Friday, November 2, 2012

So, was that extract refreshed or not?

The need: have a Tableau Server-published data extract refreshed

Here's what the Tableau Server documentation says about using tabcmd for the job:

refreshextracts workbook-name or datasource-name

Performs a full or incremental refresh of extracts belonging to the specified workbook or data source. This command takes the name of the workbook or data source as it appears on the server, not the file name when it was published.
tabcmd refreshextracts --datasource sales_ds
tabcmd refreshextracts --workbook "My Workbook"
tabcmd refreshextracts --url SalesAnalysis
Option (short)Option (long)ArgumentDescription
 --incremental Runs the incremental refresh operation.
 --synchronous Runs the full refresh operation immediately in the foreground.
 --workbookName of a workbookThe name of the workbook containing extracts to refresh. If the workbook has spaces in its name, enclose it in quotes.
 --datasourceName of a data sourceThe name of the data source containing extracts to refresh.
 --projectName of a projectUse with --workbook or --datasource to identify a workbook or data source in a project other than Default. If not specified, the Default project is assumed.
 --urlURL name of a workbookThe name of the workbook as it appears in the URL. A workbook published as “Sales Analysis” has a URL name of “SalesAnalysis”.

The documentation seems to say that executing tabcmd with the proper options will cause the extract to be refreshed.

So I gave it a go, and here's the result:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server\7.0\bin>tabcmd refreshextracts --url "DashboardWithTDE" ===== Continuing previous session ===== Server: http://[TableauServer]/ ===== Username: adminName ===== Scheduling extracts for workbook 'DashboardWithTDE' to be refreshed now... ===== Succeeded ===== Workbook DashboardWithTDE' scheduled to have its extracts refreshed.

As it turns out, there was no visible evidence that the extract did get refreshed, including checking Tableau Server's maintenance section and looking at the published Dashboard.

So I had to download the Workbook, manually refresh the extract, and then republish the Workbook in order to make sure the published Dashboard contained up to date information. Which is what I was hoping to avoid doing all along.


  1. Hi Chris

    Can't you use the in the title of a workbook to show last time of update?


    1. Peter: I'm not sure what you're asking. Is there a thing you're thinking of that could go in the title of a workbook? Are you suggesting that I insert the update time somewhere to reflect the update time?

  2. I know these comments are old, however I believe that Peter is indeed suggesting that you add the last update date and time to the title of a workbook in your dashboard. Also something to note, if you use the --synchronous option, the tabcmd connection will remain live until the TDE refresh is complete. It will then return a message alerting if the TDE refresh was successful or not.

    - George