Tableau OCF Connector: Install and configure

The Tableau OCF connector can be used to configure either Tableau Server or Tableau online (Cloud). Follow these steps to perform the required configuration for the Tableau connector on the Tableau side and in Alation.


Required Information

The following information is required for configuring the Tableau (Server or Online) in Alation:

  • URI

  • Service Account with site administrator privilege

  • Username - Tableau service account username

  • Password - Tableau service account password

  • SiteID


The following parameter is required for the URI:

  • Tableau server URL


Configurations in Tableau

Enable Metadata API for Tableau Server


The Metadata API is enabled by default for Tableau Online.

If cataloging a Tableau server, enable the Tableau Metadata API for this server to extract the metadata in Alation. Refer to Enable metadata-services to review the impact that metadata services have on Tableau Server. Enabling Metadata API might take up to 48 hours depending on the size of the metadata.

Before enabling the Metadata API:

  • Make sure that your Tableau instance is not undergoing an upgrade or maintenance.

  • Make sure that the Metadata API is not currently reindexing. You can check if the indexing is complete by:

    • Go to: <tableau_server_host>/metadata/graphiql/ and run a sample query.

    • Go to the tableau status page here: <tableau_server_host>/api/metadata/v1/control/backfill/status

      If you see Still creating the Metadata API Store. Results from the query might be incomplete at this time as the error message, it means that the Metadata API re-indexing is in progress and waiting for the indexing to complete.


To extract multiple domains from Tableau server:

  • Make sure that the domains that you want to extract from have bi-directional trust with the AD server that has Tableau installed. Users must be able to log into the Tableau instance using the credentials from another AD server.

  • Make sure that the Active Directory groups are imported and set up in Tableau.


  • Tableau service accounts require site administrator privilege to perform metadata extraction.

  • The following authentication types are supported by Alation:

    • Basic authentication

    • Personal access token


      For Tableau Online, if multi-factor authentication (MFA) is enabled, personal access token is the choice. Username and password authentication will not work. You must use a personal access token enable Alation to make REST API sign-in requests to Tableau Online.


      The Tableau OCF connector does not support SSO authentication to Tableau.

Configuration in Alation

STEP 1: Install the Connector


Installation of an OCF connector requires the Alation Connector Manager to be installed as a prerequisite. For Alation Cloud Service, the Alation Connector Manager is available by default.

  1. If this has not been done on your instance, install the Connector Manager: Install Alation Connector Manager.

  2. Make sure that the connector Zip file which you received from Alation is available on your local machine.

  3. Install the connector on the Connectors Dashboard page: refer to Manage Connector Dashboard.

STEP 2: Create and Configure a New BI Server Source

This configuration requires the role of the Server Admin.

Add a New BI Server Source

  1. Log in to the Alation instance and add a new BI Server source: Apps > Sources > Add > BI Server. The Register a Business Intelligence Server screen will open.

  2. On this screen, from the Select a Business Intelligence Server type list, select the Tableau OCF connector name.


    The connector name appears in this list only after it is installed.

  3. Provide the Title and a Description (optional) for your Tableau OCF data source.

  4. Click Add. You will be navigated to your new BI Server source Settings page.

Configure the the Tableau OCF BI Source

Perform the configuration on the Settings page.

  1. Application Settings:




Enable Raw Dump or Replay

The options in this drop list can be used to dump the extracted metadata into files in order to debug extraction issues before ingesting the metadata into Alation. This feature can be used during testing in case there are issues with MDE. It breaks extraction into two steps: first, the extracted metadata is dumped into files and can be viewed; and second, it can be ingested from the files into Alation. It is recommended to keep this feature enabled only if debugging is required.

  • Enable Raw Metadata Dump: Select this option to save extracted metadata into a folder for debugging purposes. The dumped data will be saved in four files (attribute.dump, function.dump, schema.dump, table.dump) in folder opt/alation/site/tmp/ inside Alation shell.

  • Enable Ingestion Replay: Select this option to ingest the metadata from the dump files into Alation.

  • Off: Disable the Raw Metadata Dump or Replay feature. Extracted metadata will be ingested into Alation.

Disable Automatic Lineage Generation

Select the Disable Automatic Lineage Generation checkbox to skip the creation of automatic Lineage after extraction. When automatic Lineage generation is disabled, during extraction Alation does not calculate Lineage data for this BI source.

For more information, see Automatic Lineage Generation FAQ.

Disable Permission Enforcement

Select this checkbox to disregard user permissions on Tableau server and to NOT perform permission extraction. By default this checkbox is clear, and Alation will extract and mirror Tableau permissions.

Disable Certification

Select this checkbox to get a copy of the endorsed folder or sheets or reports extracted with the same name.

Server URI

Enter the server URI used to access the Tableau objects.

  1. Click Save.

  2. Specify Connector Settings:




    Server Connection


    Enter the URL to access the Tableau instance.


    Provide the username of the Tableau service account.

    For Active Directory, provide the username in the following Format: Domain_NameActiveDirectory_Username


    Provide the password of the Tableau service account. For Active Directory, use the Active Directory password

    Tableau SiteID

    Provide the SiteIDs separated by commas. SiteID is the text after the #/site/ in the Tableau URL. In the below example alationSite is the SiteID.

    Example: explore

    Tableau Server:

    The Tableau SiteID is used for authentication so you can provide a single valid site and the connector will discover all the other sites.If the field is blank, Alation uses the default SiteID of the Tableau server.

    Tableau Online:

    The siteID value must be provided for Tableau Online. Only the siteID values that are provided in this field will be extracted. If the field is blank, no metadata will be extracted

    Tableau Online

    Select the checkbox if connecting to Tableau Online (Cloud).

    Additional Settings

    Disable permission enforcement

    Select this checkbox to disregard user permissions on Tableau server and to not perform permission extraction. By default this checkbox is clear, and Alation will extract and mirror Tableau permissions.

    Disable SSL Certification

    Select this checkbox if not connecting using SSL.

    Server SSL certificate

    If connecting over SSL, upload the SSL certificate for the connection with the Tableau server.

    Disable preview extraction

    Select this checkbox for not to extract previews. By default this checkbox is clear, and Alation will extract previews, such as thumbnails, PNG images, and CSV files.

    Disable high resolution preview extraction

    Select this checkbox to disable extraction of PDFs for reports and dashboards.

    Auto-extract Alation-certified projects

    Select this checkbox to automatically add Alation-certified projects to the list of projects to extract.

    User domain name

    Domain name of the Tableau users that Alation should extract for permissions mirroring. This is the value of the name attribute of the domains table in Tableau PostgreSQL database.

    Alation supports multiple domain names. When specifying multiple domains in this field, separate them with commas.

    Workbook extraction batch size

    This parameter sets the batch size for workbook extraction. Note that although this parameter is defined for workbooks, the batch is formed based on the number of projects. In this parameter, you are setting the number of projects for which Alation will extract ALL workbooks in one extraction batch.

    For example, if you set this parameter to 5, it would mean that workbooks will be extracted in several batches, each batch being “all workbooks from first five projects”, then “all workbooks from the second five projects”, and till the end of the list.

    Published datasource extraction batch size

    Published datasource extraction is batched by the number of data sources that Alation processes in a single batch.

    Folder extraction batch size

    This parameter sets the batch size for projects. It defines the number of projects Alation will process in a single batch.

    Disbale auto pagination

    Enable this checkbox to disable the auto pagination. By default this checkbox will be disabled.

    Number of workbooks to return per request (Pagination)

    Provide the number of workbooks to be returned per extraction. It is recommended to extract 30 to 80 workbooks per extraction


    Reduce the number of workbook count if you get NODE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED exception for workbooks during extraction.

    Number of datasources returned per request (Pagination)

    Provide the number of datasources to be returned per extraction. It is recommended to extract 300 datasources per extraction.


    Reduce the number of datasources count if you get NODE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED exception for datasources during extraction.

    Number of connections to return per request (Pagination)

    Provide the number of results to return when extracting connections/relations/database tables. It is recommended to extract 600 connections per extraction.


    Reduce the number of connection count if you get NODE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED exception

    Number of fields/columns to return per request (Pagination)

    Provide the number of results to return when extracting fields/columns. It is recommended to extract 1000 fields/columns per extraction.


    Reduce the number of fields/columns count if you get NODE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED exception

    Certified project suffix

    Define the suffix for the project certified by Alation. If a workbook is certified in Alation, it will be moved to a new project with the name as <project_name - certified project suffix>, for example, <Population Growth Analysis - Alation Certified>.

    Enable view data extraction

    Enable the checkbox to extract the sample of the distinct values of all report columns. Extraction will become considerably slow if this checkbox is enabled.

    View data sample size

    Provide the data sample size.

    Download timeout in seconds

    Provide the download timeout for CSV, low resolution previews, and high resolution previews.

    Token name

    Provide the Personal Access Token of Tableau Server.

    Token secret

    Provide the Personal Access Token Secret of Tableau Server.

    Enable Personal Access Token for authentication

    Enable this checkbox to use the Personal Access Token and Personal Access Token Secret for authentication instead of Username and Password.

  1. Click Save.

  2. Under Test Connection, click Test to validate network connectivity.

  3. Under Extraction Settings, turn on Selective Extraction, if required. Selective extraction settings are used to apply a filter to include or exclude a list of projects.

    1. Click Get List of Projects to first fetch the list of projects from Tableau.

    2. The status of the Get Projects action is logged in the Job History table at the bottom of the Settings page.

    3. Once the folder synchronization is successful, a drop-down list of projects will become enabled. Select one or more projects to apply the filter.

    4. Check if you are using the desired filter option. Available filter options are described below:

    Filter Option


    Extract all Folders except

    Extract metadata from all Folders except from the workspaces selected.

    Extract only these Folders

    Extract metadata only from the selected Folders.

    1. Click Run Extraction Now to extract metadata. The status of the extraction action is also logged in the Job History table at the bottom of the page.

  4. If you wish to automatically update the metadata in the Catalog, under Automated and Manual Extraction, turn on Enable Automated Extraction and select the day and time when metadata must be extracted. The metadata extraction will be automatically scheduled to run at the selected day and time.

Migrate from Tableau Native Connector to OCFTroubleshooting

Refer to Migrate from Tableau Native to OCF.


Refer to Troubleshooting.