- Purpose and Function of the Tableau Connector Plugin
- Where to Find the Tableau Connector Plugin
- Connecting your Zengine Workspace to Tableau
Tableau is a visual analytics software platform that allows users to analyze their data in complex ways and create useful visualizations of their data. Although Tableau is a third-party platform owned by Salesforce and is not associated directly with WizeHive, some Zengine users may want to connect their workspace data to Tableau for deeper analysis and visualization than is possible using Zengine’s built-in tools and plugins. The Tableau Connector Plugin allows Zengine users to do just that.
This article will describe how the Tableau Connector Plugin works in more detail, explain how to connect a Zengine workspace to Tableau to extract the workspace data, and how to define a workspace’s linked forms in Tableau to enable holistic analysis of data contained in different forms.
Please note that this article will not explain how to use Tableau for data analysis or visualization; for that, users should consult the Tableau documentation.
Purpose and Function of the Tableau Connector Plugin
The Tableau Connector Plugin provides Zengine users with the tools needed to connect their workspace’s data to Tableau for deeper analysis and visualization than is possible using Zengine’s built-in tools. However, the connection itself is actually made in Tableau.
While this may sound complex, the Zengine Tableau Connector Plugin handles most of this behind the scenes; all a user needs is the Web Data Connector URL (which will link each specific workspace to Tableau) and a Zengine API Access Token. The Tableau Connector Plugin will provide users with means to access both of these components.
Please note that each workspace will require its own Web Data Connector URL (meaning that the Tableau Connector Plugin will need to be installed in each workspace that a user wants to connect to Tableau), though a single API Access Token can be used to for multiple workspaces.
In addition, Web Data Connectors are currently only supported for Tableau Desktop; they are not supported for Tableau Cloud or Tableau Server.
Where to Find the Tableau Connector Plugin
The Tableau Connector Plugin is not typically used in most Zengine workspaces, and may need to be installed before it can be used. Please reach out to our Support Team to discuss installing this plugin in one or more workspaces before continuing.
The Tableau Connector Plugin can be accessed in the Settings & Tools section of a Zengine workspace.
- Logged in to Zengine workspace as an administrator, select the Settings & Tools button located in the upper right corner of any workspace page.
- On the Settings & Tools page, select the Tableau tile under Plugin Settings.
This will show the Tableau Web Connector page.
Note that the specific Connector URL shown here will vary slightly from workspace to workspace.
Connecting your Zengine Workspace to Tableau
The Tableau Web Connector page contains the components needed to connect a workspace to Tableau. These include:
- The Web Data Connector URL - this is used to direct Tableau to the web data source (in this case, a workspace). The Web Data Connector URL is different from the workspace URL, and is specifically used for connecting Tableau to a web data source; using a normal website URL will not work.
- Links to secure an API Access Token - an API Access Token is required to allow Tableau to extract the workspace data via communication with the Zengine API.
Copying the Web Data Connector URL
To connect a workspace to Tableau, a Web Data Connector URL must be entered into Tableau Desktop (see Connecting to Tableau Desktop below). This Web Data Connector URL is generated by the Tableau Connector Plugin and is unique to each individual workspace.
The Web Data Connector URL is located in the center of the Tableau Web Connector screen:
To copy the URL, select the Copy button to the right of the Web Data Connector URL.
This will copy the URL to the clipboard, though no confirmation message will appear upon doing so.
Zengine API Access Token
A Zengine API Access Token is also required to allow Tableau to communicate with Zengine via an API. Users can secure either a temporary token, lasting approximately 1 hour, or request a permanent access token from WizeHive for long-term use.
The temporary access token is ideal if users want to explore Tableau’s capabilities to see if it is suited to their data analysis and visualization requirements, but it will expire and is not designed for long-term use.
Temporary Access Token
To secure a temporary API Access Token:
- Locate the Requirements section at the bottom of the Tableau Web Connector screen.
- Select the link associated with the word here in the first bullet point.
- This will bring up the Zengine Developer Tools page.
This page can also be accessed by selecting User Settings in the upper right of any screen, and then selecting the Developer tile.
- Locate the section labeled API Access and copy/paste the full string of numbers and letters to your clipboard.
This is the temporary access token and can be used to explore any plugins or functions that use the Zengine API, but will expire approximately 1 hour after it is generated.
This access token will need to be entered into Tableau Desktop in order to connect your workspace to Tableau (see Connecting to Tableau Desktop below).
Requesting a Permanent Access Token
To request a permanent API Access Token:
- Locate the Requirements section at the bottom of the Tableau Web Connector screen.
- Select the link associated with the words requesting a permanent access token in the first bullet point.
- This will bring you to a page titled Developers - Register Your Application. Read the descriptions and complete all required fields. While most of these fields are self-explanatory, a few questions are more complex. For using the API Access Token with Tableau, a 2-legged external integration is best.
In addition, a Standard platform integration for compliance is sufficient. The Vault platform is no longer offered, as the standard integration is now fully secure and HIPPA / HITECH compliant.
- Complete all required questions and follow the instructions under the section Integration Process to begin setting up the API Access Token.
These instructions will also generate a temporary token (see the section Temporary Access Token above), but once the request for a permanent token has been approved, the 1-hour expiration date will be removed, allowing the continued use of this access token for Tableau.
When all questions and steps have been completed, select the blue Submit button at the bottom. A representative from WizeHive will review the request and reach out to confirm the approval.
Connecting to Tableau Desktop
The next step to connecting a workspace to Tableau is to open Tableau Desktop. The Start Page will be shown upon doing so.
Note: The steps and images that follow use Tableau Desktop 2023.3. Using an older or newer version may result in minor differences between the instructions and your version.
- On the left side, the blue Connect pane should be visible. Under the section To a Server, select the option titled Web Data Connector (it may also be labeled Web Data Connector (deprecated).
If this option is not immediately visible, select More… to open a larger list of available options.
- A message box will appear on screen. Paste the Web Data Connector URL (see the section Copying the Web Data Connector URL above) into the field as indicated and press Enter on your keyboard.
- The next screen will ask for the API Access Token (see the section Zengine API Access Token above). Paste your access token into the text field as prompted.
The field labeled Form Id can be left blank, unless only a single form from the workspace is to be connected to Tableau.
- When ready, select the green Get Table Data button to continue.
This will open a new Tableau workbook. On the left side of the screen, a pane showing each form as it exists in the now-connected Zengine workspace will appear in a list.
To begin analyzing the data in a form, select forms in the left-hand pane and drag them to the main part of the screen.
Defining Form Relationships in Tableau
If more than one form is added to a Tableau workbook, and those forms are linked in the Zengine workspace, the fields defining the relationship between them must be manually set before cross-form data analysis can take place.
In the example below, a workspace has been connected to Tableau, and two forms - Applications and Profiles - have been added to a Tableau workbook. These forms are linked in the connected Zengine workspace: the Profile is the parent form, and they are linked in a one-to-one relationship (see the article Linking Forms for more information about form relationships in Zengine).
However, the relationship between these two forms (or tables, as Tableau interprets them) is currently undefined, since Zengine connects forms using Linked Form fields rather than matching fields. This means that Applications and Profiles forms (or tables) must be connected manually by defining, in Tableau, which fields are used to connect the records across these two forms in Zengine.
- The connecting field on the child form in a relationship is the Linked Form field. This field contains the Record ID number of linked records that exist on the parent form (these Record ID numbers are generated automatically in Zengine). In this example, the Applications form is the child form, and the linked form field is titled Linked Profile.
- The connecting field on the parent form is the Record ID number. This number will match the value in the Linked Form field on the child form; this is how records are connected across forms in Zengine. In this example, the parent form is Profiles, and the connecting field is called id (Profiles).
To configure the table relationship in Tableau:
- Select the relationship between two tables. The lower left pane should change to show options for defining the relationship between two tables.
- For the table that represents the child form, select the appropriate Linked Form field.
- For the table that represents the parent form, select the field labeled id ([Form Name]).
- Once a matching field has been selected for each form/table, the lower right pane will change. Select Update Now or Update Automatically to complete the process.
- Repeat this process for all tables that contain data to be analyzed in Tableau.
For more information on using Tableau to analyze and visualize data, see the Tableau resources (Learn Tableau).