1 2 3 Previous Next 75 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2018 7:46 AM by Toby Erkson

    Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool

    Lhenno Ferrari

      Good night folks,

       

      Because of the needs of a project, i am implementing a tool whose purpose is to update extractions indicated in .TWB files or .TWBX packages exported from Tableau Desktop, in scenarios where there is no Tableau Server.

       

      I know there is a similar function called RefreshExtraction in Tableau.exe, however unlike this feature, my implementation is intended to not rely on a Tableau Server, acting directly in .TWB / .TWBX files to automate the updating of data published to users that have only Tableau Reader.

       

      The main goal is to enable an upgrade process as self-sufficient as possible, through a command-line utility (TDEGen.exe), requiring only the following parameters:

       

      TDEGen.exe [-u [USER]] p [PASSWORD] -a [NAME FILE .TWB / .TWBX] d [NAME OF DATA SOURCE] -v [VEBOSE LEVEL] - l [ROWS LIMIT (TEST ONLY)]

       

      In this way, users could schedule its execution, for example, through the Windows Task Scheduler, establishing desired update frequency for each extraction, without worring about changes in panels / spreadsheets, schema defined data sources, filters sets, etc...

       

      So from the .TWBX / .TWB informed file, the application identifies the data source and the associated extraction, automatically identifies the schema required for related .TDE reassembly, connects to the data source, and prepare the necessary queries for its update. Connects to the Data Source using the informed credentials, and proceeds with information update, reassembling the original file (when pointed a .TWBX package) and its associated .TDE.

       

      Currently, im already using the tool with SQLServer Data Sources, but before provisioning other Data Sources Type, would like to share this initiative to get some feedback from forum members, regarding its usefulness in other scenarios.

       

      Thanks in advance !!!

        • 1. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
          Shawn Wallwork

          You say:

          Currently, im already using the tool with SQLServer Data Sources, but before provisioning other Data Sources Type, would like to share this initiative to get some feedback from forum members, regarding its usefulness in other scenarios.

          So what exactly are you asking of us? Is there a real question in there somewhere?

           

          Cheers,

           

          --Shawn

          • 2. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
            Lhenno Ferrari

            Hi,

            The question is just about opinions !

             

            As you must have noticed, i am developping a tool for my own use, as in my previous researchs i havent found nothing similar, and would appreciate to know if other users have similar needs on their scenarios.

             

            T.I.A.

            • 3. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
              Toby Erkson

              I know I've read questions from others who have asked about such an application, one that would generate extracts on a schedule but did not rely upon Tableau Server.  Thus there is a 'market' for it.

               

              The one BIG disadvantage your application has is that it exposes the password of the data source.

               

              I suggest publishing your application, along with good documentation, and that's when you'll get your feedback   I've published my stuff in the TabWiki .

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                Lhenno Ferrari

                Hi Buddy,

                 

                I'm sure that Tableau Server offers lots off advantages for its users, so the intention here is really to make it easy to publish updated information through the Tableau Reader, while user aren't able to invest in the server.

                 

                Yes, i will probably post the tool in the forum for a better evaluation and discution

                 

                About the password exposition, i think it is not actually a problem since i kept the parameters User and Password are optional, and when they are omitted the tool connects data sources using Trusted Connection.

                 

                Thank you very much for repplying!

                Sds,

                • 5. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                  kettan

                  while user aren't able to invest in the server.

                  You might like to up-vote  Improved server license model for medium size companies  and thus influence Tableau to make Tableau Server more attractive (cost vs value) to more customers.

                   

                  the intention here is really to make it easy to publish updated information through the Tableau Reader

                  I think Tableau Reader for sound sales reasons is designed to be not easy to update and sometimes wonder if it was a wise choice of Tableau to make it available. As for disadvantages of Tableau Reader, they are quite well described in  Re: How does Tableau define "user" exactly?  Trying to make the pitch for Tableau at my organization.

                   

                  Assuming it wouldn't break any  Legal License Agreement,  a successful Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool would put pressure on Tableau to improve their Tableau Server license and or encourage them to discontinue Tableau Reader. That said, it is more likely that it would break Tableau Reader Software License Condition 2.2:

                   

                  You may use the Reader Software only to view and print files created with authorized copies of Tableau’s Desktop Software or Tableau Server Software

                   

                  Although not explicitly mentioned, this probably also makes key scripting languages such as AutoIt  illegal for updating twbx files to be used by non-licensed users.

                  • 6. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                    Toby Erkson

                    Kettan,

                    I don't think this would violate any Reader stuff and the wording used by Lhenno must be wrong because Reader only reads, it doesn't have the ability to connect to and refresh data sources.

                     

                    I think there is still a need for Reader and I would not want to see Tableau discontinue Reader.  We've had users with the need to send reports outside our company because only employees, within the company network, have access to our Server.

                     

                    I'm not sure I agree that using other tools to help with automating packaged workbooks would be a license violation.  Tableau clearly has a gap with report refreshing.  While Server is supposed to be the cure for this, I have the understanding that it is priced in such a way as to be only useful when it becomes needed at an enterprise-level and thus the more expensive core-based pricing.  Thus I see there is a need for some tool to help with report refreshing and people are searching for the easiest & least expensive way to do it.  This tool sounds like it could be the answer for many of those who cannot afford Server.

                     

                    Lhenno,

                    I understand what your intentions are and already agreed with you.  The use of Server isn't always an option.

                     

                    Displaying a password (when required) is ALWAYS a problem.  It may be no big deal for you but if you make this available to the general Tableau public then it will be an issue for someone.  I get heartburn when I have to use it in my own scripts.  That's why I use this --> Password Encryption For TABCMD

                    Donna Coles saw the same issue and here's her solution (it's one of two documents within her total solution) --> Automatically sync Tableau groups with the AD

                     

                    I"m curious about how you accomplished this task so I'm looking forward to seeing it.  Make sure you post the link to it in this thread if you decide to publish it inside the Tableau forum.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                      james.diaz

                      this tool would be essential; this is sorely missing as a standard feature of tableau desktop, the ability to schedule extracts. what a waste of time it is to fetch/wait for data.

                      • 8. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                        Lhenno Ferrari

                        Hi Toby,

                        Thank you very much for your reply.

                        I'm currently doing a few adjusts regarding the my application so i can post an stablished and full functional version of it here in the forum.

                         

                         

                        Following your sugestion, i'm also creating some documentation for better ilutration on how its works. Hope i can post it here soon.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        Hi Kettan,

                        Thank you for replying too, i'll surely take a more deep look at Legal Licence Agreement to be sure there is no restrictions on doing this kind of automated updates

                        I'd appreciate if Tableau Guys could post their opinions here too

                         

                         

                        Great new year for all of you !!!

                        • 9. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                          Lhenno Ferrari

                          Thank you James.

                          Hope i can post a proof of concept here soon

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • 11. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                            kettan

                            I'd appreciate if Tableau Guys could post their opinions here too

                            Such posts would be the easiest way of getting (more) reliable answers 

                            • 12. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                              Lhenno Ferrari

                              Hi buddies,

                              Here is a preview of the new working version.

                              I´m still concerned about the Legal Licence Agreement, so for the moment, i decided not to publish it.

                               

                              I have saw other script based aproaches for updating offline TDEs/TWBXs, but i am still not confident that it is ok.

                               

                              As soon as i can certify that there are no restrictions, i'll make it available here.

                              If there is someone here that could clarify this, i would really appreciate,

                              Greate week,

                              • 13. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                                Toby Erkson

                                Nice to see you're still working towards this

                                If you have legal concerns then contact Tableau directly.

                                Given the fact that Tableau has a SDK to do this stuff I doubt they would have issues with your program.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 14. Re: Tableau Automated Extractions Update Tool
                                  james.diaz

                                  I would love this tool. Will it do incremental refresh also?

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