How to Publish to Tableau Online from Alteryx Designer

In my several years of supporting Alteryx Server and Tableau Server, one of the most frequent questions I get from Alteryx users is: “How do I publish to Tableau Server?” The short answer is, there is a specific Publish to Tableau Server Alteryx tool to do that, and it works very well! However, if you are attempting to use Alteryx to publish to Tableau Online, rather than an on-prem Tableau Server, there may be some extra steps.

Depending on your method of authentication, you may encounter a the following error when attempting to publish:

Error 401001: Signin Error — Error signing in to Tableau Server Tableau Server.UploadChunks (238) Iteration #1: Error Trasferring data: URL using base/illegal format or missing URL

Note: Before we move forward, some of you may be thinking “There is a Publish to Tableau Server tool?” – no problem. If you don’t see the tool under the Connectors tool palette, you are probably using an older version of Alteryx Designer. No big deal, you can still download the tool as a macro from the public gallery. This is the exact same tool, and this solution will work for both this macro and the one that comes native to newer versions.

How to Use the Macro

Using the Publish to Tableau Server macro is pretty simple. You will enter your username and password, and the URL for your server company’s server. In the configuration shown below, I am connecting to Tableau Online.

If you’re set up with Tableau authentication, you should see a screen prompting to select a project and fill out some additional details on the data source after clicking “Connect”. 

However, you may receive the error mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. This is because you’re using Google authentication. Let’s talk about how to fix that.

Resolving the Error

Unfortunately, there is currently no documented, supported way to authenticate with the macro or tool using Google authentication. However, this is not the only option to authenticate with Tableau Online. We have found that changing the authentication for the account being used to publish via Alteryx to Tableau authentication will resolve the issue.

An administrator can set up a user’s authentication in one of two ways:

Adding a User to the Site

When adding new users to a Tableau Online site, you will see the following screen. Enter the email address of the user publishing, and make sure the “Add users for Tableau Authentication” button is checked. To publish a data source, the user will also need a site role that is capable of publishing, such as Explorer (can publish) or any higher role.

Editing a user's authentication method

If the user already exists on your Tableau Online site, an admin can edit their means of authenticating on the same User admin page which they were added. Simply click the “…” under Actions for the user you would like to edit, and select “Authentication”.

You will see a new pop up where you can change the radio button from Google to Tableau authentication. In the screenshot below, I am changing my own user account’s authentication, so I am also given a warning that changing my authentication method will sign me out. 

Either way, by adding or changing a user, the user will receive an email to set up their Tableau online password. After doing this, you will be able to successfully connect with the Publish to Tableau Server tool. After connecting, you’ll see a screen that looks like the below where you can choose the place to publish to, how you’d like to publish (create a data source, append, or overwrite), and give your data source a name.

After connecting, you’ll see a screen that looks like the below where you can choose the place to publish to, how you’d like to publish (create a data source, append, or overwrite), and give your source a name. After filling this out – boom! You’ll be publishing out to Tableau Online each time you run the workflow.

I have also already documented this solution on the Alteryx Community, which is another great place for searching for solutions to your Alteryx needs! If you have any questions or are still having issues, feel free to reach out to me at @VisualAidan or aidan.bramel@tessellationconsulting.com!

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