The integration is focused on two points. The first is through portal data entry, which boils down to the system should allow the user to define data sets within the portal for use in reports viewing as well as data visualization (through a different data visualization tool) and potentially other tools. The second is linking actions taken within the Tableau tool (presumably the online tool, possibly including the desktop tool) back to the other tools/portal, allowing users to refine their data sets using the reports as a feedback mechanism. With those two goals in mind, I have the following hopefully more specific questions.
1) Is there a clean way to adjust the data set target within Tableau based off parameters set in a portal form page? The portal would try to capture the parameters for interesting data such as a given time frame, geolocation, vendor, user, etc, which I would want to feed into Tableau for it to run a report on. Tentatively I assume the best path would be to use the API to set the connection's initial query, but I have concerns over if that's easy for a user to adjust if they decide they want to look at a different data set. I had briefly considered trying to build a workbook XML based off the filter and uploading it, but that seems like it invites a bit too much complexity in trying to merge the data filtering and a report together, and would be far more limited in how it allowed the user to expand or narrow down their query. I also read that there was a method of passing parameters in by URL, but I'm worried that I'll be passing in too much info (80-90 potential fields, possibly with duplicates) through that avenue, and I thought I'd read it was incompatible with the initial query anyway. Are there other methods I'm overlooking that would better support this?
2) Does Tableau support form based parameter entry for its own reports? So if I've defined a report as looking for data sets within a time block, can it prompt the user on running the report to enter the time block, or do they have to know how to configure that data on their own? In a related fashion, how well does Tableau support a user entering their own ad hoc sql query? If I've given an advanced user a data model and told them to write out their own specific query can they drop that into a quick field and hit run, or do they need to also know specific application knowledge for setting up a workbook and adding query elements to that?
3) Building a bit off question 1, does Tableau support launching specific reports in conjunction with loading the online tool? Say a user had selected a data set within the portal tool to run a report on, could they specify the report in the portal (so portal draws up a list of reports available to the user within Tableau), and would I then be able to launch the online tool already loading to the report in question? This would mostly be to help basic or infrequent users to get to a report without having to navigate through a bunch of other screens.
4) Is it possible to save 'Drill Downs' and make them portable somehow? The idea behind this is the user runs a report, gets hundreds of lines back and needs something more granular. So they tweak the time window, filter the list for vendors based out of Arizona, do whatever to get it down to a final version that they like. They then want to view that data in one of our other tools such as visualization. Is it possible for me to access a sort of grand query that filters down to that new view subset? I can work off a query, but I'm not sure if there'd be complications if we're using initial queries to control the overall data access, plus a report query, plus a filtered view on the report query, and if I'd even be able to access one/all of them programmatically. Additionally, is it possible for the user to save those drill down states so the next time they run that report they can have it already filtered to the view they want, or would they need to go back and modify the original report/their copy of it to have those built in?
Any guidance on where to look for documents or what terms I need to search for to get details would be appreciated. Thanks for your time!