Making Tableau Dashboards Shareable

You have been creating dashboards and insightful analysis with Tableau Desktop. But now you want to share your work with others and allow them to interact with your worksheets. How do you do it?

The solution is secure, powerful – and equally important – easy-to-use from both the end user and IT perspectives. If your company is using Tableau, view this on-demand webinar on Tableau Server to learn successful implementation, including:

  • How Tableau Server allows Tableau Desktop users to share their work, with anyone, via any browser, in a secure environment
  • How easy it is to install, upgrade, administer, publish to and use
  • The powerful self-service capabilities that Tableau Server provides
  • Different versions (in-house / cloud) and licensing option (named user / unlimited)

Free Tableau Server Trial and Free Help with Installation
Click here to access the 14-day free trial and if you would like free assistance with installation contact [email protected].


Chuck Hooper
Business Analytics Consultant

Chuck’s career includes over five decades of business and IT experience. He started Tableau’s Professional Services consulting organization and was a Tableau Zen Master from 2012-2014. He conducts training sessions on the use of Tableau Software products, and does speaking engagements on visual analytics, data warehouse design, and other business intelligence topics at both the technical and the executive levels.

Questions log

Q: What format does the data need to be in Cubes, Star Schema or 3 normal form?
A: It doesn’t need to be in any particular form – any of the sources you mention could be your source. However, for various reasons you may want to structure it as a Star or use a certain source. It really depends upon the use case.

Q: Does Tableau Server need to have any virtual directories created as part of the install (similar to a Cognos install)?
A: It creates these automatically – it’s much more straight forward than a typical Cognos installation. It gets more complicated when you move to clustered/HA/DR environments or when you need to apply more specific security. If you need assistance with that, contact Senturus.

Q: Is there an Android app?
A: Yes, Tableau Server views can be accessed from an Android device. We can assist you with learning more about using mobile devices and other features with our private training classes.

Q: For live data connecting to Oracle Database how can I ensure that no one else can use our login credentials (username and password)?
A: You can set the login up to require the username and password whenever anyone connects. Don’t store the login credentials with the workbook/source.

Q: We use a generic ID to pull data, users don’t have their passwords so if we publish a report on Server can it pull data for their worksheets only?
A: You can apply security at any level, by using different Tableau techniques such as security table or user filters. Individuals sharing the same login credentials can still see only specified subsets of the data this way.

Q: Are there any differences between the web vs. desktop versions of Tableau?
A: Yes, most of the differences are in the analytics pane, but the delta closes a little with each release. The core functionality is pretty similar.

Q: Are there browser compatibility issues, do you recommend one browser over another?
A: Browsers such as Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox render a little differently, but overall there are no issues. If you are publishing and know your audience, make sure you test published results with the common browser(s) and screen resolutions.

Q: Is there a list of Tableau features that are available in Desktop but not available on Server?
A: We cannot find a document that describes the features; however, the list of limitations decreases with every release. The only significant differences we have found (as of the 9.3 beta) is not being able to connect to a new data source and no forecast option.

Q: How can managers be encouraged to be more interactive Tableau users and not just passive information consumers who depend on analysts to turn data into consumable information for them?
A: The paradigm shift from passive consumer to interactive insight driven user is a process based on what starting point you’re at. One of the biggest obstacles is fear – which is mitigated by training and support. Another requirement for interactive users is a top-down management approach, where expectations need be set at the management level. We offer private training classes in which topics are custom designed, that means you could schedule a class, and invite your managers to it, to include a discussion about the importance of interactivity. Learn more about our private training classes.

Q: What are the advantages for internal Tableau Server over the Cloud?
A: The Cloud has less initial expenses and IT involvement and requires you publish extracted data in most cases. On-premises gives you direct, real-time access to your data and no file size limitations.

Q: With healthcare data we don’t want data being viewed by outside sources. Is it possible to not allow data to be viewed on mobile apps?
A: If the data is available on Tableau Server inside your firewall, then all content can be viewed on any device, where the user is licensed and authenticated. The only way for outside users to access your data via a mobile device (or any device) is to allow access using VPN. In addition, you can implement some extra steps that the access path has to go through to check for, and stop, specific devices from accessing data.

Q: How to I migrate a large number of dashboards from Cognos to Tableau?
A: For this migration, we need additional information and can help estimate and plan the process. For more information, contact Senturus.

Q: How to I migrate a large number of dashboards from Development to Production?
A: This is not a big issue. Processes can be set up to assist with the migration, including some applications from parties outside of Tableau.

Q: How much are the Senturus Tableau training classes?
A: Our Introduction to Tableau Visualizations and Analysis is $799 and Advanced Tableau Data Visualization and Dashboarding is $999. Both of our Tableau training courses are two-days. We also offer onsite, private training for both Tableau Desktop and Server that are tailored to suite your users’ level of expertise.

Q: How do I share entire workbooks through server?
A: When you publish to Server, you are publishing the entire workbook. You can designate which views are to be shown, but, all are published. By default, users with access to the workbook have access to all views in that workbook. Individual tabs can be secured differently. Also, if you publish with an extract in play, you can set up automatic refreshing of the extract and using “tabcmd.exe” you can automate the pulling of the packaged workbook to a network drive for full access by anyone with Tableau Reader.

Q: How can I share views besides email?
A: You can share views using the subscription process. When you use the batch “tabcmd.exe” program, multiple views/workbooks can be distributed via email and sent to network drives. Also, using “tabcmd.exe,” you can create images or PDF files of the dashboard images and place them on network drives for access at a later time.

Presentation outline

Tableau Server Versions & Licensing

  • In-House – Named User License: $1000 / named user – unlimited hardware
  • In-House – Core Based License: $3xx,000 per 8 core box – unlimited users
  • Tableau Online – hosted Tableau Server: $500 per year per person – 100GB storage allowed

Install Tableau Server (Upgrade)

  • Run a backup of the current environment
  • Do a Windows uninstall of the old
  • Download the current installer (~990Mb)
  • Trial version is 100% functional – with 14-day trial license
  • Installs on a Windows Server – a both 32 bit and 64 bit versions available
  • Typical install, accepting all defaults = 15-30 minutes

Demonstration of Server Installation

Basic Installation is Done – Gotchas

  • Creating a “cluster” environment, for larger installations
  • Non “Active Directory” authentication can by tricky
  • Setting up Server / role-based security
  • Determining causes of performance issues
  • When to publish live connections vs. extracts
  • Connectivity from Server to DBMS – firewall issues

Ways to Implement Security

  • DBMS Server based
  • Database table linked to our analysis
  • The publisher can use a “User Filter”
  • Server administrator

Build an Interactive Dashboard

  • Use Desktop to publish a dashboard
  • Then, we will work inside Tableau Server:
    • View what we published (browser)
    • Create out own views (“edit” function)
    • Discuss administration
    • Discuss Tableau iPad apps

iPad Apps

  • Tableau App
    • More eloquent way to get to Tableau Server views
  • Vizable
    • Free app for analyzing flat file data
    • No relation to other Tableau apps / products

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