5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2018 12:26 PM by Brandon Kidwell

    Tableau Server sending a twbx file?

    Michael Kaminski

      I have a question about the capability of Tableau server.  Currently, I create a report that I then upload to the company's Tableau server. I am then able to subscribe users to the workbook and it's views. The server will then send out an Email link to the subscribed users in which the users have to log into the server and view the workbook.  Is it possible that the server could send an a twbx file to the subscribed people? - And those subscribed people would have Tableau readers.  We want to eliminate the step of having people log into a server to view a workbook. We want to make this as easy, and painless for people as we can.  We are thinking that simply clicking on an Email attachment and having the report automatically open in Tableau reader would eliminate the hassle for many people.  This would also limit the amount of licensed users we need to have logging into the server.

       

      So, our goal is for our data analysts to create a report, and publish it to the Tableau server.  The server can then update the extract as we specify and Email the updated twbx file (workbook) to specified recipients, (instead of having 100 users to log into a server.)  Those recipients could then just click their Email attachment and examine the Tableau workbook.  Is this possible?  Thanks for any help. Or should we be using Tableau Public or online or something like that?

        • 1. Re: Tableau Server sending a twbx file?
          Daniel Stanish

          Good day Michael.

           

          I'm going to swim upstream on this one. I suggest that you're going to have less problems (and less work!) if you point the users to the Tableau server. There are a number of reasons for this:

          1. Data refreshing will not work for packaged workbooks. So if you add another day/month/year's worth of data, the users will have to be sent it again. And people may be discussing different versions, etc. If they're all referring to the copy on server, then they all be up-to-date.
          2. Access privileges. A user who was authorized to see a particular data set may not be in a day/month/year. Using Tableau server you can limit or remove access privileges. And if you say "Aha! My data is completely open I don't need to ever limit access." then I'd suggest posting it to Tableau Public, which will allow you to update the workbook without having to email new versions.
          3. Keeping an updated copy of the workbook available. Beyond data, you may want to update the workbook and make the updates available. You'll have to distribute yet another copy.

           

          Okay..., so you're not convinced.  In that case, Tableau Server doesn't have this functionality natively, however, you could set up scripting using TabCMD and emailing software to download packaged workbooks and group lists from the server, then attach the workbook to an email. This will require coding work. Tableau has a writeup for PDF file versions, downloading the TWBX is similar.

           

          https://kb.tableau.com/articles/howto/tabcmd-for-generating-a-pdf-and-emailing

           

          Does this help? Best regards,

           

          -Dan

          • 2. Re: Tableau Server sending a twbx file?
            Daniel Stanish

            Good day Michael.

             

            Two more references on tabcmd:

             

            Best regards,

             

            -Dan

            • 3. Re: Tableau Server sending a twbx file?
              Brandon Kidwell

              Hello Michael,

               

              I agree with Dan, it sounds like the effort will ultimately be the same in the end you're just distributing the workload to find a way to distribute packaged workbooks and send via e-mail which will transfer the workload to your e-mail server and ultimately take up space on each end users desktop or laptop locally.  In the end you will lose efficiency, ability to update, add and alter data without added effort and demand on all end users and you lose reign on security.  Once you export and send a twbx file it's self contained and you cannot control it's fate after that (if that's a concern). 

               

              I'd recommend educating the end users if live interactions are necessary as this is the most secure and efficient method of delivery.  Signing in each time the report is updated is less laborious than downloading, opening up and possibly keeping track of latest versions of a report in my experience.  Otherwise Dan's suggestion of generating a pdf might be a great compromise.

               

              Hope this helps.

              Best,
              Brandon

              • 4. Re: Tableau Server sending a twbx file?
                Michael Kaminski

                Daniel & Brandon,

                 

                Maybe I should just go to using Tableau Viewer? It’s more secure, I can be sure everyone is looking at the same, current, data, no software/IT concerns, and employee laptops won’t be bogged down with a lot of large twbx files.  Employees will just have to take a little extra effort to type in their user name and password to log into a server.  How’s my thinking?

                • 5. Re: Tableau Server sending a twbx file?
                  Brandon Kidwell

                  Hello Michael,

                   

                  In my opinion your thinking is right on.  I think that would be the best use of all your resources and investments in Tableau to date to keep your data and reporting efficient, current, secure and for you (or other administrators/developers/creators) keep the administration to a minimum so you can focus on the data.  It's been our case that our end users were used to Excel and PowerPoint and we had to basically educate them and get them used to the new way of accessing reporting through the server but after the initial phase of discomfort I think 80-90% of the end users/analysts wouldn't go back. 

                   

                  Let us know if we can help further and best of success rolling out your reporting!

                   

                  Best,

                  Brandon