Tableau OCF Connector: Overview

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation

The OCF connector for Tableau was developed by Alation and is available as a Zip file that can be uploaded and installed in the Alation application.

To download the Tableau OCF connector package, go to the Alation Connector Hub available from the Customer Portal. Go to Customer Portal > Connectors > Alation Connector Hub. Only Alation users with access to the Customer Portal can access the Alation Connector Hub. If you don’t have access to the Customer Portal, contact Alation Support.

This connector should be used to catalog Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud as a BI source in Alation. It extracts Tableau objects such as sites, projects, workbooks, views (worksheets, dashboards), fields, data sources, data source fields, and connection information such as table, query, db type, hostname, port and more that are used by Tabelau datasources. After the metadata is extracted, it is represented in the data catalog as a hierarchy of catalog pages under the parent data source. Alation users can leverage the full catalog functionality to search for and find the extracted metadata, curate the corresponding catalog pages, create documentation about the data source, and exchange information about it.


For Alation Cloud Service customers, Alation offers additional capabilities with the Tableau OCF connector. See Alation Anywhere for Tableau for more details.


The following administrators are required to install this connector:

  • Alation Server Admin

    • Installs the connector

    • Creates a Tableau BI source

    • Provisions Alation API tokens

  • Tableau user with the site administrator role

    • On Tableau Server, enables the Metadata API


      On Tableau Online, this API is enabled by default.

    • Provides host and authentication information


The table below shows what features are covered by the connector. For version support information, refer to the support matrix for your specific release: Support Matrices.



Tableau Server

Tableau Online


Basic authentication

Authentication to Tableau using a service account (username and password)


Authentication using the SSL protocol

Personal access token

Authentication with a personal access token

Active Directory

Authentication with Active Directory as the identity store


LDAP, MFA, or SAML authentication

Extracted metadata objects


Catalog sites

Site filtering

Ability to include or exclude specific sites


Catalog projects in a site

Project filtering

Ability to include or exclude specific projects


Catalog workbooks

Dashboards and reports

Catalog reports (views)—sheets and dashboards

Tableau stories and flows

Ability to catalog tableau stories and flows

Report filtering

Ability to include or exclude specific reports

Report columns

Catalog dimensions, measures, and measure expressions

Report owner

Owner or author who created the report

Data sources or Published data sources

Catalog published data sources used in reports

Embedded Data sources or Unpublished data sources

Catalog unpublished or embedded data sources used in reports

Data source columns

Catalog data source columns (fields)

Databases and tables

Extract information about databases and tables used as data sources


Extracts users that have the same username in Tableau as they do in Alation


Extract read permissions information for Tableau objects


Catalog applications


Catalog dataflows


Catalog datasets

Source comments

Catalog source comments (descriptions)—available from Alation version 2022.3

Source comments are supported for projects, workbooks, published data sources, report columns, and data source columns


Owner or author who created a workbook, view, data source, or project. The Owner value is extracted from connector version 1.5.0.


Project owner value is extracted from connector version 1.6.1

Alation catalog features

Metadata extraction

Ability to extract the metadata

Extract image previews

Ability to show a thumbnail image of workbooks and reports

Report lineage

Ability to auto-generate lineage for reports.

Alation Version 2023.1.1 and connector version 1.4.0 or newer supports column-level lineage.

Report popularity

Display the popularity value for extracted report objects

Workbook popularity

Display the popularity value for extracted workbooks

Security replication

Replicate access control to reports and dashboards (permission mirroring)

Multi-domain user extraction

Extract permission information for users in different domains

Tableau Object Mapping

The following diagram shows how extracted Tableau objects map onto Alation objects: