3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2017 10:03 AM by jennifer.bielak.0

    Tableau Server SDLC/Operational Model

    Kevin Doherty

      I would be interested to hear about how Tableau Server SDLC/Operational Models are implemented out there by other Server Admins, specifically around environment migrations of objects.


      I would like to share our high-level implementation and some of the pain points we encountered. I hope to turn this into a collaborative and informative forum topic that may assist Admins.


      I am the OBIEE and Tableau Admin for the BI group that serves the Enterprise and I am tasked with establishing the governance and processes around the Tableau Server SDLC. I had specific concerns around migrations so I had met with our Tableau technical resource to go over best practices around this topic in a Tableau Server environment.


      I reviewed a document (I have attached this document) in which it was recommended to create different Projects for a Sandbox/Dev, UAT and Produciton environment. So for the Sales department, there would be 3 Projects named Sales (Dev), Sales (UAT) and Sales.


      This seems to align with having 3 separate Servers for Dev, UAT and Production, however, as the document states this is NOT the recommended approach.


      So I seemed to have 2 routes for migrations. From Server to Server or Project to Project.



      I decided to use the recommended approach of multiple Projects, however, I would like to now list out a few of my pain points:


      1) The MOVE option is only applicable for Workbooks (Not Server Data Sources) and is only for the First time move of a Workbook from Project to Project. If you attempt to Move a Workbook when it already exists in the Target then if fails with no option to Overwrite.


      Due to this issue the Workbook must be migrated from through the Desktop tool.


      2) Server-based Data Sources of the same name in regards to iterative Development. Think about having a Data Source named "DS_SALES" you have it in the Sales (Dev) and Sales (UAT) Project and now push it to the Sales Project. I now have a Data Source of the same name in 3 Projects on the same Server.


      I build a Workbook using the "DS_SALES" Server Data Source in the Sales (Dev) Project. How do I replace that Data Source in the Workbook with the one in Produciton? I need to go to "Edit the Connection" and you get a drop-down list of Data Sources to replace, however, they are NOT fully qualified with the Project name. So it is unknown what Project the "DS_SALES" data source is from which makes the replace challenging.


      So if you have that Data Source in your 3 Sales Projects due to iterative development it becomes impossible to do a replace of Server Data Sources within the same Server unless they have 3 unique names.


      3) Workbook options suchs as View selected, Show Selections. Show Sheets as Tabs are all Reset within the Desktop tool when you select a new Project to move a Workbook too.



      I'd be interested in hearing how other Server Admins are tackling migration of objects especially, between a Dev, UAT and Production environment. Also would like any feedback on any pain points. Hope this thread becomes beneficial for other Admins.

        • 1. Re: Tableau Server SDLC/Operational Model
          Eric McDonald

          This is a very interesting topic and will probably create lots of forum traffic!


          A few thoughts (not necessarily answers):

          (1) All that projects really do is provide a mechanism for managing permissions and categorising workbooks. When you do a move, the URL of the workbook does not change and all links to server data sources are retained.

          (2) You can't move data sources - yes wish you could, perhaps you should post this as a new Idea?

          (3) We currently have Projects named according to the actual development project in progress with restricted access to developers or team required. We also have Live Project folders which everyone can see and Group Projects which are for specific departments to create their own workbooks.

          (4) You could use Sites but this means duplicating data sources across sites

          (5) Every workbook or data source has a unique name (and URL) on the server even when publish them with the same name. Download sites.xml, workbooks.xml and datasources.xml using tabcmd (see Useful Tableau Server XML Metadata files). The workbooks.xml will show you URL name for duplicate workbook names.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Tableau Server SDLC/Operational Model
            Sunil Tikar

            Hi Kevin :


            So here is what I have in my setup.


            I have 3 environments Test, QA and Production. Per process I asked onboarding groups about their business needs and accordingly I assign them environments(sometimes groups don't want to use Production ,they can use tableau for prototyping ) so sometimes I will create  sites on TEST,QA and on  Production(all three) and some times only on Test and QA.Now regarding Flow ,Our users creates reports on Tableau desktop and publish them to TEST (this is for development stuff) and then for UAT they publish same report to QA and our Testing team perform performance testing on it ,when they get sign off from testing team Then they can request same UAT contents to move to Production and on this request they add one of my team member as a additional approver ,So when that request comes to my team we review its content size and performance from our end and either approve or reject it.


            we don't involve in any of the migration .we asked users to list down all the components which suppose to move to production and the time duration when they are allowed to make changes on tableau production and send this request to us  and after our approval during change time window users can publish all listed workbook/data source to production site. and when  change time window finishes I verify that only listed reports/data source published to production .


            Regarding projects setup its site admins responsibility how they want to set it up .they can have multiple projects within one site and its not necessary same projects will be on other environments.


            For example we have HR group we created HR site on all three (TEST,QA and Prod) and HR site admin divided their reports in to multiple projects like HR_EMP,HR_ ADMIN,HR_FINANCE..etc and they have same setup in all three TEST ,QA and in Prod environment.


            So same report published from desktop only to all three .We don't do site/workbook/view/project/data source migration .


            This is our enterprise setup.

            • 3. Re: Tableau Server SDLC/Operational Model

              Can you guys comment on how things are going now/what's changed/any lessons learned?