Multi-Tenant Data Environments: Templates and Other Solutions

Update 2020-11-06: Rename this article to be more obvious and updated some of the code, along with learnings from the past few years.

Tableau can do Multi-Tenancy. But your database might also, in a variety of ways, also do what you think of as “multi-tenancy”.

In years having this discussion, I have learned one thing: Multi-Tenancy is used differently by everyone to describe these structural organizations. So we have to be very clear to make sure we all are talking about the same things. That makes this article a bit long-winded (surprising for me I know!), but hopefully the precision justifies the extra words.

If you are using Tableau to present data to multiple different organizations (customers, clients, suppliers, hospital groups etc.), the structure of how you store that data greatly affects the way you should organize content on Tableau Server.

Multi-Tenancy in Tableau Server: Sites or Hierarchical Projects


Full Localization of Tableau Workbooks

Tableau has a great whitepaper that explains all of the out of the box supported localization methods. But they are not exactly “seamless”; they take a lot of effort and still result in some quirks. In this post, I’ll explore how some simple modification to the Tableau XML files can provide a method to generate “fully” translated workbooks that are won’t look out of place even when using Web Edit or See Underlying Data.

To build a translatable workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your datasource. Do not rename any fields. Also do not create any calculations
  2. Publish the datasource to Tableau Server.
  3. Save the datasource as a .TDS file for later, in case you need to make changes.
  4. Connect to the published datasource on Tableau Server. Close the original local connection
  5. Save the workbook as a TWB

Now you have a workbook that is fully ready to be translated. Keep reading for how to make it work.