Working with BI Sources

Available from version V R5 (5.9.x)

With the Generic BI model (GBM) enabled for Tableau, the Tableau sources you add to Alation will use this model for metadata extraction and data representation in the catalog.

For more information on the Generic model, see Add Tableau Server as a BI Source.

When Alation extracts metadata from a BI server, the BI server objects are mapped onto a BI model in Alation so that they can be represented in the catalog in a structured way. For Tableau, Alation will extract information about:

  • Sites

  • Projects

  • Workbooks (and their embedded (unpublished) datasources)

  • Views (Sheets and Dashboards)

  • Published Datasources

  • Datasource connections

  • Dimensions

  • Measures

These Tableau objects will be represented as catalog pages nested under the parent Tableau server Source. Tableau objects use five types of catalog object  templates:

  • BI Server the template for the top container of all BI objects: BI Server catalog page

  • BI Folder the template for Site, Project, and Workbook pages: they all use one common template.

  • BI Report  the template for Views. Both Report and Dashboard objects use one common template.

  • BI Report Column the template for Dimensions and Measures

  • BI Datasource the template for Datasources

  • BI Datasource Column the template for Datasource columns

For more on templates in Alation, see Applying Custom Fields to Templates.

Catalog Structure for Tableau Source


You can view and curate the catalog page of each object type by adding Custom Fields and values. You can also assign permissions for users to view or change the Custom Fields.

For details on Custom Field permissions, see Creating Custom Fields for Catalog Pages.

If you want that only a limited group of users of your Alation instance are able to certify Tableau objects, you need to assign permissions on Object Flags . For details, see Setting Permissions for Tableau Objects Flags.