9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2013 9:31 AM by John Mogielnicki

    User Level Filter and Server Datasource

    John Mogielnicki

      I am having an issue with user level filters and Tableau Server datasources.  This is my first time needing to implement user-level filters, and I thought I had it all figured out, but then I read this article, which seems to suggest that you cannot use user-level filters with Tableau Server Datasources.

       

      We have all of our datasources published to the server and set to update on a weekly basis, and do not want to have to update datasources manually.  Is it not possible to have both a Tableau Server workbook with automated datasource updates and user-level filters at the same time?  Would love to find a solution to this.

       

      Thanks,

       

      John

        • 1. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
          Russell Christopher

          Hey John -

           

          I'm frankly having problems parsing that article myself. I think the author may be writing about a specific scenario in which User Filtes & Server Data Sources, but then didn't describe that specific scenario - leading to a false impression that they don't work at all.

           

          Anyway, they work great for me - I just tested things to be sure I wasn't going crazy.

           

          User filters can be added to a Data Source (by way of a Data Source Filter) and then published to Tableau. At that point the user filter in the data source will be applied in all situations the data source is used.

           

          Maybe this article is trying to make sure people understand that the user filters must be added to the data source rather than just hanging around in the workbook itself? I'm not sure - I've pinged around internally to try and find out

           

          Hope this helps? If not, can you sketch out what you're trying to do with a little bit more context?

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          • 2. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
            John Mogielnicki

            Hey Russell, thanks for your response, this is great news!  I was thinking that I was stuck.

             

            Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say that a "user filter can be added to a data source by way of a data source filter?"  I've never seen this technique outlined in any knowledge base articles or tutorials, and I've tried to make it work but can't figure out how.  I know the basics of the data source filter, but I've always used them on a workbook level, not at the datasource level.  Perhaps I've been using them incorrectly this whole time.

             

            John

            • 3. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
              Russell Christopher

              When you create a user filter, it can be used in one two places - you can add it directly to the Filter shelf on one or more worksheets, OR you can add it directly to a data source.

               

              You perform the latter action by right-clicking the data source, choosing Edit Data Source Filter, then clicking the Add button to add the User filter (or any other field, for that matter) you created earlier.

               

              When you publish this data source to Tableau Server as a "Data Server Data Source", the user filter is then "baked in".  Any person who uses this data source from Tableau Desktop or via Web Authoring can't remove the filter, like they can by removing the User Filter from the Filter shelf.

               

              Hope this makes sense?

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              • 4. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                Russell Christopher

                Oh, and BTW - I got confirmation that the article that you found really only applies to a very specific (edge case) scenario - not to the "universe". I've asked our folks to revise it a little and add some more context

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                • 5. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                  John Mogielnicki

                  Awesome. thank you so much Russell.  I will be testing this out this week.  Glad to hear there is a solution.

                  • 6. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                    John Mogielnicki

                    While we're on the subject I have one other question about user filters.  Is there any way to set up the filter so that certain users (or groups) see a filtered view but any user (or group) that is not part of the user filter can see an unfiltered view?

                     

                    For example, let's say I have 20 users, and I want 1 of those users to only see a filtered view and the other 19 to see an unfiltered view.  The only option I'm seeing is to go through and select "all" for each of the 19 users I want to see everything, and then select only the dimension that I want for the 1 user that I want to only see a limited view.  It would be handy to be able to put the default as "everything" and only filter for certain users.

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    John

                    • 7. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                      John Mogielnicki

                      Hey Russell, I'm still having issues with my user filters.  They seem to work when they're hosted on Tableau Server, but now in my desktop workbook they are filtering out everything.  Any chance we could chat about this over the phone?  Or should I put in a service ticket?

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      John

                      • 8. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                        Russell Christopher

                        Hey John -

                         

                        Sorry, I keep my efforts limited to jumping out on the forums when I can vs. ever talking to folks.

                         

                        If you’ve:

                         

                         

                         

                        •   - Added a user filter to the data source

                         

                        •   - Then published the data source to Tableau Server

                         

                        •   - Now you’ve “grabbed” the data source in Tableau Desktop from the server and are building new sheets which use it

                         

                        …then what you’re seeing is pretty much expected. The little “Impersonate a different user” drop down box in the lower-right of Desktop doesn’t work when you’re consuming a Server Data Source.

                        • 9. Re: User Level Filter and Server Datasource
                          John Mogielnicki

                          Fair enough.  I really appreciate the help on the forums, and it is certainly a better way to codify all of the tips and tricks. 

                           

                          So, you're right about my process and the result.  The thing is, I am a member of one of the Tableau Server Groups that I defined as being able to see everything.  So I don't know why everything is getting filtered out for me.  Do I need to add myself as an individual as well?  Do groups not work when working in Tableau Desktop?  I'll give it a try but it would also be good to know how the software is designed to act.

                           

                          Thanks,

                           

                          John