Tableau - Information for publishers

Overview of information beneficial for people planning to publish dashboards to the Tableau Server.

Tableau Publisher Guidelines

When you have built your visualization in Tableau and are ready to share it with others, please review this document first. It will give you an overview of the process and help you understand the process in place.



  1. Design and test your dashboard on your workstation.
  2. Request your project on the QA/Test server (Server name: Tableau-Test).
  3. Request your active directory administrator to create publisher and viewer groups
  4. Publish your dashboard to your project on Tableau - Test.
  5. Have your testers including yourself, test the dashboard to verify it works as expected.
  6. Request creation of project in Production (Server name: Tableau) identifying the Active Directory groups that should have access.
  7. Publish your dashboard to your project on the production server Tableau.
You're done! The next few sections will give you more details on each of the areas.


We have two servers available for publication. A QA/Test (Tableau- Test) server and Production (Tableau) server.

QA/Test (Tableau-Test)

This is the platform for you to create your project, define publisher/user groups and test your dashboard. Members of the user group will be able to view your dashboard and interact with it as normal. As this is the test server availability can be degraded due to other users testing activities.

Production (Tableau)

When you are satisfied with testing on the test server, this is the platform to make your dashboard available to your audience. Populate your active directory group with the viewers who should be able to view the dashboard and they will be able to visit the site and view your dashboard. Group memberships and permissions for the Project must be established to publish to this server.

Project Definitions

A project defines the security of the dashboard and there can be multiple dashboards in one project. Only those in the viewer group assigned to a project will be able to view the dashboards within. All dashboards within a project must have the same security. If you are creating a new dashboard that is outside the audience of your existing project, then a new project will be required. (We ask that you minimize the number of projects to allow for more streamlined administration.)

Here is an example of where two projects would be useful: If you have two audiences, department administration and department faculty/staff. While the department administration has access to all dashboards, the department faculty/staff may only need access to a subset of the dashboards. Create two Projects, one for the common dashboards and the other for the restricted dashboards. Department administration will be granted access to both projects but faculty/staff will only have access to the one project.

Managing Group Memberships and Permissions

Permissions to view Tableau visualizations and dashboards are managed by setting up each project with a group membership and allowing permissions to the group.

Setting Up Group Membership

Groups are imported from Active Directory (AD) onto the Tableau Server. You have the option of using an existing AD group or creating a new AD group. The group can also be a distribution list. AD groups are managed campus IT units. If you have any questions on how to utilize this service please check with you IT administrator or one of the organizations below based on your affiliation.

Once you have the groups created and shared that with us, we will schedule the synchronization of those groups on a nightly basis to the server. New members or removed members are updated overnight.

Standard Permissions

Permissions are assigned by group to each project. There are two standard permission types; Publisher and Viewer

Publisher (includes Viewer permissions)


Additional Permissions

Additional permissions can be added to allow additional flexibility to the user.

Establishing Database Connections

When dashboards are published, by default they will prompt the user for database credentials to run the query. The user may choose to save these credentials and Tableau Server will not prompt in the future. This prompt ensures that only authorized users may see the data. If the account is used to control the rows returned, this will allow a single dashboard to deliver uniquely-suited information to each user. The dashboard may also be published and assigned a specific account and password to use for the database connections. This does not require every dashboard user to have an account in the source database. This specific account should not be a personal account. Use an application/service account assigned to the Unit.

Sensitive Data

Do not share confidential and sensitive information with anyone, including colleagues, unless there is a business reason and they are an authorized viewer of the data.

Help with Tableau

Tableau has many resources on their website to help you use the desktop tool. Additionally LinkedIn Learning offers classes to help you learn more.

Tableau Server Assistance 

If you have questions about Tableau server, please contact the AITS Service Desk at or call them at (217) 333-3102.  Additional information and the form for requesting a project is also available here:

Tableau Server Service