4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2017 10:32 AM by Sean Sullivan

    Enterprise OEM - Protecting Packaged Content

    Sean Sullivan

      Hello World!   My company is a new OEM partner of Tableau, as of mid 2016.   We are integrating Tableau into our enterprise software that gets delivered both on premise and in the cloud.   As we have been developing a packaged integration for delivery to our clients a lot of questions have arisen that we continue to struggle to find the best answers to.   This is one such example and I will spread different questions to different threads for easier discussion.

       

      Background: We will be shipping not only the integrated Tableau Server within our on-premise install, but we also will be shipping some standard content (aka dashboards) with the product offering.   So that if a client licenses our integrated product, they won't just get tools to roll their own, but will get at pre-configured out-of-the-box dashboard against our standard database schema.

       

      Support Concern:  We want to be able to provide updates to this standard dashboard in the future.   However, if the client modifies it using Tableau Desktop, we have no way to ensure we are applying updates to a known set of objects.    What we would like to do is allow clients to copy the out of the box dashboard and modify their copy of it without messing with what we ship.   To do this we are looking to lock-down (make read-only) the original objects we ship.

       

      Question: How do other OEMs handle this requirement?    

        • 1. Re: Enterprise OEM - Protecting Packaged Content
          Jeff James

          Sean,

           

          We had this same discussion at the OEM meetup at TC16. It isn't a Tableau specific problem. We run into it with numerous tools across our various solutions.

           

          Our approach is to prevent clients from modifying the standard content. In reality, on premise clients can create all sorts of problems if they want, but we STRONGLY suggest that they create copies and modify those.

           

          We completely replace the existing workbooks when we deploy content, so any changes to those will be lost.

           

          The downside is that the client will need to copy and make those modifications to the new version if they want or need our enhancements.

           

          Michael Kovner: Having a diff/compare tool for new versions might be an interesting new project. I think Cognos provides something like that.

          • 2. Re: Enterprise OEM - Protecting Packaged Content
            Sean Sullivan

            Hi James - Thanks for sharing this.   This is indeed a problem when bringing in third party applications for us.    Not as big an issue for our native code as we have a (somewhat) working solution for locking down Core code that clients are not able to modify.   Perhaps the solution would be if Tableau supported a notion of signing/tagging objects so that they can only be modified with a key.  Or maybe it is just a read-only attribute that requires a site admin to disable.

             

            A diff tool would be great too.  At least that would allow our clients to inspect the deltas to proactively determine what to do.

            • 3. Re: Enterprise OEM - Protecting Packaged Content
              Chandra Shekhar Jain

              Sean

               

              Reading both your posts together. , how do you push the new content ?

              Do you do it or is it done by the Client, through the tableau server after setting up the Data Connections  ?

               

              Chandra

              • 4. Re: Enterprise OEM - Protecting Packaged Content
                Sean Sullivan

                Hi Chandra - I've been away from this forum for a little while and hope I can still continue the discuss here.   I am not entirely sure I understand your questions but I will do my best in answering them.

                 

                We software package content changes into a file (or multiple files) that licensed clients can download from a secure FTP site.   Client implementers then GET those files and store them in their local environment.   Then they use our installer tool that ultimately calls Tableau command line APIs to publish the new content into their local server environment.   For some of our clients they will do this work on their own, others may use our services team or engage a third party implementer.

                 

                Locally our clients need to go through a similar process, when promoting changes from Dev > UAT > Prod.  The only difference is that instead of us supplying them the package they will save it from their own lower environment for publishing in higher envs.   When deployed in their Dev env, they may make customizations to the package we ship.