Custom Web-Based Tableau Portal


Building a custom web-based portal for Tableau can help to increase your dashboard use and double as an effective way of keeping users up to date on the extensive content that exists on your Tableau Server.


We’ve all had requests from people in our organizations asking for data that already exists in a dashboard somewhere on the server, so we send the link for the dashboard to them and they respond with overwhelming excitement saying “This is exactly what I was looking for, I had no idea it already existed!”. We can sympathize with this person, knowing that the Project/Workbook/Views setup that comes with the installation of Tableau Server can be tough on a user to explore through if they’re not sure what they’re looking for. Let’s break down the portal below.


Front and Center




This is our Tableau Dashboard Landing page, yes it’s just a Tableau dashboard embedded in an iframe. This honey comb contains links to our dashboards and also provides the place holder for where all of our dashboards will display as the user changes between dashboards. The honey comb is a dual axis graph using custom shapes with a picture set as the background. The first axis places the hexagons and the second places the icons on top. You can use different colors on the hexagons to indicate for different topics, projects, or whatever you’d like – it’s up to you!


Left and Right Hand Navigation



The Left hand navigation works wonderfully for switching between workbooks and you can also keep it organized by including the project structure from our Tableau Server. On the Right hand side, we chose to display dashboards based on topics that might be interesting to the user like Most Viewed, Trending, and Most Recent dashboards. All of this data is available in the Tableau Server Repository and with the use of some SQL and PHP we can put this to good use and enable our users to stay informed about hot topics in the organization!


Above and Below



Above the dashboard we provide links to the other sheets available within the workbook to allow users to switch between dashboards. We’ve all tried building these links within a dashboard as to make it aesthetically pleasing, but as we’ve tried, we also realized that this comes with a price. Yes it looks great, but after the user clicks a link once, then navigates back to the page it is already clicked, and now they would have to click that link twice to get back to the other page and then… yea, I’m getting frustrated just thinking about it. Using the Tableau Javascript API we can show those tabs and also get the nice look that we were going for, while providing a nice user experience.


Again using the Tableau Javascript API we provide similar functionality that you would see on the standard Tableau Server, allowing users to refresh, export, and download workbooks.



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