Use Tableau Server when creating huge extracts

The ability for Tableau to refresh huge extracts directly on the Tableau server is great. Not only because it can be done at night while I am sleeping, but also because I do not need my own desktop PC to be the bottleneck.

Until recently I used my PC to create the extract the first time. This gave me some challenges because the creation of the extract could take several hours and ate a great part of my memory at the same time.

Recently I stumbled upon this great workaround by Ben Sullins.

This is what I do:

1) Create a view (using SQL server or similar) of the datasource with a limited number of rows eg. 1000.

2) Create your Tableau extract after you have made the required changes to the metadata.

3) Publish your extract to the server.

4) Change the view to return all rows

5) Find the Data Source on the Tableau server and select "(Run Now)"

By using this method I can leverage on the server instead of my own PC when creating extract for the first time.

I save all the Tableau files (twb) from where I create the extract, as they become handy when I need to make corrections to the metadata, add new columns or similar.

Back to blog

Subscribe for updates