2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2018 9:54 AM by Jonathan Drummey

    Ability to maintain Tableau calculated fields in TDE datasource on Tableau server using Alteryx

    Harshit Patel

      Hi All,


      I am a newbie in using Alteryx to manage our Datasources on Tableau server.


      I want an ability to add calculated fields in the published datasource on Tableau server. I do not have an option to add certain type of aggregated fields in Alteryx workflow. Also, I do not want to add calculated fields in Tableau workbook layer as I am trying to centralize these calculation for anyone who will be using this datasource. Below are the steps I am currently performing.


      1. Create TDE output from Alteryx workflow and save in a local drive

      2. Open tableau desktop and connect to the TDE output generated per Step 1

      3. Add necessary calculated fields in Tableau desktop

      4. Publish datasource from Tableau desktop to Server (Along with including external files)

      5. Schedule workflow in Alteryx to overwrite TDE (created and published per step 1 thru 4) on Tableau server


      During step 5 when Alteryx overwrites TDE on Tableau server, it removes all calculated fields that I had added per step 3 above.


      Is there anyway I can maintain these calculated fields in the server datasource?


      Suggested option from Alteryx right now is that I follow steps 1 to 3 as above but then I create an extract (of an extract) and then publish that extract on to tableau server and put scheduling on Tableau server to refresh that extract. This is ok but it defeats the ability of Alteryx to write TDEs directly on to Tableau server and will require correct sequencing and refreshing at Alteryx as well as Tableau server. They are still looking into other potential options as I am posting it here.


      Thanks in advance for some guidance


        • 1. Re: Ability to maintain Tableau calculated fields in TDE datasource on Tableau server using Alteryx
          Patrick Van Der Hyde

          Hello Harshit


          I recommend asking this question in the Altyerx community since this question seems directly related to that product.  The folks in the community are very helpful  as well. 


          Alteryx Community



          • 2. Re: Ability to maintain Tableau calculated fields in TDE datasource on Tableau server using Alteryx
            Jonathan Drummey



            Alteryx & Tableau published data source user here. This particular use case is not presently supported by the existing Alteryx Output tool nor the Publish to Tableau Server tool. I've been thinking about how to deal with this for awhile and have a plan, here it is:


            1) Maintain various shapefiles (we do dual-axis maps with different shapes).

            2) Maintain a local .tds (Tableau data source) file that points to a .hyper file that is generated by the following process:

            3) The core data for comes from a CSV file that an Alteryx workflow writes to.

            4) Then after completing an update to the .csv write Alteryx will kick off a script or series of scripts that...

            a) uses the Tableau extract API to generate the .hyper file from the CSV file & shapefiles.

            b) (possible) zips everything into a .tdsx (based on the docs this seems to be necessary for the REST API in the next step).

            c) uses either the Tableau REST API or tabcmd to publish the data source. I keep hearing rumors that tabcmd will be deprecated in a future release so I'll probably take apart Alteryx's Publish to Server tool and re-use some code there.


            This way we will get a published data source that includes calcs that we can update the data from an Alteryx workflow. Updates to the metadata (calculated fields, aliases, folders, default colors, etc.) will be done via edits to the local (master) .tds rather than by downloading & editing the published data source.


            This process is a little more complicated and using the Tableau extract API to create the .hyper file instead of an Alteryx Output tool because we regularly have Tableau data sources with multiple spatial objects (i.e. multiple spatial columns) however Alteryx's output tool doesn't support spatial objects in .tde nor .hyper nor does it support having multiple spatial objects in a single output. And the Tableau refreshextract tool can't be used here because it's never been updated to handle multiple data sources.


            So we won't be using an Alteryx Output tool to a .hyper file and we won't be using a the Alteryx Publish to Server tool. I'm hoping to put this all together into a tool I can publicly share but that project keeps on getting pushed back due to other priorities.



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