Ascend integrates with Tableau through Ascend's Tableau Connector. You can now build Tableau workbooks that are directly linked to components in Ascend! The connector is available through the Tableau connector gallery. Here is how it's done.

Create a Service Account and Generate Keys

To prepare the Tableau connection, first create a Service Account and generate an API Token in the Data Service you wish to pull data from. To provide access to any component in that Data Service, create the account with permission 'Read Only.' For narrower control over what data the Tableau user can see, create the account with permission 'Data Feed Read Only.' This will limit access to read data from only the Data Feeds in that Data Service. You will use these credentials in Tableau to connect to Ascend.

Connecting Tableau Desktop to Ascend

  1. Prerequisite: Tableau Desktop 2020.3 or later
  2. Download and install the Spark SQL Driver.
    a) Go to Tableau's Driver Download website
    b) Choose 'Spark SQL' for data source, and pick the appropriate operating system
    c) Follow instructions on installing the Simba ODBC driver.

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Note

If you can't find the driver you need, please contact the Tableau Technical Support Team.

  1. Open Tableau and select 'Spark SQL' from the 'Connect To' menu
  2. Enter the domain of the Ascend environment <environment-name>.sql.ascend.io
  3. Use Port = 10000 and Type = SparkThriftServer
  4. Select Username and Password authentication
  5. Enter your service account username and password.
  6. Check Require SSL and SASL Transport
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At this point the connection appears in the Connection listing in Tableau. Since Service Accounts are credentialed to a specific Data Service, the Connection can only access the Ascend components in that Data Service. This way you can manage access to specific data for different users simply by managing the creation and distribution of credentials.

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Select Dataflows from Ascend

The Ascend Dataflows that are contained in the Data Service behind the Connection are available as 'Schemas', Each component in those Dataflows is available as a 'Table' in its 'Schema'. By default, due to the large number of schemas and tables available, we do not load the list immediately when the connection is made. Also, data engineers could be updating the components on the Ascend side, so the list of Schemas is refreshed each time you use this function.

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Use the search function in the 'Schema' box to find the Dataflow you want to access. (Tip: an empty search will return the full list of schemas available.)

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To add data sources from other Dataflows in Ascend, repeat the connection process. This way you can assemble reports and visualizations with data from across all of the data assets managed in Ascend. (Tip: Use the rename function in Tableau to label each Connection more descriptively, and avoid multiple connections to the same Dataflow.)

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Select Ascend components from Tableau

The Ascend components in each Dataflow are found under the 'Table' menu.

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Capital Characters in the Data Service / Dataflow

There is a known limitation in Tableau where Tableau does not preserve case when using the "Browse" or search icon. This limitation means that while Ascend can populate the "Schemas", the "Table" query will return an empty list because Tableau sends the selected Schema up as lowercase. Adding the table name in manually with the "Add" button works, or you can rename the Data Services and Dataflows to be lowercase.

Once visible in Tableau, the Ascend components behave just like a tables.

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Query Ascend components from Tableau

To customize your query to focus in on the data you need from an Ascend component, use the Tableau Custom SQL function:

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Tip: Use the Custom SQL function to modify an existing table and start building your query with a working SQL statement.

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That's it for this introduction. Start bringing in the appropriate tables, define relationships, and get to enjoying direct access to Ascend from Tableau!

Connecting Tableau Server to Ascend

The process is similar to Desktop, except for the .taco file location.

  • For Linux, please install to /etc/tableau/tableau_connectors (creating the directory if it does not exist).
  • Ensure restarting the server with tsm restart
  • Publish a workbook from Tableau desktop to Tableau Server to test the connection
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