We have a similar process and yes the update workbook does get a little tricky. If that happened you could always create a local copy of the data source and start from there. To help with this we started using workbook for each data source we publish to document stuff about the data source. Business contacts, data definitions, traffic to the data source and extract refresh information.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your reply. We already use the practice of saving the workbook for each published data source. But while re-publishing after making changes, people sometimes accidently keep the "Update workbook to use published data source" option ticked and save it as well. They realize the mistake only after they reopen the workbook next time. I am wondering if there is a way to revert back to old workbook by removing the tableau server connection.
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You should add one more step to your process. Before you publish but after you create your data source, right-click on the data source name and select "add to saved data sources". This creates a .tds file in your "My Tableau Repository" directory. It will save your life one day!
My experience is that the "Update workbook..." checkbox retains its state between publishing events. Is that not the case in your environment?
Michael Gillespie Thanks! That sure helps a lot.. I had seen this option before, but was not quite sure what its function was!
Also, among tds and tdsx, which would be better to use?
"Update workbook..." checkbox retains its state between publishing events - true, but if someone ticks the box for any of the workbook they are working with, the box remain checked even on a different workbook. Usually people do a "save as" from the original data source creating a duplicate, then publish that data source to server with tick mark on. This way, the data source gets published, and the publisher can keep working on the visualization part in the same workbook without having to connect again to server.
Ah, I get it.
The process I usually recommend to my clients is to have a workbook that is ONLY data sources. You can version-control it in git or SVN or whatever if you need to. The key is that it is NEVER published to Online/Server, and is used solely to manage the creation and publication of datasources.
No publishing of data sources from workbooks that contain vizzes, ever!
As for your first question, TDS is enough. You want the connection info/metadata, not the data. You can then version-control THOSE files too, if you want.