Tableau - Reasons to Embed Tableau Dashboards in Websites

Reasons for embedding Tableau dashboards in websites.

Dashboards may be published to the Tableau Server and then websites may be linked to the Tableau Server to display dashboards within a web page. AITS has created a web service to simplify this feature. Embedded dashboards link to the Tableau Server using a service account and do not require individual authentication to the Tableau Server in order to display the dashboard.

There are three scenarios where this is extremely beneficial. First if you wish to make a dashboard available for public viewing. It can be displayed with no authentication required.

The second scenario is if you wish to make a dashboard secure, but available to a very large group (e.g. all employees on a campus or to the university). The Tableau Server uses Active Directory to authenticate users and must synchronize with the Active Directory to update the membership of groups used to grant access. Large groups take a while to synchronize and many large groups would prevent the update process to complete overnight. For this reason it is recommended to embed the dashboard in a website which has campus credential authentication (i.e. Shibboleth). The viewer must authenticate with their University of Illinois credentials and then they can view the dashboard.

The third scenario is if you wish to make the dashboard secure and available to individuals who are not a part of the University of Illinois. Some examples may be an organization available to subscribers, a board of directors or colleagues from another institution. In this scenario, an authorization system is used to authenticate the users before displaying the web site.

In all of these scenarios, the following steps may be used to embed a dashboard in a web page.

  1. The dashboard (Tableau Workbook) must be published to the Tableau Server. The data must be available without requiring a data source password prompt (i.e. embedded account and password).
  2. The service account must be granted viewer access to the dashboard.
    1. To use the default service account, add the account UOFI\tableau-webviewer to your Active Directory viewer group assigned to your project.
    2. If you wish to use your own service account, contact AITS to coordinate the account setup. The request may be submitted to Please state that you wish to use a service account with the Tableau Server and the request will be routed to the appropriate group.
    3. Group memberships are synchronized overnight, so please allow time for the access to be updated on the Tableau Server.
  3. In your web page, you will need to insert an iframe statement. Instructions for doing this may be found at How to embed Tableau dashboards in websites.

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