How to publish one data source to be utilised across many projects in Tableau Server

This blog post was inspired by a customer’s recent enquiry about publishing one data source to be utilised by all projects within one Tableau Server site.

The background to this enquiry is the fact that in Tableau Server, when you publish content such as a workbook, a data source or a data extract, you are required to publish it at a Project level (i.e. not Site level). If you are not familiar with Tableau Server Permission, please refer to this blog post by Information Lab which explains it in details.

Let’s use a simple scenario below to illustrate the how we can address this.

ACMI segregates content by functional business units (e.g. Marketing, Engineering), each contained within a separate Tableau Server Project. This content, including data-sources, can only be seen or accessed by users and groups assigned to, for example, the Marketing or Engineering Project.

Site and Projects

 

However, there might be common content across both Marketing and Engineering. For example, the annual leave balance applies to both functional business units. You may therefore want to create a Tableau Data Source (TDS) file, connecting live to the annual leave data-source, and make it available to both the Marketing Project and Engineering Projects. Please refer to this blog post by Information Lab on different Tableau file types.

Instead of publishing the “common data source” to both Marketing and Engineering Projects, create a separate Project – let’s call it “Common Content”, and publish the common content (i.e. Common Data Source) in this Project.

You then set the Common Project permission to allow those Engineering and Marketing users / groups to have access; see below.

Site and Projects2.JPG

Permissions on Common Project for users / groups to Data Sources – is set to Connector TableauServerPermission

Now when a user who belongs to the Marketing Project, or associated group, logins to Tableau Server they will have access to the data sources from both the Marketing Project and the Common Project.

marketing_ds.JPG

Likewise, when a user who belongs to the Engineering Project, or associated group, logins to Tableau Server they will have access to the data sources from both the Engineering Project and the Common Project.

engineering_ds

This method allows you to simultaneously segregate specific content but also share common content in a scalable manner, avoiding data duplication and the associated effort.

How to publish one data source to be utilised across many projects in Tableau Server

One thought on “How to publish one data source to be utilised across many projects in Tableau Server

  1. Steven B Burger says:

    This is a great write up! One additional benefit, if the published data source is a Tableau Data Extract, then only one scheduled refresh has to happen to update multiple workbooks. This reduces the load on the Background process and associated server resources.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s