5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2017 7:05 AM by John Sobczak

    TWB or Twbx

    Larsen Rennie

      Hi All

       

      I am slightly confused between twb file and twbx file type. Earlier i was working mostly with twbx file types but now in my current assignment most of the reports are published on the tableau server as TWB file types . So below are my questions

       

      1)if we use twb files and publish them on the server , will it occupy less space on the server as compared to twbx and will it be good for performance ?>

      2)if i have to modify the design of the reports do i need to downlaod the twb file from the server and click on package option  to make it a packaged workbook  to modify any changes in the report like formatting , custom sql etc etc ?

      3) When someone is viewing published twb reports on the server does it hit the underlying database  to execute the queries against the database ?

      4) which is good from the performance point of view ?

       

       

       

      Thanks in Advance

       

       

      Regards

      Larsen

        • 1. Re: TWB or Twbx
          tingting chen

          Hi Larsen,

           

          .twb file => live connection to data sources

          .twbx file => packaged workbook containing data sources

           

          More details can be found at https://www.interworks.com/blog/anonymous/2012/01/25/twb-vs-twbx-whats-difference

           

          When we publish workbook to Tableau Server, if it is a .twb, means it will be a live connection, every time someone opens a viz (assume it does not hit a cache), then Tableau will run queries against the DB, and performance wise, depends on DB hardware and internet bandwidth.

           

          When we publish .twbx to Tableau Server, means contains the data, size will be bigger, data will sit inside Tableau Server, therefore will not query against DB, and performance depends on Tableau Server hardware.

           

          Therefore you can see, there is no absolute answer on whether .twb is faster or .twbx is faster, really depends on DB and Server machine performance.

           

          If you want to modify any published workbook, you can either web-edit on Tableau Server browser, or open from Tableau Server on Tableau desktop software, and republish (and replace the original file) to tableau server.

           

          Hope above explanation is clear.

           

          Best Regards,

          Tingting

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: TWB or Twbx
            John Brink

            My initial thoughts below:

             

            1)if we use twb files and publish them on the server , will it occupy less space on the server as compared to twbx and will it be good for performance ?>

             

            If comparing an apples to apples dashboard then with the TWBX holding the data within it will occupy less storage space. Good for performance? Not necessarily. Depends on the size of the dataset and performance of the server the TWB is connecting too. It may seem like TWBX is the easy solution for performance (and most likely it is), but that depends on the size of the accompanying data file. A huge file can take long processing time.

             

            2)if i have to modify the design of the reports do i need to downlaod the twb file from the server and click on package option  to make it a packaged workbook  to modify any changes in the report like formatting , custom sql etc etc ?

             

            No to the second part of the question. For quick edits you can always edit directly from the interface

             

            3) When someone is viewing published twb reports on the server does it hit the underlying database  to execute the queries against the database ?

             

            Yes

             

            4) which is good from the performance point of view ?

             

            I included my thoughts on question 2

             

            JPB

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: TWB or Twbx
              David Li

              Hi Larsen, the main difference between a TWB and a TWBX is that a TWB is just an XML file that contains all the instructions for generating the content of your workbook. It's kind of like a HTML file--it just contains the instructions and almost none of the content. A TWBX file, on the other hand, may contain data sources, images, custom shapes, custom geocoding, etc. A TWBX is great for sharing because all that stuff is neatly packaged inside (as long as you pre-extracted any non-file data sources, like SQL queries).

               

              So, here are my answers to your questions:

              1. The server doesn't really care about what file type you use when you upload to the server, because it basically has to upload and store all the extra pieces anyway. What does matter is whether you extracted your non-file data sources (e.g. SQL ones). If you extracted them before you published, then Tableau Server will upload them and create server-side extracts to hold them. If you didn't extract them, then the connections will be live and there will be no extract on the server.
              2. You can edit directly on Tableau Server if you like. Or you can just re-upload from a local copy.
              3. See answer #1. If you have a server-side extract, then when users refresh the data, no query will hit the underlying database. However, you can set a refresh schedule for the server-side extract or do it manually through the server administration tools.
              4. Neither one (and I mean extract vs live TDS, not TWB vs TWBX) is necessarily better than the other in terms of performance. If you host an extract on Tableau Server, then Tableau Server will take the load that would otherwise be on your SQL server. So it's more of a question of how you want to distribute the load.

               

              These links may also be of help to you:

              Prepare Workbooks for Sharing | Tableau Software

              O Extract, Where Art Thou? | Drawing with Numbers

               

              EDIT: Unfortunately, I have to disagree with TingtIng: the file type does not affect whether any Tableau Data source from the workbook becomes an extract or not.

               

              EDIT2: And if I'm mistaken on any one of these points, others may please feel free to correct me!

              3 of 3 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: TWB or Twbx
                tingting chen

                Thank you David for pointing out the mistake I had Yup, you are right.

                 

                Hi Larsen,

                 

                I have a better understanding on .twbx by combining David's thoughts and Tableau's online help: Packaged Workbooks

                 

                Cheers,

                Tingting

                • 5. Re: TWB or Twbx
                  John Sobczak

                  David,  One thing I'm confused by is when I publish a .twb to the server it is bigger (mb) than publishing the same workbook as a .twbx  (kb vs mb).  The workbooks are connected to a published data source which itself is a data extract on Tableau Server.   Perhaps this can be explained because the .twb contains all the XML code, but then is that code lost when published as a .twbx?   I believe the answer is no, but where does it go?