Upgrade to Tableau Prep Builder 2019.1.3

What you need to know when upgrading to Tableau Prep Builder 2019.1.3


Introduction to Tableau Prep Builder

Tableau Prep Builder is a Tableau product designed to help everyone quickly and confidently combine, shape, and clean their data for analysis.

How to Get Tableau Prep Builder

Tableau Prep Builder is included alongside Tableau Desktop in the Tableau Creator offering. Existing Tableau Desktop customers with maintenance can also get Tableau Prep Builder as part of their maintenance benefits.

Start using Tableau Prep Builder:

What's New in Tableau Prep Builder 2019.1.3

Start by reading this blog post

Youssef Shoukry, Senior Product Manager, Tableau:
New in Tableau Prep: Leverage your database relationships to create joins

Note: Starting in version 2019.1.2, Tableau Prep is now called Tableau Prep Builder. This name change is to distinguish it from the new Tableau Prep Conductor which runs on Tableau Server as an add-on. With the launch of Conductor, the work you do in Prep Builder running on your Tableau Desktop, can be saved to run in a centralized, scalable, and reliable server environment so your data is always up to date and easy to share.

Connect to Data

Quickly join your data based on table relationships

When you connect to databases that include tables where table relationships are defined, such as Vertica or Microsoft SQL Server, Tableau Prep Builder can now detect and show this information. For example, you can now see which fields in a table are unique identifiers (primary key) and which fields are related fields (foreign key) as well any related tables for these fields. A new column called Linked Keys shows in the Input pane with an icon next to the fields that are unique identifiers, related fields or a combination of both. In the Linked Keys field, click on a related field or combination field to view related tables, then in one click, add the related table to your flow or create a join.

When creating a join, Tableau Prep Builder uses the defined field relationship to join your tables and shows a preview of the fields that define the join clause. From there you can click on the new Join step to clean and edit your join conditions as needed.

For tables that contain related fields, you can also see a list of all related tables and create a join from the menu in the Flow pane. From the Add Join menu option, select the table that you want to join on from the list and Tableau Prep Builder creates the join based on the fields that make up the relationship between the two tables.

This feature is available for any supported database connector where table relationships are defined. For more information about using Linked Keys to add or join tables, see Use existing table relationships to join data.

Clean and Shape Data

See all cleaning recommendations in the toolbar

If Tableau Prep Builder detects and provides cleaning recommendations for your fields, a light bulb Light Bulb Icon icon appears on the Profile card for the field. Now you can see all cleaning recommendations for any field from the toolbar in a selected step in one convenient list.

Simply click on an item in the list and Tableau Prep Builder takes you right to the field where you can apply the suggested change. For more information about cleaning recommendations, see Apply cleaning operations using recommendations.

Note: This option isn't available for Join, Input and Output step types.

Other Enhancements

Find specific changes in your flow

You can now quickly find specific changes that you made in a flow by clicking on the change icon on a step in the Flow pane or on a profile card in the Profile or Results pane. Simply click on the icon that represents the change you are looking for then select the annotation from the list of changes. The change is highlighted in the Changes pane, Profile or Results pane and data grid if applicable.

For more information about viewing your changes, see View your changes.

Manage recently viewed flows from the Start page

When you save a flow and close Tableau Prep Builder, a thumbnail for the flow is saved to your Start page so you can quickly find your most used flows. But as a data Prep rock star, your Start page can get crowded fast! To help you quickly find the flow you need and reduce the clutter when you are finished working with a flow, we have added a few new features to the Start page.
  • Improved graphics on the flow thumbnail more accurately represents the flow layout to help you spot your flow at a glance.
  • If the graphic does not give you enough information, hover over a flow thumbnail to instantly view the input and output details for the flow as well as when it was last opened.
  • Clear the clutter by removing recently viewed flows from the start page that you no longer need. This option removes the flow from the Recent Flows view only and will not delete the flow.


Tableau Prep Builder is a stand-alone product that works seamlessly with Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online. At any point while working in Tableau Prep Builder, you can create an extract of your data, publish your data source to Tableau Server or Tableau Online, or even open Tableau Desktop directly from Tableau Prep Builder to preview your data.

  • Tableau Prep Builder works on Windows and Mac. It can create Tableau Extracts (.tde and .hyper) and CSV files that can be used in Tableau 10.0 and later versions of Tableau.
  • In Tableau Prep Builder you can connect to many of the same data sources available in Tableau Desktop, Server and Online. For a complete list of Tableau supported data source, click here.
  • With some data sources, you may need to install drivers before connecting to your data. If this is the case, see the Driver Download page.

New Workspace for Faster Speed to Insight

Tableau Prep Builder uses Tableau’s data connectors, calculation language, and governance structure, making it possible to get you up to speed quickly and ready to collaborate at any point in the analytical process.

The Tableau Prep Builder workspace consists of the connections pane, the changes pane, and three coordinated areas designed to help you interact with and explore your data:

  1. Connections pane: The Connections pane shows the databases and files you are connected to. Add connections to one or more databases and then drag the tables you want to work with into the flow pane. 
  2. Flow pane: As you connect to, clean, shape, and combine your data, steps appear in the flow pane. You can hover over the icons at the top of each step to see what changes were made. 
  3. Profile pane: The profile pane in the center of the workspace shows a summary of each field in your data sample. This is where users can see the shape of the data and quickly find outliers and nulls.
  4. Changes pane: Tableau Prep Builder keeps track of any changes you make, in the order you make them, so you can always go back and review or edit those changes if needed.
  5. Data grid: The data grid shows the row level detail for your data. The values displayed reflect the operations defined in the profile pane. You can filter, keep only, and exclude individual field values in this grid plus drag and drop fields to change the display order.

For complete descriptions, including a video, see Workspace in Product Help.

Saving and Sharing Outputs

Defining Output

Tableau Prep Builder can save three types of files:

  1. .tfl files containing a flow
  2. .tflx files containing a flow and local file-based data sources, such as Excel and text files
  3. Output files containing the results of running a flow

Output files can be saved in .hyper, .tde and .csv formats, and are defined in the Output Step. The output files can be opened in Tableau Desktop, and published to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

Tableau Desktop

Running the flow on Tableau Desktop results in a Tableau Data Extract file, either a .tde or .hyper depending your version of Tableau, either one saved in your Tableau Repository in the Datasources folder. It can also be output to .csv files, if you need to use your prepared data for other tools or processes.

Note! Once an extract has been created, whether .tde or .hyper, and a workbook based on it, the same compatibility rules for use with different versions of Tableau applies as in other usage situations. For more information, see Make Workbooks Compatible Between Versions.

Tableau Server

To publish your output to Tableau Server, use the Publish menu in Tableau Prep Builder. The Tableau Server REST API must be enabled in order to receive publish requests from Tableau Prep Builder. For more information see REST API Requirements.

Tableau Online

You can also use Tableau Prep Builder's Publish menu to publish your output to Tableau Online as a .hyper extract, .tde extract, or .csv file, and provide centralized access to the data you have cleaned, formatted, and combined.

Faster Updates to Tableau Prep Builder

We’re moving fast and will be launching new features frequently for Tableau Prep Builder, independent of the Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server or Tableau Online release cycles. Customers will need to upgrade to the latest version of Tableau Prep Builder to take advantage of new features and product fixes.

With regular intervals, this site will post new links to community user scenarios, product information, and not least tricks of the trade for the latest fast, fun and efficient data prep.

Additional Resources

How can I get Tableau Prep Builder?

Tableau Prep Builder is a subscription only product included in the Tableau Creator offering. Existing Tableau Desktop users with maintenance will be able to download and use Tableau Prep Builder as part of their maintenance agreement. If you haven't downloaded Tableau Prep Builder already, you may do so by visiting this page or simply clicking the download button at the top of this upgrade page, which always points to the latest version of Prep Builder.

Unsure of your license situation? Start by reading Maintain Licenses for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

Try Tableau Prep Builder first for free!

You can download a free 14-day trial of Tableau Prep Builder here.

Review Tech Specs

Technical requirements for Tableau Prep Builder can be viewed here.

Tableau Prep Builder Release Notes

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