Locked nested projects provide unprecedented flexibility in governing your site

It’s okay to admit it—when you heard that Tableau introduced locked nested sub projects in 2020.1, it may not have given you goose bumps or sent shivers down your spine. But, we are here to say that if you’re responsible for governance and structuring yours Tableau site, it may be one of the most powerful features to come along in quite awhile. This “little” feature is easy to overlook, but has a big positive impact on minimizing the needs for additional sites, delegating admin responsibilities, and providing the flexibility that your organization needs.

How do locked nested projects change my site management?

Mark Wu, Tableau Zen Master, stated, “Sub projects can now be locked independently. This is a game changer for all of us!” To understand why this is a big deal, let’s go back to pre-2020.1 days. When you locked a project, the entire locked parent/child hierarchy underneath it had the exact same permissions. This limitation required you to either have a very broad, flat tree structure—or you may have worked around it by spawning unnecessary, new sites. You don’t need to do that anymore!

Before: Pre-2020.1 the world was broad and flat.

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Locked projects drove the same permissions down to all its sub projects which triggered the proliferation of more top-level projects. User navigation of the site is much more challenging with so many projects. This limitation also led some to stand up additional sites, which has the downside of creating a “hard” boundary to sharing data sources and can make collaboration more challenging. Sites require duplicate project hierarchies, increasing the effort to create, permission, and manage across them.

After: Your site structure reflects your organization’s depth.

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You can now lock a project at ANY level in your site’s project folder structure regardless of whether the parent is locked with different permissions.  That allows you maximum flexibility to structure and permission your site in ways not possible before Tableau 2020.1.

Why would I want to use locked nested projects?

Many organizations want to manage their content and permissions in ways that mimic their organizational structures. Think of all the potential benefits. Now you can empower project leaders or owners to lock sub projects with the permissions that meet their specific group needs at any level in the hierarchy. You free up admin time by delegating to the folks closer to the work, and help your Tableau site to be better organized and governed.

Locked Nested Projects simplifies permissioning by allowing you to:

  • Lock sub projects independently
  • Simplify top-level projects
  • Group similar projects together
  • Ensure access consistency
  • Ease admin burden by delegating to project owner/leaders

Organizations aren't flat, and neither is the way you govern your content. You can now organize your Tableau site and projects exactly the way you want—by department, region, content development lifecycle, or perhaps a combination.

Below are three common examples of organizing projects that can take advantage of Locked Nested Projects. Each color represents different group access that could be locked in place at the sub project level and below.

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Overall, we strongly recommend using locked projects along with group permissions rules to help ease the management of a Tableau site. Unlocked projects can promote a wild west culture, where everyone manages their own content permissions differently. In contrast, locked projects ensure consistency of permissions across content and provide the ability to delegate the admin role to project owners or leaders who know the appropriate details for each group’s content. 

How do I use locked nested projects?

You can apply nested projects to an existing project hierarchy regardless of when you created it.

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  1. Click the three-dot Action menu - Permissions... for a project.
  2. Click the Edit link in the upper left of the Permissions dialog.
  3. Click Locked and the check Apply to nested projects.

It’s very easy to overlook the new check box when you click to edit the locked settings for a project.

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