Take a look at a tds file, i.e. the Superstore sample at C:\Users\username\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Datasources\10.1\en_US-US\Sample - Superstore.tds
Right...I am familiar with the TDS files and how they work with Tableau, but how can I use a .TDS file to access metadata directly?
I'm sure it's in there somewhere, but I'd like to access the metadata as a source itself. Something like:
DataSourceName Field Name Table Remote Field Name Type Sample - Superstore Category Orders Category Char Sample - Superstore City Orders City Char Sample - Superstore Country Orders Country Char Sample - Superstore Customer ID Orders Customer ID Char Sample - Superstore Customer Name Orders Customer Name Char Sample - Superstore Discount Orders Discount Real Sample - Superstore Order Date Orders Order Date Int
The TDS file contains all of the metadata need, but you cannot connect to that file directly as a source within Tableau. You would need to preprocess it into an alternate file format. I haven't tried, but you could just try to convert the entire XML structure into JSON as they are effectively very similar, then you could use the 10.1 native JSON connector.
Alternatively, you might need to write a script which reads the XML and parses it into a structure as per your example above and outputs that data into Excel.
In summary; there's no native way to connect to this and get the exact format you need, but you can get there with some manipulation / scripting.
Agreed - thanks Tom!
I'll look into writing a script for that, definitely.
You already found this, but for higher level information about Tableau Server content, check out Shareable Data Sources for Tableau Server
For workbook/data source level information, such as tables, joins, columns, specific visualization types--as Tom stated, it's all stored in the .TWB or .TDS files that make up your workbooks/data sources. Various people have come up with solutions to parse the info out over the years. Andy Cotgreave built The TWB Auditor a long time ago (which I'm not sure works anymore), and Interworks has built a bunch of utilities they call Power Tools (check out their TableakKit Powershell module as well!). I'd check the latter out.
If you can get readonly access to the tableau servers PostgreSQL database by requesting your server admin, then there are objects from which this information could be fetched. See the link below: