Data Security

The Missing Link – Putting a Hyper File from the Extract API into a TDSX File

The Tableau Extract API 2.0 is an amazingly powerful tool for building out Extracts that, for whatever reason, cannot be built or maintained using the standard Tableau Server extract refresh process. The output of the Extract API 2.0 is a Hyper file (just as the older Extract API pushed out TDE files). You can publish a Hyper file directly to a Tableau Server, but there are several drawbacks:

  • Tableau Server will build out an automatic TDS file, taking a rough guess at any type of metadata categorization (Measure vs. Dimensions, Hierarchies, Geographic info, etc.)
  • The only use for this data source will be creating Ad Hoc reports using Web Edit (or hoping someone in Desktop now knows that it exists). You can’t integrate it easily in an existing Workbook

What is missing is a TDS file to pair up with the Hyper file, describing the exact metadata that you want to go along with the Extracted data. In this article, I’ll describe two workflows that result in a fully controlled TDSX file with a newly generated Hyper file.

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Multiple Table (Normalized) Hyper Extracts

The currently available Beta 1 of Tableau 2018.3 includes a long-requested feature for creating multiple table Hyper extracts — that is to say, each table you see in the connection pane will be brought in and stored as separate tables in a single Hyper extract file. Why is this so exciting? Because it’s the end of the need for Defusing Row Level Security in Tableau Data Extracts (Before They Blow Up) Part 1 (and Part 2)!

Starting in 2018.3

  • The design for row level security will be the same in both live connections and extracts
  • Extract files with security will create much faster
  • Best practices for entitlements tables are now feasible in Extracts

Let’s dig into the essentials and how we can make this work for effective Row Level Security.

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Revisiting The Tenets of Multi-Tenancy

Since there’s been so much time and better examples and code, I went back and did a major revision of the The Tenets of Tableau Templates on Multi-tenants which I highly advise everyone reading. It’s the most thorough explanation out there of how to correctly handle SaaS / Multi-Tenancy or Dev->Test->Prod promotion. And no, you do not need Interworks PowerTools to do this process, although they do have some nice features.

Defusing Row Level Security in Your Extracts (Before They Blow Up) Part Two

This documentation is for versions of Tableau prior to 2018.3

If you are using the 2018.3 version of Tableau or later, you’ll want to implement Row Level Security using Multi-Table Extracts and the “Standard” Method of Row Level Security. Read all about them at

How to set up your Database for Row Level Security in Tableau

If you are on a version prior to 2018.3, continue

EDITOR’S NOTE 2018-05-17: At the current time, it has been determined that the CONTAINS() solution below performs very poorly in the Hyper extract system in all releases of Tableau 10.5 and the 2018.1.0 release. The performance issues have been corrected in the 2018.1.1 release, but will not appear in any version of 10.5. If you are currently using it in a pre-10.5 version of Tableau, please only upgrade to 2018.1.1 and after.

In Part Two of the series (see Part One here), we’ll go through two solutions to Row Level Security that are a bit more programmatic and require some work outside of just Tableau Desktop calculations, but our often the recommended solution due to their speed and flexibility.

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The Tenets of Tableau Templates on Multi-tenants

We have a tendency to answer questions of multi-tenancy in Tableau swiftly with switching between Sites, which are the virtual tenements for your Tableau tenants. But Sites are the simple part of the equation; when there is a need for multitenancy in Tableau, there is most likely existing multi-tenancy in the data systems Tableau must connect to. I’m going to dive into the diverse ways that customers corral their data and outline all the tenets of deploying effectively from a single template to all your tenants.

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