SharePoint 2016/2013: OData Connector for Tableau Reports

With the evolving technologies we are getting better tools every day. In my recent assignment I got the chance to explore “Tableau” which is quite a famous Analytics Tool that allows high end reports development.

Tableau can be hooked up with SharePoint Sites to represent SharePoint Data into meaningful reports. This integration is possible using Odata Connector available for SharePoint OOB Services

In this article I will cover the steps to connect Tableau with SharePoint Data and gradually will prepare a report to turn the SharePoint List Data into meaningful representation.

In order to start with this demo, I have added a SharePoint List “NetworkResources” in which we have some arbitrary data related to the health indicators of the Servers available in the Network.

Following is the snapshot of the “NetworkResources” list:

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Once the data source is available we can launch “Tableau Desktop”, which is the report designer from Tableau.

This software is free for 10 days as trial version and can be downloaded from http://www.tableau.com/trial/tableau-software

Now Launch Tableau Desktop

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Under “More…” section you can see option to connect to SharePoint Sites using Odata Connector

Select “OData”

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On the configuration Screen in the “Server” Textbox specify the “SharePoint List.svc Endpoint” with respect to the “NetworkResources” List as shown below:

https://<Host Name>/sites/<Site Name>/_vti_bin/ListData.svc/NetworkResources

Also provide required authentication credentials to the Web Service Endpoint

Once all information provided click on “Sign In” button to try connecting to the List

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And if this is the first time you are trying to connect using Odata connector you might encounter the following error:

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When I had encountered this error I had to read quite a number of support articles from Tableau and finally I found the reason for this one of the Tableau Community Pages.

In order to read about this issue in details you can refer to the following link: https://community.tableau.com/docs/DOC-6407

Following are the steps that you can take to fix this issue:

Step1: On the Windows Start menu, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

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Step2: In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Tableau > Tableau (Version) > Settings.

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Step3: Right-click Settings, and select New > String Value.

Step4: Name the new string value LegacyHttpClientEnabled

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Step5: Right-click LegacyHttpClientEnabled and select Modify

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Step6: In Value data, type true, and then click OK.

Step7: Close the Tableau Designer & Open it again.

After Tableau launch again try connecting the list again

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And this time we can see it downloading list metadata into Tableau Designer

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In this article I am not talking about best practices on Tableau Report Development, though you can learn it from the following link: http://www.tableau.com/learn/training

Once we get the list data into Tableau Designer we can develop the report of our choice.

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In this demo I have developed two basic reports as shown below:

Resource Health Card:

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Resource Indicator Summary:

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And finally I have added a Dashboard showing the consolidated report view for above reports:

Dashboard: Resource Health Card

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That is all for this demo.

Point of Caution

Based on my discussion with Tableau Team, OData connectors are not confidently supported by Tableau for SharePoint Lists. It is a Hit or Miss Proposition and this article present you an approach that is just a workaround and not an official solution from Tableau.

In order to fix this issue I have device out another well-defined approach to deal with SharePoint List Synchronization with Tableau Reports. In one of my upcoming articles I will be describing this approach.

Hope you find it helpful. 🙂

 

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