1. Workspaces 

Workspaces are isolated resource groups with their own access control and own resources like own data base. Workspaces allow for such enterprise capabilities as multi-tenancy as multiple teams can use the application independently when placed into separate workspaces. Multi-tenancy is realized through access control. Users assigned to a workspace cannot manage or access other workspaces they are not assigned to. In order to make workspaces fully independent from each other it is not just the users but also resources like a data base that cannot interact or see any other resource in other workspaces. 


When setting up the application the App Admin creates a workspace and nominates a Workspace Admin. The Workspace Admin has permissions to perform all actions and thereby has full control over the team in that workspace (the workspace admin is usually the team lead). Even though the Workspace Admin can manage all of the resources, it is possible to delegate the management of specific resources to other users or user groups e.g. The Workspace Admin can nominate a Server Admin whose only task is to create/edit/delete Tableau Servers in the app. 


  1. Data Sources 

Each workspace has their own Data Source(s). Data Sources from two different workspaces cannot see or interact with each other in order to maintain clarity and multi-tenancy.  


Data Sources are data bases that store the annotations. The same data base can be used to store annotations for different Tableau Dashboards and Sheets. A workspace can have multiple Data Sources which can be either managed by the Workspace Admin or a deliberately nominated Data Source Admin.  


Note: The Data Source Admin only has permission to create/delete/edit Data Sources. 


Tableau Elements currently supports the following types of database engines (types of the Data Sources): 

  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL     
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Teradata 


  1. Tableau Server 

Each workspace has their own Tableau Server(s). Tableau Servers from two different workspaces cannot see or interact with each other in order to maintain clarity and multi-tenancy. 


Tableau Servers are existing Tableau Servers where the annotations are used. One workspace can have multiple Tableau Servers which can be either managed by the Workspace Admin or a deliberately nominated Server Admin.  


Note: The Server admin can only create/delete/edit Tableau Servers. 


  1. Notification Channels 

Elements for Tableau supports internal communication. The previously determined users can be notified of annotation request and when an annotation is approved. When an annotation is rejected, the reasoning gets forwarded as well. Furthermore, users are able to be tagged on dashboards. These tagging notifications can be fully customized, and are sent out via Email, Slack or Teams. Users can reply to these notifications on the platform where the message was sent. This communication feature grants a quicker and more effective workflow.   


The app currently supports the following channels:  

  • Email 
  • Slack 
  • Teams  


Notifications can be sent out in the following scenarios:  

  • An Annotation Request is made
  • An Annotation Request is approved 
  • An Annotation Request is rejected (with comments) 
  • A user gets tagged on a Dashboard  


Notification Channels are utilized when setting up an Annotation Rule. If the approval process gets enabled, a new notification binding has to be added in order to enable users to send and receive notifications. There are two main ways Notification Channels can be set up.   


  1. 1. Set up a notification channel for the whole app  

  • -     These channels are specific for the whole app   

  • -     Every app stakeholder can be reached when adding an app notification channel for an                  annotation rule  

  1. 2. Set up a notification channel for a workspace  

  • -     These channels are specific for a workspace  

  • -     Only those users can be reached who are added to the workspace  


  1. Annotation Rules 

Annotation rules contain all the necessary information to enable annotations for the Tableau Dashboard. These annotation rules are mapped to the Tableau Dashboard by using the Tableau Extension. The Extension is added to the Dashboard by the Dashboard Author.  


How is an Annotation Rule built up? 


Annotation Rules require the following information: 

  • A Tableau Server that will host the Dashboard 
  • A Data Source and the tables in that Data Source which will store the annotations (the tables can be manually or automatically created) 
  • Form(s) that the end user will have to fill out in order to compete the annotations on the Tableau Dashboard 
  • Forms can contain various fields depending on the type of the annotation e.g. Text, dropdown, checkbox. These form fields are saved in the previously specified table’s columns 
  • Which users/user groups (selected from Active Directory) can use this rule to perform annotations on the Tableau Dashboard
  • Whether there is an approval process enabled 
  • Whether there is a deletion process enabled 
  • Whether there is a Notification Channel used to notify users about tags, comments 


  1. Approve Annotations 

One enterprise capability of Elements for Tableau is Annotation Approvals. By enabling the approval process, annotation rules can be completed in amore secure way. Only selected users/user groups by the admin can approve of annotations. This feature enables organizations to double check any modifications that are being made on a Tableau Dashboard. In order to enhance security, the number of required approvals can be increased.   


The approval process can be enabled when creating a new annotation rule and only one approval process can be set up for an annotation rule.   


There are two main ways how annotation approvals can be made:  


1. One annotation per user per data point 

  • Allows for multiple annotation requests per data point   
  • Each user (Tableau Dashboard author) can make one request for the specific data point  
  • Users cannot see and overwrite other users’ annotation requests  
  • Eventually, the annotation approvers will only approve of one request (the most appropriate) 

2. One request is allowed per data point 

  • Only one request can be made per data point  
  • However, users (Tableau Dashboard authors) can see and overwrite other users’ annotation requests  
  • Eventually, the latest annotation will be approved 


Approvalrequests are automatically sent out when an annotation is made on the dashboard. These requests can be either approved or denied by the selected user/user groups on the Web UI in the Approve Annotation component. Eventually, the annotation will only be saved when all the chosen user(s)/user groups approve of the annotation request.   


Note: Annotation approvals cannot be prioritized. 


Every annotation request is stored in the Approve Annotation component. Therefore, each annotation request ever made can be found by applying the appropriate filters e.g. At Annotation Status -> Declined, all the previously declined annotations can be found.  


  1. Migration Targets 

One enterprise capability of Elements for Tableau is its migration feature. App admins can set up migration targets. These migration targets are other environments of the same app (the web UI is the same, they have the same features and components).  


Migration allows for operating multiple environments simultaneously through the effortless transfer of resources between the environments e.g. Through migration it is possible to maintain a Development, a Test, and a Production environment. App admins can easily transfer resources like Workspaces, Annotation Rules even the Extension without having to reconfigure the entire app.  


Once a migration is completed, further changes to the initial environment will not appear automatically in the other Migration Target environments. 


Migration can only be executed if one user exists in both environments with the same login details and permissions. 


  1. App Configuration 

Elements for Tableau is highly customizable given that each organization has specific requirements. The App Configuration components allows the App Admin to customize the app in order that it suits the organization in the best way possible.  


It is possible to change the following parts of the app: 

  • App Bar e.g. Application title, add your own organization's logo 
  • Color Theme 
  • Principal Selector 
  • Annotation Requests 
  • Extension Configuration 


  1. Audit 

Elements for Tableau logs every action done by any user (or the system) and these logs are stored in the Audit section. The App Admin can view and export all the actions stored in the Audit section.