3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2019 1:56 AM by Ciara Brennan

    Tableau Prep - Extract vs Live

    Nagarajan R

      Tableau Prep has two options to save its output

      1) Save output to file.

      2) Publish as datasource.


      With few sequence of steps I observed that Prep only publishes a file with data inside (as a extract) and there is no option to explicitly mark it as Live like we do in Tableau Desktop.

      However with extract comes the challenge of scheduled refresh to get latest data on a production grade version as with a prep published data source there is no schedule option I find in Tableau Server..


      Does this mean Tableau prep (atleast this roll out version) is for one time data transformation and cannot be used for daily refresh?


      Also when we download a data source after publishing to server and open from Tableau Desktop, it appears as single cylinder (representing) live data connection.

      So this confused me and am not able to determine whether a prep output will be a live or extract?


      Can you please share your experience and insights into Tableau Prep and how it works for extract and live.


      Also note a small experiment I did.

      1) 10 rows excel data.

      2) pointed tableau prep to this excel data and added couple of new calc fields.

      3) published to server

      4) created a Workbook (WB) on server and it showed 10 rows.

      5) Added 10 additional rows to excel, but WB did not get updated.

      6) I deleted this excel source, but still the datasource published to server (via prep) was still showing same 10 rows (displayed in step 4).

      7) This meant prep published data source was no longer pointing to its original excel source path.


      Please share your thoughts.


      Thank you

        • 1. Re: Tableau Prep - Extract vs Live
          Don Wise



          Regarding live, from the help file on Tableau Prep:

          Note: You can publish data extracts or data sources to Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server version 10.0 and later as well as to Tableau Online. Setting up schedules in Tableau Server or Tableau Online to automatically refresh your data outputs is not yet supported.


          Please see the following link regarding use of Extracts & Refreshes.  I tested with MS-Excel and was able to add a sheet, manually click the refresh icon in Tableau Prep and the sheet appeared and ready to be added to the data pane.  Same concept applies for a new row of data within a pre-existing sheet.  Click the refresh button in the upper left of the data pane.  Then click output to rerun the flow with all of the cleaning and other prep done to overwrite the prior output/data source.




          If this answers your question, please mark it as correct.  Thx, Don

          • 2. Re: Tableau Prep - Extract vs Live
            Nagarajan R

            Thank you Don.

            So are we saying

            1) Tableau Prep by default extract data once a flow is created?

            2) No option to switch between Live or Extract in Prep like we have in Desktop?


            I got the idea of manually re-running a prep flow to get latest data but this would mean we can rollout a datasource prepared with Tableau Prep as it cannot be automatically refreshed daily through a schedule.

            Also if Tableau Prep flow cannot be live, we cannot leverage some of DB concepts or features.

            • 3. Re: Tableau Prep - Extract vs Live
              Ciara Brennan

              --> moved thread to Tableau Prep board


              Tableau Prep