settings changed.

                • 5. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
                  Steven Soillis

                  I came across that article about a week ago and was the next thing I was going to ask you once you responded.  I will try that and see if it works.

                   

                  Thanks again for your help.

                  • 6. Re: Auto updating a server data source when using "Refresh from Source" option in workbook
                    Matt Lutton

                    Hi Steven:

                     

                    Curious what ever came of this.  Please post back, if you can, with what you found out. Cheers.