- 29 Sep 2022
- 6 Minutes to read
Airtable Sync integration: Tableau Server
- Updated on 29 Sep 2022
- 6 Minutes to read
Airtable Sync integrations allow you to bring information from external tools into a single, centralized table within Airtable. This article covers how to sync Tableau Server worksheets to an Airtable base. This particular sync is for organizations using Tableau Server (on-premises). If your organization uses Tableau Online, then we cover that in a separate support article.
|Plan availability||Enterprise only|
|Platform(s)||Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows App|
Configuring Tableau Server sync for admins
Before setting up any Tableau Server syncs in Airtable, an admin at your organization will need to complete some work in and out of Airtable to allow this sync integration to be accessible.
In Tableau Server
- Your organization’s Tableau Server instance must be accessible to Airtable. If the Tableau Server instance is behind a firewall, then the firewall will need to be configured to accept incoming requests from Airtable. In order to allow Airtable access, while still restricting other external traffic, add the following static IP addresses to the allowlist in your firewall:
- Your organization’s Tableau Server instance must also run over HTTPS (i.e. the instance URL should start with “https://”)
In Airtable Admin Panel
- Go to the “Settings” page.
- Next, click the “App, Integrations & Sync” tab.
- Open the “Configure Integrations” panel.
- Then, click "Add new configuration" next to the Tableau Server option.
- Add a new configuration for Tableau Server. Please use only the base URL of your Tableau Server instance.
Adding a new Tableau Server synced table
- Find the Tableau Server sync option - To the right of the furthest table name in your base, you’ll find a + sign to add another table. After clicking the plus sign, click on “More…” and you’ll find “Tableau Server” in the list of sync options.NOTEIf you’ve confirmed that we’ve enabled Tableau Server sync for your organization but aren’t seeing this option, then it’s possible that the integration has not been allowed in your organization’s admin panel settings.
- Connect to your account or choose a previously connected account - After clicking to add the Tableau sync you’ll be prompted to select or connect a Tableau Server Account. If this is the first time you are setting up a sync with Tableau, then you’ll need to connect a new account.
Choosing to connect a new account will bring up a new window where you will enter your Tableau credentials. This includes the Server URL, Site Name, Personal Access Token Name, and Personal Access Token Secret. Links are provided throughout the setup window for further instruction. Additionally, we recommend that you create a new Personal Access Token just for this Airtable connection.
- Select Workbook and Worksheet - After connecting your Tableau account you’ll see a drop-down asking you to select a Workbook. From the Workbook selected, you’ll then select a Worksheet to sync to Airtable. If you end up remembering a certain Worksheet is in another Workbook, then you can open up the Workbook drop-down and select another one.
- Field configuration - Next up, you’ll need to configure the fields that will be synced over to Airtable. This involves choosing a primary field, customizing which fields will be shown, as well as picking field types for each column (field).
We do our best to identify good field types for each field coming from Tableau, however, sometimes you’ll want to adjust things so they make sense in your Airtable base. For this example, we first want to change the “Order ID” field to be a single line text field. This serves two purposes. First, it is likely a better field type for this row of data. Second, it allows us to set this as the primary field.
Now, we want to set this Order ID field to be the primary field in Airtable since it uniquely identifies each row (record) of data. Upon clicking the drop-down next to the Order ID field name we’ll click the “Use as primary field” option.
Next, you need to choose a field that uniquely identifies each record. This may sound redundant since you just set the primary field in Airtable, but it isn’t. Setting the primary field in Airtable allows you to uniquely identify it in Airtable, whereas choosing it here allows us to ensure that the correct records in Airtable are updated, created, or prevented from being duplicated when comparing records in Airtable to the connected worksheet in Tableau. Since the “Order ID” field is a good identifier, we will use that field in this step.
There may be times when a certain field is not a good unique identifier. In these cases, we will warn you that some non-unique records will be lost unless another field can be used.
- Configure sync settings- Before creating your synced table, there are “Settings” options that allow you choose how often you want to sync, and how to handle records deleted or hidden in the Tableau source:
- The frequency of syncing. Right now, the options are manual syncing and automatic syncing which happens about every hour.
- Whether or not deleted records in the Worksheet in Tableau should be removed from the Airtable table. By default, deleted rows will be removed.
- Create synced table - Once you’ve selected your desired sync settings, click the “Create table” button. Depending on how large the data set being synced in from Tableau is, it may take a few moments for the synced table to be created.
How does authentication work for this sync?
This sync integration utilizes Tableau’s PAT (Personal Access Tokens) functionality in order to connect the two services together. The link above provides a more detailed breakdown of how Tableau has designed their PATs to work and is the best document to refer to for authentication and security questions.
What limitations exist for the Tableau Server sync?
We will only sync with the first 10,000 records from your Tableau Worksheet. If your Worksheet has more than 10,000 rows, you can use a filter to bring it under 10,000 rows then duplicate the Worksheet and adjust the filter to exclude the rows from Worksheet 1 and include the remaining rows in the duplicated Worksheet 2. You'll need to set up a multi-source sync or a separate synced table in Airtable for each additional Worksheet. Example:
Assume you have a Tableau worksheet containing office supply orders over the course of 2 years and the total record count is 18,000. If you wanted to bring all 18,000 records into Airtable you could filter the Worksheet using the date field to just include records for the first year, dropping the total record count below the 10,000 record limit. You could then duplicate the worksheet and change the date filter to just include records from the second year. You now have two worksheets that represent all the data you want, both of which are under 10,000 records and can individually be synced into the same Airtable destination table using multi-source sync.