1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 16, 2018 11:00 AM by Don Wise

    Best Structure for Multiple Tableau Workbooks based upon Filemaker Database

    Michael Eddie

      Dear All,

       

      I wonder if you could help point me in the right direction for a Tableau project I am working on please?

       

      I have a database created in Filemaker which will be the data source.

      This database contains information for multiple organisations, and therefore requires data source filtering to only show data for that particular organisation.

      Within Tableau, there are several data sources connected via the web data connector to Filemaker.

       

      I want to create a number of different workbooks based upon the one core data source.

       

      For example:

      Organisation A

           - Activity Summary

           - Report 1

           - Report 2

      Organisation B

           - Activity Summary

           - Report 1

           - Report 2

           - Organisation B custom created report

       

      For the reports that are common to both Org A and B, I will create the same workbook and filter. I also need the ability for the organisations to create their own reports which are specific to them.

       

      My question is:

       

      How do I best manage the updating of these workbooks if based upon the same data source. For example, if I want to add another field to the database then at present I have to manually download a copy of each report, replace the data source, then republish each workbook. This is becoming very time consuming. Is there a better way to do this?

       

      I have also found that after a couple of days of appearing to run successfully, the extracts then crash and will not update anymore?

       

      I'm hoping there is an easy solution to this within tableau. Would it be easier to recreate the tables in SQL and base the tableau files from this?

       

      Thanks for your guidance.

       

      Kind Regards,

       

      Mike

        • 1. Re: Best Structure for Multiple Tableau Workbooks based upon Filemaker Database
          Don Wise

          Hi Michael,

          From a management perspective I would do something similar to the following:

          1. For Organization A, create a folder with permissions for just that group.
          2. For Organization B, create a folder with permissions for just that group.
          3. For workbooks/sheets involving both, use the Default folder.  Organization A will see only their folder and the Default folder; vice-versa for Organization B.
          4. Publish your data source using data source filters for Organization A to the folder for Organization A.  This will allow them to see just their data and also to create (with proper licensing) their own workbooks/sheets. I do this by creating a workbook that has nothing in it other than the Data Source and save it to my Data Sources folder in the Tableau Repository.  The workbook itself is not published; just the Data Source!  The data source workbook is appropriately named as such so there's a distinction between what's a Data Source and what's an actual workbook.  Filter Data from Your Data Source - Tableau
          5. Publish your data source using data source filters for Organization B to the folder for Organization B. This will allow them to see just their data and also to create (with proper licensing) their own workbooks/sheets.
          6. Where you have a data source that is common between the two, perhaps think about setting up a Test folder for and publish the data source that involves both to that folder only.  Develop out the workbook/sheets and then slide it over to the Default folder on completion.
          7. The real key here is to set up separate Data Sources for each Organization and separately for your own use where there's a need for you to use data for both organizations. You're only publishing the Data Source (if need be with an Extract that updates via scheduled refreshes via Tableau Bridge on a dedicated computer with Admin rights with Tableau Bridge running in either Service Mode (machine is always on) or Application Mode (Bridge will update upon powering machine on)). 
          8. After that point, the development of an actual workbook (at least from my workflow process) is to go to Tableau Online, click the button Create New Workbook, you'll be prompted to connect to a Data Source, connect to the visible/available data source you want to use and then create a workbook.  I initially create a workbook with nothing in it other than perhaps a dimension or a measure.  Save it.  Download it to my local machine.  Then do all of my development/changes.  Then publish back into the appropriate folder online.  Maintenance is significantly reduced at that point.  The organizations that need to create their own should be doing the same; either creating solely online with the Data Source available to them and/or downloading a newly created workbook to their local machine, making changes and then publishing back up into Online.  Caveat: ensuring organizations have maybe one point of contact for publishing their own content otherwise workbooks could potentially be overwritten by two different personnel working on the same workbook...!
          9. Insofar as adding an additional field to the database so that it reflects properly in the data source, that's where the maintenance portion of a Data Source comes in, especially if there's an Extract involved.  Tableau has a great resource on how to keep data fresh using an Extract here: Best Practices for Published Data Sources - Tableau
          10. That should help reduce your efforts with how things are being handled now...

           

          Hope that helps...thx, Don