Using Tableau Extensions


Once the Tableau Extension has been deployed onto a server as shown on the previous page, the extension must be enabled in the 'Extensions' section of 'Settings'.

Enable the Extension
Once the animation is ready, go to the Settings and select the  Extensions option. Click 'Add URL' and enter the same URL that was entered in 'Extension URL' in the Tableau Extension form in the previous page. Make sure to 'allow' the extension and 'hide' the User Prompts if required. Then select 'Save'. This should make the extension available to users.

Create the Extension Data
If the extension requires data (i.e. it is data-driven and not purely decorative), create a workbook containing the data and drag it to the dashboard that will contain the extension. The people at 'Apps for Tableau' describe the most efficient way of doing this, see: Tableau Tips: datasheets for extensions.

Drag the Extension onto a Dashboard
Once the datasheet has been created and formatted as required, the extension can be placed on the dashboard. Drag the 'Extension' in 'Objects onto the dashboard. Then select 'My Extensions' and navigate to the '.trex' file created in the previous section. Remember, this must be available to the user.

tableau form

Open the Data Mapping Popup
When the extension has successfully been placed on the dashboard, the data can be mapped to the extension (non data-driven extensions can ignore this as no data are needed). Click on the extension until the options appear at the top left or right of the extension. Click on the arrow and select 'Configure'. This will open the popup editor.

Map the Data Links
In the popup, first select the worksheet that was created for the extension data above in the 'Selected Worksheet' dropdown. If it is not visible, check that the worksheet has been added to the Dashboard and that it is selected as available for this Dashboard. Once a dashboard has been selected, the variable and data fields will show up below.

Then select how the extension data will be updated. There are two choices, 'When Filter Changes' or 'When Parameter Changes'. Both or neither can be selected at the same time.

If the 'Optional' section of the Tableau Extension form was completed, there will be an 'i' icon in the data table which will present a tooltip giving details on the extension variable - generally what it represents in the image. To populate the table, drag a Dimension or a Measure from the left hand column to the empty fields on the right hand side. There are two other options - '<No Selection>' and '<Default Value>'. The '<Default Value>' option uses that values that are set in the extension when it is created in the Inovista Animator. If there are any '<No Selection>' values in the data fields, the extension will not run until they have been replaced with valid values.

tableau popup

Set the Property Values
If any properties have been defined in the Animator, they will be shown by scrolling down after the Data Links in the popup. The property values are set at design time rather than at runtime as the data links are. Each property will be set by the relevant editor. So a color editor is available for colors, a data field for text values, a font list for font families and so on.
tableau popup2

Viewing the Extension
Once the data are mapped, leave the popup and the extension can now be viewed and tested. The extension should update when either the filter is updated and/or parameters are changed depending on the selections in the popup.

tableau pop