Developer Platform updates: APIs, extensions, and automation

Each month, our Developer Program delights its members as we showcase the latest projects from our internal developer platform and tools engineers. In August, we highlighted some exciting updates—including updates for the JavaScript API, a new developer tool for Dashboard Extensions API, and connectors in the Tableau Exchange.

Let’s dive into the latest from our teams.

Embedding JavaScript API: Dashboard Level Filtering

In the Embedding JavaScript API, the method applyFilterAsync() applies a simple categorical filter. You were previously able to call this method on a worksheet. However, if you were embedding a dashboard (which often contain multiple worksheets), you had to loop through the individual worksheets to apply the filter to each of the worksheets on a dashboard. With the upcoming release of Tableau 2020.4, you’ll be able to call applyFilterAsync on the dashboard.

We’re also adding a new method, Filter.setAppliedWorksheets, to apply an existing filter to other worksheets. This not only provides a better coding experience for you to apply a filter to multiple worksheets on a dashboard, but also a better experience for anyone accessing your application—the filter will apply quicker, and to all sheets at once.

We’re continuing to improve the developer experience for the JavaScript API. Learn more about other JavaScript API improvements we released with Tableau 2020.3.

Dashboard Extensions Developer Tools

Tableau Dashboard Extensions are web applications that can interact and communicate with Tableau, providing nearly endless possibilities. But getting them up and running is a multi-step process. As with any web application, you need to host your extension or set up a local server. Additionally, your web application should link to the Extensions API JavaScript library. Then, you need to edit the extension manifest file (.trex) to point to your web application. Finally, you can start using an extension on your dashboard. (See our documentation for these steps in more detail.)

When developers have a brilliant idea for an extension, they want to get it going straight away, and not be slowed down by this process. That’s why we developed a command line tool to get you up and running with extensions faster, including publishing them to the cloud. And when you’re ready to share your dashboard extension with other people, we make that easy too!

We are looking forward to seeing what you will create using this new tool.

Connectors in the Gallery

With Tableau 2020.3, we launched a new extension type in the Tableau Exchange: connectors! These connectors provide an intuitive way to connect to databases that Tableau doesn't natively support. They can also provide significant performance enhancements over generic JDBC or ODBC connection types. All seven of the new connectors were built by Tableau partners using the Connector SDK. With this SDK, you can create connectors to any database using an ODBC or JDBC driver and directly visualize the data in Tableau.

Visit the Tableau Exchange and get a TACO (TAbleau COnnector), or check out the Connector SDK to get started building your own custom connector to Tableau.


You might be familiar with tabcmd, a command line utility that you can use to automate site administration tasks on your Tableau Server site such as creating or deleting users. Tabcmd2 is an open-source, Python-based app that replicates the functionality of the existing tabcmd using the Tableau Server Client (TSC).

You will be able to run Tabcmd2 scripts on MacOS (Tabcmd does not support MacOS), and use a personal access token to authenticate. On top of that, Tabcmd2 will allow you to add more functionality and extend it for other automation tasks.

Tabcmd2 is now in pre-release on GitHub. Check it out and be sure to share your feedback by using the Issues feature in the repository. We love getting input from our customers and community, and we can’t do it without you!

Join the #DataDev community to get your invitation to our exclusive Sprint Demos and be the first to know about the Developer Platform updates—directly from the engineering team. See you next month!

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