Write Back Extreme Product Guide

///Write Back Extreme Product Guide
Write Back Extreme Product Guide 2021-02-11T17:10:21+01:00

Introduction

Tableau helps people see and understand data. They make sure that, in the process of exploring and analyzing data, there are no changes made to the data. Most analytics tools are based on strictly read-only technology. Sometimes however, you want to have the ability to add, delete or edit existing data behind a Tableau visualization and instantly see how those changes are reflected in the Viz.

You can support and solve a lot of your use cases in Tableau with this flexible and solid Write Back Extreme extension. Read more on the product page.

This product guide helps you to get around in the Write Back Extreme extension and helps you in deploying and managing your extension.

STAY IN THE FLOW  |  STAY IN TABLEAU  |  USE YOUR WRITE BACK SCENARIO

Management Console

The Management Console of the Write Back Extreme extension is the place to start your journey. With the Management Console you can manage and control the configuration and authorization of the schemas, database connections, extension updates and its users. The management Console is a web application that can either be opend in a modal window in your Tableau dashboard or directly in your favorite browser. The entire extension (including the Management Console) will be hosted on-premise or in your private cloud behind your secure firewalls.

Management Console of the Write Back Extreme extension for Tableau

The url of your Management Console is the base url of your Write Back Extreme extension (that can be found in the trex file) with “/backend”  as a suffix. The url to the Management Console of the Write Back Extreme Gallery Demo for instance is:

https://gallery.demo.writebackextreme.com/backend/
user: writeback
pass: adminadmin

Ease of use

Through the guiding web-interface of the Management Console you will be able to setup your write-back use case in minutes. After configuring your Write Back use case in the Management console you can instantly use it in Tableau Dashboards and share it with your fellow dashboard users. The management Console is available to authenticated users. Authenticated users can manage users, extension updates, database connections and schema’s.  

Management Console versus Frontend configuration

Within the Management console you can setup your Database connections and write back scenario’s (or schema’s). After you set up and stored a new schema and selected the database and module that fit your use case, you can start configuring the behaviour and appearance of the extension in your Tableau Dashboard. This is what we call the Front-End configuration.

The extension will automatically connect to the back-end and authenticate you. In the extension you will also be provided with a step by step setup. Here you can select your newly created use case and start doing write back actions! Let’s find out more about the pages you find in the Management Console.

Management Console functions

The Management console allows you to

  • Add and manage schemas.
  • Add and manage database connections
  • Manage users
  • Manage user groups
  • Manage updates of the extension

Manage Schemas

A schema is the collection which contains everything about your use-case. The schema will contain information about the selected database, module, user groups and the configuration of the structure of the write-back table.

Whenever you create a new schema you have to choose one of our modules first. Depending on the selected module the setup of your schema will be different.

Create a new schema

Below you will find the steps to create a new schema. In this example we create a schema with the DATA HELPER module. Click on the first image and a slideshow will show up. use your right arrow to see the next image, use your left arrow to see the previous image.

Below you see an animated gif that illustrates the entire proces of creating a new schema. At the end of the animation it also shows how to edit an existing field, just by opening the schema, select the field you want to change and save your changes.

Create a new schema in the Management Console of the Write Back Extreme extension for tableau

Set Schema permissions

If you want your schema to be available for all users, you don’t have to set any permissions. If you want a selected group of users to enjoy the schema you set permissions on the schema. Below an animated gif on how to set permissions on a specific schema. If you want to learn how to create groups, click here.

Set Group Permissions on a schema with the Write Back Extreme Management Console

Manage Connections

Connections hold information about the connections to your databases. You only have to do this once for every database connection you would like to use for a Write Back scenario. The username and password of a connection are stored safely and encrypted in our back-end.

A schema is connected to one of the available connections of the Write Back Extreme module. You can have multiple schemas connected to one single connection. You can simply state that a connection is the authorised path to a database server and one database to store or edit write back information via the schemas within the available modules.

Read more about our supported databases in the ‘Supported Database’ section down below. You can also find more information about our database support in the roadmap section.

Create a new database connection

Below you will find the steps to create a new connection. In this example we create a connection to a MySQL database in the Gallery Demo of Write Back Extreme. Click on the first image and a slideshow will show up. use your right arrow to see the next image, use your left arrow to see the previous image.

Below you see an animated gif that illustrates the entire proces of creating a new connection. You can also re-open a connection and change settings, although it is not recommended to change existing connections.

Create a new connection in the Management Console of the Write Back Extreme extension for Tableau

Manage Users

Whenever somebody opens a dashboard with the Write Back Extreme extension inside, this user will automatically be authenticated and registered as a standard user in the Management Console of the Extension. If the user already exists in the management Console and has access through a group to the schema, the extension will show. If the user does not exist or the group has no permissions on the schema that is used in the dashboard, the extension will throw an error.

Users are stored in the Management Console for several reasons. The Write Back Extreme extension has a user-based license model. Therefore it is important to register every user which needs access to the extension. Secondly, by having the users in the Management Console, you can manage which users are able to use the schemas that are available.

Rules:

  • A user belongs to one or more groups
  • Permissions are not set on a user basis but on a user group basis (except for the admin permissions)
  • In order to use the extension a user must be registered in the Management Console
  • Row Level Security can be set up on a user basis

Create a new (admin) user

All users that interact with the extension will be automatically registered in the Write Back Extreme Management Console. In the Management Console you can transform a regular user to an admin or vice versa. Below you will find the steps to create a new user. Click on the first image and a slideshow will show up. use your right arrow to see the next image, use your left arrow to see the previous image.

Below you see an animated gif that illustrates the entire proces of creating a new user. You can also edit user properties just by clicking on a user and adjust the properties.

Create a new user in the Write Back Extreme Management Console

Manage Groups

Groups are sets of users who need the same type of access to content. We require that you organize users into groups. You can then set permissions at the group level, to apply a set of capabilities to all users in the group. When you want a new write-back user, just add them to the groups that give the access they need.

Rules:

  • A group contains 1 or more users
  • A group belongs to 1 or more schemas
  • A group has a set of permissions

Create a new group

Below a demonstration of how to create a group in the Write Back Extreme Management Console.

Create a group in the Management Console of the Write Back Extreme extension for Tableau

Frontend – The extension in the Dashboard

The front-end, also known as the extension integrated in the dashboard, is where the magic happens. This is the interface many users, both dashboard creators and as well as dashboard users, will see and interact with. The frontend is designed with usability and felxibility on top of mind. Dashboard designers can control the look and feel of the extension and use the form builder to adapt the user entry forms to their needs.

Write Back Extreme extension for Tableau - Frontend

The behaviour of the instance of the Write Back Extreme extension in the dashboard can be configured in multiple ways. For example, you can choose between an extension as a tiled dashboard container (classic) or you can display the extension in a floating (pop-up) container and toggle it automatically with a button or mark selection. Whatever nature of your use-case, Write Back Extreme has got it covered!

Dashboard requirements

There are 2 requirements for the dashboard in order for the extension to work.

  1. The extension needs a worksheet which contains the username of of the logged in user
  2. Depending on the module you are using the extension needs a worksheet which acts as a trigger for the extension.

Both requirements are prompted to the dashboard designer when using the extension on the first occasion in the dashboard. The sections below will explain how to use the Write Back Extreme extension in your dashboard (once you have configured at least one schema in the Management Console).

You will need the logged in user

If you want to integrate the Write Back Extreme extension in your dashboard, you need to make sure the extension can access the username of the logged in user. This is the first requirement you need to meet. The dashboard you want to use probably already has different sheets in it. Pick one sheet and add a calculated field with the Tableau Function USERNAME() to the detail of the marks pane of that sheet.

The calculation is a default Tableau Calculation like in the screenshot below. In this case the calculated field is called “Logged In User” and you can see it is added to the detail of my marks pane. This screenshot is taken form the Demo workbook that is also available on our free trial download page (register here).

WBE Create and use a Calculated field to determine the Logged in User

So before you can use the Write Back Extreme (WBE) Extension you need to:

  1. Create a calculated field containing the Tableau Function: USERNAME()
  2. Add the calculated field to the detail of your marks pane on at least one sheet

Once you have the username available on a sheet in your dashboard, you can start to add the extension to your dashboard. In the example below the Demo workbook for Write Back Extreme is used (available here)

Add the Extension to your dashboard

Once the Username is available in the dashboard you can start to integrate the WBE extension in your dashboard. Below an animated gif of the steps, performed in the WBE Gallery demo workbook on the DATA HELPER example dashboard.

Write Back Extreme - add the extension to your dashboard

The steps to follow are:

  1. Drag the Tableau dashboard object “Extension” to the container where you want to place your extension
  2. You will be prompted to select a trex file. Use your explorer to find the Write Back Extreme extensions trex file (try it for free)
  3. The extension will load in the container of your dashboard and will prompt you to specify the user information
  4. Select the sheet where you added the calculated field with the USERNAME() function from above
  5. Select the calculated field (in this example the field “Logged In User”)
  6. You will be prompted to connect to a schema for this instance. Select the schema you have prepared for your usecase in the Management Console
  7. Once you selected the schema you will be prompted what sheet you want to connect to and what dimension will trigger the extension (on mark selection). In the example we used a “DATA HELPER” schema that does not need a connection to an existing sheet nor dimension.
  8. Now you can complete the configuration of the extension by pressing “Save”. In the example we used a schema that already contained entries (from the Gallery Demo workbook”. Otherwise the list of entries would be empty of course.

Configure the extension

If your extension is now integrated in the dashboard you can start fine tune the look and feel and behaviour of the extension. First of all we will edit the connection to connect it to a sheet that uses the same Database Table as the connected schema. This is the “Missing Orders” sheet in the dashboard. All records are stored with a unique field called “id” so in the next animated gif we will connect the existing sheet “Missing Orders” to the extension with the unique id as the connecting dimension.

Write Back Extreme - configure the connection to the schema

The steps to follow are:

  1. Click on the configuration wheel of the extension
  2. Clik on the pencil
  3. Select the sheet to connect to (in this example the Missing Orders sheet)
  4. Select the field to connect to (in this exampe the field “id” which is also present as a hidden column on the “Missing Orders” sheet

Now the extension is connected and interacting with a sheet in the dashboard.

Format the fields in your form

Once we have setup the connection with the schema we can use the configuration screen to format the fields/columns. In the example below we use the Gallery demo workbook and change the formatting of the “Order ID” field that is available in the “DATA HELPER” example dashboard.

Write Back Extreme - Format column in the Form Builder

The steps performed to change the field formattiing in the form are:

  1. Open the configuration screen of the extension by clicking the pinwheel and select the “Configure Extension” option
  2. In the modal window sselect the option “Worksheet-schema” in the colored top menu bar
  3. The menu opens with the option “General” selected, click on “Field formatting”
  4. You will see an overview of all fields that are available in your connected schema, and therefore can be used in the user form of the extension in your dashboard.
  5. Click on the field you want to format. In the example we selected “Order ID” this is a field of type String (single text line)
  6. Here you can change the formatting of the field. Change the label, add a placeholder, select a lay-out type of the fields box, add a prefix or suffix and provide a hint on the field to help your users.
  7. Once you have done your formatting, be sure to press the “Save” button in the top right corner of the modal
  8. You will return to the extension and your changes are affective immediately
  9. You can also re open the configuration and adjust or undo your changes following exactly the same way

Auto populate a dropdown field with values from a sheet on your Tableau Dashboard

An advanced way of formatting a field in your dashboard is to auto populate the content of a dropdown field with values obtained from a (filtered) sheet on your dashoard. If for instance your dashboard uses global filters or you want your users to be able to pick a relevant country/state based on the filtered view in your dashboard, this is an efficient way to show only relevant content in your Write Back Extreme dropdown field.

The example below shows how you can auto populate a dropdown field to show the States where we actually sold products of a selected Product Sub Category in the dropdown of an annotation form.

For the demo we used the Gallery demo workbook with the “Collaboration Dashboard. This technique of dynamically populating dropdown fields will also work for the other modules and templates. Make sure you have an available Drop Down field in your schema (click here to learm more on creating schemas in the Management Console)

With the Management Console we first created a schema in which we added a “Dropdown Selection” field called “State” which has three default values (California, Texas and Nevada just for demonstration purposes). So by default users are only able to select one of these three states. In the Extensions configuration screen we then use the Field Formatting options to autopulate the “State” field based on the map with states available in the dashboard. This will overrule the default content of the dropdown and allow you to show the States that are available in the map on the dashboard (either filtered or unfiltered).

Write Back Extreme - Auto populate a form field with content from a sheet

To create an auto populating field in your form please make sure you have a Drop Down Select field in your schema. If you do not know how to manage schemas in the Management Console, check this section.

  1. Goto the configuration screen of your extension by clciking the Pinwheel and select “CONFIGURE EXTENSION”
  2. In the modal (pop up) select the “Worksheet-schema” option in the colored horizontal menu bar
  3. Select the second tab called “Field fornatting”
  4. Now select the Drop Down Select field you want to automatically populate. In the example we used the field “State”
  5. In the Field formatting screen now check the box next to “Enable dynamic population from Tableau”
  6. Select a worksheet containing the column you want to use as values for the dropdown. In the example we select the worksheet “States”
  7. Select the column from the selected worksheet in the above step. In the example we selected the column “State”
  8. Make sure you press the “Save” button in the top right corner of the colored menu bar to save your changes.
  9. The Drop Down Select field will now be automatically populated with the column “State” from the “States” worksheet

Use the Form Builder

With the flexible Form Builder of Write Back Extreme you can control what the form for your Write Back users looks like. You control what fields are mandatory, what fields are shown in the form and what overview look like.

First of all it is important to know that the properties of the fields in your schema (Created in the Management Console, check this section to learn more on the Management Console and creating/manageing schemas) are of great influence in using the Form Builder.

  • Non nullable fields in your schema are allways mandatory fields in your Form Builder. If you want to use a non mandatory field in your form, make sure it is ‘nullable’ in your underlyring schema.
  • Field types are set in the Schema annd cannot be changed with the Form Builder. You cannot change a number field into a text field with the Form Builder.

The sections below will cover these basic Form Builder options:

  1. Change the order of the fields
  2. Set column width in the form
  3. Show Hide fields in the overview and/or edit forms
  4. Enable / Disable mandatory fields

We will use the Write Back Extreme Gallery demo workbook with the DATA HELPER dashboard to illustrate the possibilities. You can doenload a copy of the demo workbook by registering for a free trial over here. For this demonstration we configured the DATA HELPER Demo schema to have a few nullable fields so we can illustrate the usage of mandatory and non mandatory fields in the forms. Learn more about managing your schemas in the Management Console over here.

Change the order of the fields

Write Back Extreme Form Builder - Change order of the Fields

The steps to change the order of the fields in your forms are:

  1. Goto the configuration screen of your extension by clciking the Pinwheel and select “CONFIGURE EXTENSION”
  2. In the modal (pop up) select the “Worksheet-schema” option in the colored horizontal menu bar
  3. Select the second tab called “Form Builder”
  4. click on the up/down arrows present for every field to change the order of the fields
  5. Make sure you press the “Save” button in the top right corner of the colored menu bar to save your changes.

Change the width of the fields in the edit form

Write Back Extreme Form Builder - Change width of the Fields in the edit form

The steps to change the order of the fields in your forms are:

  1. Goto the configuration screen of your extension by clciking the Pinwheel and select “CONFIGURE EXTENSION”
  2. In the modal (pop up) select the “Worksheet-schema” option in the colored horizontal menu bar
  3. Select the second tab called “Form Builder”
  4. Change the Width of each field from a preselected drop down
  5. Make sure you click the “Save” button in the top right corner of the colored menu bar to save your changes.

Show/Hide fields with the Form Builder

The Form Builder allows you to show and hide fields of your underlying schema in the edit and overview forms of your extension. Make sure that hidden Mandatory fields do contain the proper content otherwise you will not be able to store your form entry in the database.

You can show/hide any field you want in the edit form of the extension or in the overview (list view) of the extension. Make sure you do not hide forms that require input before storing otherwise you will not be able to save the entry (when a hidden field without content is mandatory) or end up with NULL values.

Write Back Extreme Form Builder - Show and hide fields in your forms

The steps to change the order of the fields in your forms are:

  1. Goto the configuration screen of your extension by clciking the Pinwheel and select “CONFIGURE EXTENSION”
  2. In the modal (pop up) select the “Worksheet-schema” option in the colored horizontal menu bar
  3. Select the second tab called “Form Builder”
  4. Change the switches to show or hide a field in the edit form (user input – entry of data) or the overview (list view in the extension that in some occasions is used to show all entries)
  5. Make sure you click the “Save” button in the top right corner of the colored menu bar to save your changes.

Use mandatory and non mandatory fields

By default all fields being used in the extension are set to Mandatory fields in the entry form. The Form Builder allows you to also mark these fields as non mandatory. You can only set fields to non mandatory in the Form Builder if the fields are nullable in the “Schema” you are using in the extension. Learn more about creating and managing schemas in this section of the Management Console.

When a Schema field is “nullable” you can not set it to non mandatory in the Form builder. The form builder will show a pink switch indicating that the field cannot be set to non mandatory.

Write Back Extreme Form Builder - Set mandatory and non mandatory fields

The steps to change the order of the fields in your forms are:

  1. Goto the configuration screen of your extension by clciking the Pinwheel and select “CONFIGURE EXTENSION”
  2. In the modal (pop up) select the “Worksheet-schema” option in the colored horizontal menu bar
  3. Select the second tab called “Form Builder”
  4. Change the switches to set fields as “Required” (mandatory) or “Not Required” (non mandatory)
  5. Make sure you click the “Save” button in the top right corner of the colored menu bar to save your changes.

Show the extension in a popup window

Sometimes you need an instance of your Write Back Extreme extension in a dashboard but you don’t want it to take up valuable dashboard space. With the Pop-Up function of the Write Back Extreme extension you can show the extension in a modal window once you triggered it by a mark selection (or button).

Below an animated gif of how to show the ADD DATA module in a pop-up window. In the example we use the Gallery workbook,, you can register for a free trial here.

Write Back Extreme extension for Tableau - Show the extension in a popup window to save vauable dashboard space

Steps to be taken when you want to show the Write Back Extreme extension in a pop up window.

  1. Create a new floating container (Either Horizontal or Vertical)
  2. Place the new floating container over the dashboard area where you want to show the Write Back Extreme extension in a pop-up
  3. Drag the Extension container to the new Floating container
  4. Adjust the size of the container to meet your lay-out whishes
  5. Open the configuration screen of the extension and on the first tab select “Pop Up”
  6. Select the second recommended option to show the extension in a floating container
  7. Select the newly created Vertical (or Horizontal) container
  8. Press the “Save” button on the top of the modal configuration window
  9. Once the settings are stored close the configuration window and ‘Reload’ the extension for the changes to take effect.

MODULAR SET UP

The Write Back Extreme extension supports three basic types of write back mechanisms. You can choose the module(s) you need to solve your use cases, and expand when you have the urge for other modules. The basic write back scenario’s are DATA HELPER, ADD DATA and DATA CORRECTION with a brief description below. The WBE extension also uses Templates based on one of these basic modules. Templates are presets that are designed for a specific use case laike Collaboration / Annotation.

Data Helper

With Data Helper you can create a custom table from within your Tableau dashboard to store data and join it back in your Tableau dataset or use it in a different process. Use this module to eliminate Excel based workflows and sheets floating around in your organisation.

Use cases

The Data Helper allows you to create, edit and delete records from your custom table, without changing existing data. This module has a lot of practical use cases. For example:

  • Creating and managing a ToDo list
  • Create and manage a “Tracker”
  • Conducting small surveys

In fact, it can be used for any other use case where you need an extra manageable table in your dashboard.

Data management

With the Add Data extension, you create an extra table that you can use in your dashboard. This table is stored in your database and can, but doesn’t have to be linked to your datasource data. A link with your datasource will be on the lowest level (primary key).

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Data Helper extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Data Helper. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Data Helper dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add rows

To add rows to the custom table, hit the “+” button in the top right corner of the extension. Fill in the necessary fields and hit “save”. Write Back Extreme creates the new record and automatically refreshes the datasource(s).

Edit rows

Rows can be edited by clicking on the row in the dashboard. The Write Back Extreme extension will display the contents of this row in a form. Adjust the information in the form and hit “save”. The record will be updated.

Configure the form

We will now briefly discuss the configuration options of the form. This can be done directly from within the dashboard. For a more in-depth look at configuring the extension, take a look at this part of the documentation.

You can configure which data can be entered when adding a new row. To do this, click on the cog button in the top right corner, right next to the “+” button. Choose “configure extension” and navigate to “worksheet-schema” in the top bar. From here, you can choose “field formatting” and “form builder” to adjust the form to your needs.

You can also adjust the general form settings here, such as user authentication, popups and use of color and typography.

Add Data

Tableau by default does not allow you to add data. The Write Back Extreme extension Add Data allows you to add or change data that is connected to the visualisations present in your dashboard. You can see the changes and experience the impact the data has directly on your dashboard. The data is safely stored in your database.

Use cases

Possible use cases of the Add Data module are:

  • Collaborate (see Collaboration)
  • Forecast on aggregated measures like Profit Ratio per country
  • Add targets to countries per year and category
  • Add data to any summarised datapoint

Data management

After any save, the data will be written back to the database. The Add Data module maintains a connection between the added data and the data that is present in your dashboard. Your datasource data is not changed or overwritten, but stored in a separate table with mapping to the selected dimensions or keys in your dashboard. The Add Data module works great with the new Tableau Relationships. Of course you can also use blending and joining to display the Added data in your Tableau Dashboards.

  • The data is linked to marks on your dashboard. The links are stored in a table called _mapping.
  • The added data will be stored in a table in a database that is connected to your schema.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Add Data extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Add Data. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Add Data dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add data

In this example we will adjust a forecast. By selecting a mark on the table, a “+” button appears in the extension container. Clicking this button will allow you to add data; a forecast amount in this case. The data can be added by filling in the form. This form was designed for this use case with the Form Builder. The fields can be adjusted in the Management Console and layout-setting in the configuration of the extension.

Edit data

All of the added records are presented as a list in the extension container. If you want to edit any data, you can use this list. Just click on the pencil icon and you will be presented witch a form that allows you to alter the data. In addition to clicking the pencil icon, you can also click the “meatballs icon” (three dots) next to it and select “Edit…”.

Remove data

When you want to delete any data, you can use the same list view. Instead of clicking the pencil icon to edit the data, click te “meatballs icon” next to it and choose “Remove” from the drop down. A prompt will ask you to confirm your choice.

Collaboration

The Collaboration template is a part of the Add Data module of Write Back Extreme. It allows you to create annotations and comments on marks in your visualisations from within your dashboard. This improves the collaboration in dashboards in a highly efficient way. Keep track of your expert annotations and conversations on your most valuable assets.

Use cases

General use cases for this module are:

  • Create and manage annotations on marks in your visualisations
  • Assign annotations to other users
  • Reply on annotations/comments to start the dialog
  • Collaborate to the full extend

Data management

The annotations are connected to the marks in your dashboard and stored in a separate table in a database. This allows you to use the annotations table as a new datasource and report on the annotations in a separate dashboard.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Collaboration module and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Collaboration. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Collaboration dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add an annotation

Annotations are connected to marks on your dashboard. To add an annotation, simply select a mark on the dashboard you want to annotate. A “+” button will appear in the Collaboration extension container. Clicking the button displays a form containing all the necessary fields to fill in the annotation. Hitting “save” ads your annotation to the annotations table and links it to the selected mark.

Dynamic populated dropdowns

In the example above, a state is selected from a dropdown which contains all states in the datasource. Another possible way to link the state to the annotation is to select a state (or multiple states) on the map before selecting a subcategory. When adding an annotation, the dropdown will now show only the selected states (see example below). We call this dynamic populated dropdowns.

View an annotation

All the annotations that are added by you or one of your colleagues will be presented in a list view in the Collaboration extension container. The most important information can be seen here at a glance. However, if you’d like to look at an annotation in more detail, click the “kebab menu” icon (the three vertical dots) in the top right corner of the annotation and select “View details…” (see below). Notice that the dashboards updates with the detailed view to highlight marks related to the annotation. From the detail view, it is also possible to edit an annotation.

Edit an annotation

To edit an annotation, click the “kebab menu” icon in the top right corner of the annotation and select “Edit…”. Alternatively, you can select “View details…” and choose edit from the detail view. In edit view, it is also possible to delete the annotation.

Add and view replies

One of the features of annotations in the Collaboration module is to start a conversation. Colleagues can leave comments and reply to comments, all from within the dashboard. To add a reply, hit the “reply” button (the curly arrow) in the bottom right corner of the annotation and leave your comment. If the annotation contains any comments already, a “replies” button (speech bubble icon) is displayed next to the reply button. When you click this, the complete discussion for that annotation is shown. Note that you can also use the “kebab menu” to leave or view replies. Replies can also be edited or deleted by clicking the “kebab menu” in the top right corner of the reply.

Data Correction

The Data Correction module of Write Back Extreme supports you in changing existing data directly from your Tableau dashboard. Your dashboard users can perform data corrections directly from the dashboards where they detect the inconsistencies. With the full audit trails of the extension your changes to the data are secure and governed.

Use cases

A possible use case for the Data Correction module is working with sensor data. When using sensor data, you often don’t have a source system to edit or correct existing data. The Data Correction module lets you change/correct data directly drom your Tableau dashboards.

You can use Data Corrections for a lot of use cases like:

  • Correcting wrong or missing sensor data
  • Typo corrections in a dimension
  • Any other data quality related challenges

Data Management

Please take note of the fact that the Data Correction module will overwrite the existing data. The module will maintain an audit trail of all changes.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Data Correction extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Data Correction. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Data Correction dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Correct data

To correct data, select the marks on your dashboard you want to alter. In the example below, we select a row from a table containing sensor data. The row is missing a value for the column “water”. When we click on the row, the Data Correction extension container displays a form which allows us to edit the data; in this case add a value for “water”. We can also add a reason for the correction. The changes will overwrite the existing datasource. Any changes made by a user will be stored in the audit datasource.

Bulk edit

If you want to edit multiple records at once, you can drag to select multiple fields. The Data Correction extension container will show all of the selected rows and allows you to edit them. In our example, we use this feature to select three empty “gas” fields and add the missing data for all three fields to the datasource in one action.

Bulk edit using calculations

You can also edit multiple values at one using a calculation. Simply click on the calculator icon above a column and select “Bulk Edit”. A number of calculation options can be performed on the data. Select the operator and enter a value. When you hit “Update” the calculation will be performed and the values can be previewed. When you’re happy with the result, hit “Save”. The datasource data will be updated to reflect your calculations.

Interpolation

Sometimes you want to fill in the missing data points automatically, based on related data. This is something the build-in interpolation function can help you with. Interpolation is a method of constructing new datapoints within the range of a set of known datapoints.

To use the interpolation function of the Data Correction module, select multiple fields. You must provide data that can be used to interpolate, i.e. the datapoint prior and the datapoint latter to the missing datapoints. When you selected the correct datapoints, you can use the calculator icon above the column and select “Interpolate” to fill in the missing datapoints.

SUPPORTED DATABASE PLATFORMS

Currently we support different database platforms to write data back to. Our goal is to support as many platforms and use cases our customers can think of. If your preferred database platform is not yet natively supported by the Write Back Extreme extension, you can still use the Write Back Extreme extension with a supported secondary use database platform. The DATA HELPER and ADD DATA modules can integrate seamlessly with your existing datasources using a supported database platform like MySQL or MS SQL.

Microsoft MS SQL Database Platform

Microsoft SQL

WBE version 1.0

MySQL Database Platform

MySQL

WBE version 1.0

PostgreSQL Database Platform

PostgreSQL

expected in 2021 Q1

Snowflake Database Platform

Snowflake

expected in 2021 Q1

Azure Synapse database platform for Azure

Azure Synapse

expected in 2021 Q1

Teradata database platform

Teradata

expected in 2021 Q2

System requirements

This section is about the system requirements needed to implement the on premise Write Back Extreme extension

Linux Server / Webserver

  • Minimal Server Resources: 2 vCPU, 8Gb, 100Gb application diskspace, 100Mbps or 1Gbps network-interface
  • Long-Term supported distributions only (UBUNTU preferred)
  • Full permissions (root/sudo) on the Linux webserver through SSH. We recommend to install NGINX (config generator: https://nginxconfig.io/) or Apache as a web server.
  • Firewall rules to permit access on port 443 (https) and ports to the database servers (if installed on this machine). Both internal, external and server-firewall.
  • Minimum version of PHP is 7.4. PHP-FPM is preferred.
  • PHP is installed and functioning (you can test this by adding an index.php to the webroot with content: <?php echo ‘Hello World’; ?>)

SSL certificates

  • A webdomain (example: https://write-back.company.com)
  • Use of HTTPS is mandatory in all environments. Therefor a SSL-certificate is needed. And it has to cover the web domain / application URL. It can be a wildcard certificate (“*.company.com”) or URL-specific (fi. “write-back.company.com”). We need the certificate-file (.crt), the private-key (.key) and certificate-chain file (often CAcert.crt) to configure in NGINX / Apache Webserver
  • Domain needs to point to the webserver with DNS (internal and/or external)
  • https://write-back.company.com is pointing to the document-root location on the webserver (using virtual-hosts for example)
  • HTTPS is functioning on above domain

Database platform

MySQL

  • Minimum version of MySQL is 5.7
  • MySQL is running
  • MySQL root account and password (written down);
  • MySQL read only user (test and access via Tableau to add datasources)
  • You can connect to the MySQL database through linux server console

Microsoft SQL Server

  • Minimum version of MS SQL Server 2016
  • MSSQL is running
  • MSSQL db_owner user account and password (written down)
  • MSSQL read only user (on same database)
  • You can connect to the SQL server database through linux server console

Microsoft MS SQL Database Platform

Microsoft SQL

WBE version 1.0

MySQL Database Platform

MySQL

WBE version 1.0

PostgreSQL Database Platform

PostgreSQL

expected in 2021 Q1

Snowflake Database Platform

Snowflake

expected in 2021 Q1

Azure Synapse database platform for Azure

Azure Synapse

expected in 2021 Q1

Teradata database platform

Teradata

expected in 2021 Q2

FAQ

How can we set permissions and authorizations for the write back users? 2020-10-29T09:17:37+01:00

We have developed a permissions system which is very similar to Tableau Server. You can set permissions on your schema’s for every group. These permissions will be pushed to the extension automatically.

Which types of datasources for write back are supported? 2020-11-02T09:31:09+01:00

The launching release will support MySQL, SQL Server. In the months after the launch we will add more datasources like Snowflake, Teradata and PostgreSQL. 

Do we need licenses to deploy the extension in development and test environments? 2020-10-29T09:21:56+01:00

No, you only need licenses for your production environment and you can use the extension on your development and test environment without extra need for licenses.

We like to do a proof of concept with the Write Back Extreme extension. How can we start? 2020-10-29T09:36:40+01:00

If you want to start with Write Back Extreme, you can contact us to plan a meeting to talk about your use cases and have a live demo that meets your requirements.

We can grant you access to our online demo server and after a functional PoC we can also agree on an installation on your server if you like to use your own data, infrastructure and dashboards.

Currently we work with the Annotations extensions. Can we migrate to Write Back Extreme Add Data module? 2020-10-29T09:25:51+01:00

Yes of course. You can migrate and use all the value of Write Back Extreme. We can migrate your Annotations subscription to the Write Back Extreme | Add Data module at no extra costs.

Which users in my Tableau environment need to be licensed to use the Write Back Extreme extension? 2020-10-29T09:27:11+01:00

Only users that are actually going to interact with Write Back Extreme need to be licensed license, this includes all Tableau  Creators, Explorers and Viewers that are going to use the extension.

We would like to purchase a subscription to the Write Back Extreme extension. Is it possible to start with 1 module? 2020-10-29T09:28:26+01:00

Yes that is possible. You can start with 1 module and if needed you can upgrade to 2 modules or 3. We also offer a discount for the second and third module.

When we have extra wishes or general improvements regarding the Write Back Extreme extension, how do we let you know? 2020-10-29T09:30:10+01:00

We understand you might have some extra ideas and use cases that might be solved with this extension with a slight addition of functionality. You can email support@appsfortableau.com or use our information form.

Can we use 2 instances or 2 different schemas of the Write Back Extreme extension in the same dashboard? 2020-10-29T09:31:23+01:00

Yes you can! And they can all integrate in one container on your dashboard.