We are in the process of setting up Tableau Server on a PostgreSQL database (using Pentaho for data integration), but in the meantime I use a master .tde file created in Alteryx to feed my Tableau Desktop reports. The .tde contains about 60 dimensions (a small number calculated) and 30 measures (most of them calculated), so I've been using a .tds file to keep things organised (folders, aliases, calculated fields, etc). I have a 'starter' .twb linked to the .tds that uses the latest .tde, so it always uses the latest extract AND keep my data organised so I can dive in immediately when I get a new ad hoc data request.
Another issue is the need for a style guide to accommodate our company font and colours. I have edited my .tps to include the corporate colours, but that does not help with fonts, heading sizes and colours, etc.
The consultant setting up our Server/database sent me some initial outputs today to check, and my first question was where I could save the .tds file in our new setup, so that the data structure stayed organised between refreshes, and so that my colleagues* could also benefit from the same .tds. It seems the consultant has never come across .tds files before (ho hum) and I had to show him a Tableau page to convince him that it was a 'thing'. He then suggested that instead of creating a .tds file, we just create a 'template' file with all the calculated fields and other organisation done, and with examples of various visualisations included so that the user could copy formatting between the example visualisations and new worksheets. We have been talking of creating a formatting workbook anyway to allow for format copying.
One concern for me about including the formatting in such a workbook is the sheer size (number of worksheets) of the starter - could be overwhelming to new users. One would also have to be very careful to keep the 'template' sheets separate from the actual worksheets, and not delete ones that you may need later on. I'd rather keep a formatting template workbook separate from the rest.
Any cons to the started workbook vs .tds approach? Am I just being stubborn when I ask for a .tds?
*We are working on a small-ish pilot project with limited users, but we will soon be overtaken by a bigger data warehouse development, where many people will need to be able to access the data and build reports consistently - say 30-50 report builders spread across the company).