FOR ANALYSTS FOR BI PROS FOR EVERYONE LEARN Tableau
Tableau Chess: Interactive Chess game using Tableau JS API
July 22, 2016
2
, , , , ,

Tableau Chess GameNo doubt that chess is one of my favourite game. It’s more than 15 centuries old but still fresh and enjoyable. Also no doubt that my favourite data visualization tool is Tableau so why not mix these two together? That’s the motivation of my new Tableau game, the Tableau Chess that is running entirely in a Tableau Public workbook using some javascript coffeescript magic. (more…)

FOR BI PROS LEARN Tableau
Tableau Graceful Restarter Application: PET Restart
July 21, 2016
1
, , , ,

PET RestartLast week I had the opportunity to show some of our solutions at ISATUG (International Server Administration Tableau User Group). One of my topics was graceful restart, because, yes, I still find it so useful that I want to share this goodie as much as I can. And to share something that actually works in practice I wrote a small plugin for our very-best Palette Enterprise Tabadmin (we call it pet) distribution that works standalone and can do the graceful restart magic what I explained in Graceful Restart Part1 and Part2. (more…)

FOR BI PROS LEARN Tableau
Reconfiguring Tableau Server without Restart: Graceful Restart (part2)
June 5, 2016
0
, , , , , ,

DraingGraceful restart, the promise of restarting core components like vizqlserver without impacting the users. As of now there is no official support from Tableau Software to do black magic like this, but yes, you aren’t here for official supported stuff. You are here for actual solutions. Considering that you know how Tableau Server’s configuration template engine works and familiar with the basics of tableau server gateway architecture including its services’ sticky sessions let’s jump into the details.

(more…)

FOR BI PROS LEARN Tableau
Reconfiguring Tableau Server without Restart: The Basics (Part1)
May 17, 2016
3
, , , , , ,

Reload Tableau ConfigurationTableau Software is continuously working on Server’s architecture to make it more robust, modern and enterprise grade. However, it still has its design heritage and technical dept that make some tasks too complex or uncomfortable. One of these is the way how minor and major configuration changes can be applied. Even if we made tiny changes like enabling repository’s readonly user or allowing peeps to access systeminfo.xml we do need a complete server restart.

Currently, the limitations of the out-of-the-box online reload are:

  • tabadmin service architecture (including tabspawn) and its current feature set
  • configuration template/file management
  • windows, as operating system (lack of posix signals)
  • unsophisticated traffic management between apache2 and tomcat services
  • reload hooks not implemented in webapps (like no support for JNI re-initalization)

Don’t worry if some of these points are not clear, we will discuss all of them in details sooner or later. In advance, there is a rumour that Tableau is working on Linux version of the Server. That will require a new tabadmin model as well as additional options to reload service configuration without restart using HUP signals in apache2 or redis for instance. Thus, when these changes happen my current post might be outdated I think at the moment it makes sense and helps to understand how Server operates.

(more…)

FOR ANALYSTS FOR BI PROS FOR EVERYONE Tableau
Tableau to Excel: our free Tableau Extractor tool
April 23, 2016
0
, , , ,
Educating users and customers is not an easy task. Visual analytics always beats boring tabular reports but sometimes people still want their hundred megabytes multitab excel files. We all know that guy who begs for crosstab excel export from his favourite Tableau dashboard. No worries, we have a solution for for him and you.
Tableau does not have excel export by purpose. They simply do not want to seem like a standard reporting tool. I know customers with large deployments (40+ CPU cores) asking for this feature but Tableau Software simply refuses this enhancement request. So then, what are the current options?

(more…)

FOR BI PROS Tableau
Changing Tableau Server log entries severity: The untold story of disassembling
April 6, 2016
1
, , , , ,

IDA ProI usually post things that are experimental, breaks the licensing terms, terminates the support but this day I will go beyond. Do not try this at home or your work place and again, no warranty. Really.

So the story starts with one of my current challenge in Tableau Server administration. On default log level (where native_api.log.level  equals to info) you do not see from the vizqlserver logs what are the connected data server sessions for the vizql sessions. This is generally a pretty useful information for debugging: when one workbook behaves differently with published data source the data server log should be the first stop. But to match the dataserver.log with vizqlserver.log on a crowded server is somewhat a challenge.

(more…)

FOR EVERYONE Tableau
Version Control: Revision History in Tableau 9.3
March 20, 2016
3
, , , ,

Revision HistoryPrior to Tableau Server 9.3 Version Control and Revision History were one of the most wanted Server features. During the Developers on Stage presentation at TC15 (nah that was a party) I saw this new feature show cased and it was like “yes, this is what we need exactly“. Something what even the end users can use: nothing complicated, still effective. Tableau 9.3 will be released in the next days so let’s see what we can expect and how it works internally.

Enable Revision History

By default Revision History is turned off. I would consider to turn this on every site that my team administers since it does not significantly affect repository performance and as the objects are stored without extracts the storage requirements are low as well.

(more…)

FOR EVERYONE Tableau
Refreshing Server Extracts from Command Line – The Two Approaches
March 6, 2016
2
, , , ,

I see TabCmd Install Promptseveral questions related to refreshing a data source or workbook on a remote Tableau Server. The rules are easy, we have two different tools that are working pretty differently. Let’s see what the differences and when to use each tool.

Tableau Data Extract Command-Line Utility

This is a command-line utility that comes with Tableau Desktop ( tableau.com  is this utility, while tableau.exe  is the Desktop GUI itself – pretty confusing, I have no idea why they’re using the same executable name). With this tool you are practically download the data source definition (tds) from the Server, refresh it locally with your Tableau Desktop libraries and send it back to the Server after it has been refreshed.

(more…)

FOR ANALYSTS FOR BI PROS FOR EVERYONE Tableau
Business Objects Universe Connector for Tableau
January 8, 2016
0
, , , , ,

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 15.57.37 Analysts in an enterprise environment usually have to deal with data from a multitude of sources. One of the most prevalent is SAP BusinessObjects and while it does provide enterprise level capabilities to IT it might not provide all the capabilities analysts require.  The analyst wishing to leverage the powerful visualization and storytelling capabilities of Tableau in these companies had to go through the tedious process of requesting extracts from the IT/BI department. This can now be mitigated with an SAP Business Objects – Tableau Connector. By using SAP’s own BusinessObjects SDK we can access BO Universes and pass the structure through a gateway into a format that Tableau can reuse. It allows everyone to design new workbooks based on new universe queries without the need of WebI reports or Query-as-a-WebService endpoints.

For free and open source. 

(more…)

FOR ANALYSTS FOR BI PROS Tableau
Tableau Web Data Connector in FIVE lines of code
November 29, 2015
0
, , , , , , , , , ,

wdc_desktop_enter_urlAlmost a month ago, on 5th November I had the honor to present some of the Tableau Web Data Connector concepts with Information Lab’s Craig Bloodworth and InterWorks’ Robert Rouse during that month’s Think Data Thursday. While Robert explained the background and Craig showed intermediate topics I just showed how to write a new Tableau Web Data Connector from scratch for an actual use case (connect to Tableau’s Community Forums) in five lines of code, including workarounds for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) limitations.

It wasn’t my best performance but I hope the message came thru:  by using the right frameworks and right programming languages you can write these connectors without getting your hands dirty.

(more…)