Webcast Fridays are 20-30 minute presentations every other Friday that show off some of the more interesting work we do hoping you will find it informative and inspiring.

Welcome back to another Webcast Friday! On today’s webcast, I talked about Power Tools for Tableau, specifically Power Tools: Desktop and Deployment. If you’re not familiar with InterWorks’ Power Tools suite, Desktop and Deployment were launched in 2014 and Server was launched last year. Brad Fair did an awesome talk on server performance and Power Tools: Server in the previous webcast episode, if you’d like to listen here. Now, let’s get back to today’s episode.

Desktop and Deployment Go Hand-In-Hand

During trainings, we often recommend Power Tools: Desktop and Deployment to be used in conjunction with each other. As you’ll see in the example test in the webcast, the steps come one after the other. Desktop monitors and improves your workbook design and Deployment automatically deploys the approved workbooks. Once you learn to use Desktop and Deployment, this will save you hours of time spent on your workbooks. 

Power Tools: Desktop

There are three main focuses I want to draw attention to:

  • Data Source Auditing
  • Best Practice Analyzer
  • Style Management

Desktop will analyze where your data sources are being used and can spot-check your calculated fields. The Best Practice Analyzer scans performance rules to see how the workbooks are performing and will generate helpful recommendations that can optimize your workbooks. It’s important to note that these are just suggestions and you are not required to fix any of the results it finds. That being said, the issues are categorized by severity such as critical and warning. You can even make a rule that says only to display critical issues. 

Next, Desktop analyzes your style management. This is very helpful to see the consistency of the styles you’re using. It will scan the XML again and look at all the formatting in the workbook. Then, you can select and change any styles and it will be published to Tableau Server.

Power Tools: Deployment

After going through the three main quality checks in Desktop, it’s time to deploy your workbooks. Again, these are some of the main benefits you’ll get out of Deployment automation:

  • Compliance Checks
  • Change Data Connections
  • Archive Deployments

Compliance checks will automatically make sure that your workbooks are updated the right way every time. Those updates can include: data sources, permissions, images, fonts, tags and more. If you end up needing to backtrack on any of your releases or updates, the archive feature will make sure that everything is organized and easy to rollback if necessary. Whether you are just getting started with Tableau Server or you are managing hundreds of workbooks, Deployment will give you the confidence that everything is efficiently going into production and looking exactly the way you want it to be.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about working with Desktop or Deployment, definitely reach out to me and we can help you on whatever project you are working on. You can also download a free trial of Desktop here and practice the steps I went through today. You can send any questions to me at Zion.Spencer@interworks.com

We’ll see you in two weeks for another Webcast Friday!

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Zion Spencer

Marketing Analytics Manager