9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2017 2:18 PM by Donna Coles

    Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save

    Gail Boozer

      Hi All.   I apologize in advance if this question has already been posted.   I didn't find anything in searching the forums.


      I'm looking for learnings or recommendations from folks who have implemented allowing their users to save / save as with web edits.   My specific concerns are:


      • Do you have governance such as amount of time a save remains in the project if never modified


      We need to be able to keep the housekeeping of this functionality manageable, and currently we don't allow saving at all which doesn't go over well with users.



        • 1. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save

          Hello Gail,


          I've moved your post to Server & Online Administration , where I believe more Server Admins may share their advices and experiences.






          • 2. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
            Russell Christopher

            Hi Gail -


            You may want to consider using the number of views and potentially the amount of space the vizzes take up vs. whether a viz is being actively modified. Some of our most important vizzes get edited very rarely - because we've gotten them "right where we want them".


            You can get both of these metrics from Tableau Server itself. Use the "Stats for Space Usage" viz that is part of Tableau Server to identify "big" workbooks that aren't actually being utilized. You can switch the Tableau Server interface to show a "list" of vizzes (vs. the thumbnails) and then sort descending on "Views" to see which vizzes are not being executed regularly.


            It's absolutely a good thing to keep your server clean and tidy - but, I personally wouldn't do so at the cost of losing engaged users otherwise the whole purpose for having the server becomes a moot point...

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            • 3. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
              Donna Coles

              Hi Gail

              We have an Adhoc project on our server which everyone is allowed to publish/save into, while we have other projects where the people who can publish/save are limited.  Housekeeping does become quite onerous, and I periodically review this area and cull anything that hasn't been used over a certain timeframe.  I use information on the last time the report was accessed along with who created it and who's been accessing it to make my decision.


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              • 4. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                Shawn Wallwork

                Hi Gail,


                I know your question/concern is about 'Web Editing'. And the above replies do a good job of addressing your question, as stated.


                But I wonder if you might be better off stepping back one step, and NOT allowing Web Editing, but instead allowing Saving Custom Views. How much real 'editing' do your users really do? Or are they simply using Web Editing to save particular Views.


                Just a thought.



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                • 5. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                  Donna Coles

                  Good point Shawn!


                  Definitely something to think about Gail.


                  We allow users to create custom views as well and I actively encourage that mode of use in the first instance, as it reduces the proliferation of the same or very similar reports.  Report duplication still happens though, so I'm gonna keep on banging my drum and spreading the word.



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                  • 6. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                    Gail Boozer

                    I'm still learning terminology as I haven't used Tableau long.   We create a "starter" worksheet and publish to the server.   Our users access through a custom portal and go directly into edit mode.   They can use the starter template or clear the worksheet and work from scratch.


                    If we give them privileges to save they would give their file a custom name.   Is this the same thing as creating a custom view?    Nobody can modify the original workbook.

                    • 7. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                      Donna Coles

                      Hi Gail


                      This way of working with server isn't something I've personally seen. We've tried to keep things as simple as possible at my company and people just access the server through the out-of-the-box server UI.  We have published server data sources which they can connect to and author online (is start from scratch) and pre-built workbooks providing a variety of information that have either been created in Desktop & published, created directly on server online or copied (via edit & save as) online from server.  You mention you have a custom portal which users access the functionality through - are they then on the server itself, or still within the 'portal'?  The reason I ask is that if you do enable them to save their own creation, how will they get to it again if you're withing a custom portal...?


                      Anyway, a customised view is the term given to a user accessing an existing report on the server, changing some information on it (eg selecting specific filters etc) and then saving a 'personalised' version so that when they next access that report they can easily get to their desired view of the data withough having to reapply the various filters etc.  This has the effect of not actually creating another instance of the same report on the server, but the personalisation options are retained.


                      You can read more about this feature here : Use Custom Views


                      However based on your existing use case this wouldn't be of relevance.


                      I would strongly suggest thinking about what people are doing when they access this template workbook and perhaps try to develop some standard core reports that deliver the majority of what they need that they can access instead.  I imagine there's some repetetive steps going on whether by the same users have to redo the same queries over and over, or different users doing the same queries...



                      • 8. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                        Gail Boozer

                        THANKS!!   When they click a nav link on our portal they are taken into the Tableau server and dumped into edit mode of the workbook.   They can either drag and drop on one of our prebuilt worksheets or clear the sheet and build their own.   Right now all they can do is export the data but not save.


                        Our thought is that if someone has their own view which is just a different way of looking at the data we already have dashboards on that is probably OK (not all users but our internal superusers who aren't afraid of the interface) BUT if someone is sharing their own views out to end users then that is something we want to build a public dashboard for instead of using webedit.

                        • 9. Re: Web Authoring/Edit Recommendations - Allowing Users To Save
                          Donna Coles

                          Hi Gail


                          Sounds like you're heading in the right direction if you do already have prebuilt dashboards for use.


                          Personally I think you should start to consider allowing these people the rights to save their stuff somewhere because from my experience if they're confident enough to use the web interface to build stuff, then you should be encouraging their enthusiasm and creativity.  Making them have to repeat similar queries they've already built before could be quite demotivating and also possibly introduce inconsistencies with the data they're reporting if they don't apply all the same filters/caveats each time.


                          Additionally Tableau's strength is as a data visualisation tool, and by only allowing them to export data means they'll probably sticking with building tabular excel like data and not embracing the benefits of presentating data via more visual means.  You're probably inadvertently encouraging them just to use the server as a method to get the data initially to export for further analysis/chart building in Excel or similar which is then possibly shared offline too.  You've already taken the step to invest in server, so you should be doing what you can to encourage uptake to ensure you get the return on your investment.


                          Happy to have a skype chat or similar if you want to know a bit more about our set up, the benefits & things to look out for.