Today at The Data School, we were learning all things Tableau Server.

At first Tableau Server can be quite daunting as it can be a massive web of Sites, Projects, Workbooks, Data Sources, Flows & Views. However, when you break it down it can be seen as just a process to organise your files, in a similar way to your traditional PC. Everyone is familiar with the folder structure on your PC so when thinking of Tableau Server like this, things start to become more clear.

Tableau Server can be separated in different levels with the top level being the server itself. Moving down the hierarchy, each server can be broken down into different sites, then each site into different projects.

Within each project, these can be broken down into other projects, workbooks, data sources, flows or views. The lowest level of the breakdown is at the workbook, data source, flow, & view level. These are all elements that are created in Tableau Desktop/Prep Builder and then shared within your organisation.

Here’s a break-down of what this structure could potentially look like:

Tableau Server Organisation Breakdown Example

Organisations can have multiple sites, within their server. However, these sites do not crossover in any way, and you will not be able to upload to multiple sites (you will need to re-upload separately for each site!). This can be particularly useful if you have external stakeholders with access to your server, as they can only be granted access to a dedicated ‘site’, and won’t be able to access other internal sites.

Creating multiple sites is more secure due to the ‘air gap’ created between each site. As a result, you aren’t relying on getting the permissions locked down correctly as this can sometimes be a bit of a minefield!