June 2, 2014
Tableau Tip: Use the "refresh" URL parameter to avoid hitting the Server cache
I've been experimenting with Tableau for Mac quite a bit. This past week I've been focusing a lot on live connections to MySQL to replace some existing internal dashboards with more insightful ones. The great thing about our MySQL environment is that it's super fast and I can turn around a dashboard built on a template in less than an hour. While this has been awesome for proving the value of Tableau for Mac, I learned a lesson over the weekend about the Tableau Server cache.
We're at a luxury here at Facebook that we can have a separate environment for the 8.2 beta. In production, we all share a single server, so it's unlikely that you hit the cache. However, on the beta server, there are only a handful of us using the Server, which led to email over the weekend from my users that their dashboards with live connections are not showing the latest data. Why? Tableau is using the cache (as it should).
To solve this, all I have to do is force the dashboard to refresh every time the user hits the server. I accomplish this by adding the ":refresh" parameter to the URL. My URL now looks like:
The refresh option on the end is what tells Tableau Server to re-render the view. Of course, you don't have to have the embed and toolbar parameters in the URL, but I like the way my view looks on Tableau Server when I include those options. For a full list of embed parameter, go to this link.