Occasionally you’ll run into a scenario which calls for a Big (with a capital “B”) extract. You know your Tableau Server is beefy enough to handle the creation of the extract, but your little laptop just doesn’t have enough hard disk space.
How can you get your workbook (which needs that Big extract) published to Tableau Server without having to create the darn extract on your machine?
It turns out doing so is pretty easy.
We’re going to work with “Big ‘ol data source” in this example – It points at a SQL Server which contains about a gazillion rows (give or take a bajillion).
The first thing we’re going to do is create a simple Calculated Expression which returns today’s date:
Next, it’s time to create our extract on the data source – however we’re going to add a magic filter to the extract (you read that right – it’s magic).
After clicking Add, choose to base your filter off the Calculated Expression (“What time is it?”) you just added. Note that a single value is returned by the filter, and it’s today’s date.
Select that value, and Exclude it.
That’s about it. You can now jump back out to the Extract Data dialog, eyeball your new filter and then create the extract. The filter you’ve just setup (“Today == March 8 is false”) will prevent any rows from being returned for the rest of the day :
After the extract process has completed, check out it’s properties. See, zero rows!:
At this point, you’ll want to publish the workbook and extract to your Tableau Server – make sure to choose your refresh schedule!
When tomorrow rolls around on your Server, the nice little filter you’ve created will no longer evalulate to “False”, and the floodgates will open – your Server will have to deal with the gazillion-ish rows that are waiting to populate the extract.