3 min read

Tableau team has announced a new version of Tableau Prep 2018.2.1 with lots of new features for easy enterprise deployments and more data connector options made available to the customers. This update has lots of user experience improvements focused on helping you manage data more efficiently and easily.

Tableau Prep is a brand-new product introduced in April 2018, which is specifically designed to quickly combine, shape and clean data to perform easy-to-complex data analysis tasks. This product helps everyone with an appealing visual experience which makes data prep easier. It is seamlessly integrated with the existing Tableau analytical workflow, thus delivering a smart experience to go from data prep to analysis.

Some of the noteworthy changes available in Tableau Prep 2018.2.1 are:

Activate and deactivate Tableau Prep from the command line

  • Now you have new command line options to deploy Tableau Prep easily on the hundreds to thousands of machines in an enterprise environment.
  • You can use a key management system and use silent activation and deactivation capabilities just like in Tableau Desktop. In order to learn more about the feature, you can refer to the Deploy Tableau Desktop blog post.  

Virtual desktop support to optimize Tableau Prep installations

  • Just like Tableau Desktop, the new virtual desktop support allows you to optimize Tableau prep installations for non-persistent virtual desktops.
  • Tableau-hosted Authorization to Run (ATR) service can be used to automatically deactivate Tableau Prep licenses after a predetermined period of time. In order to configure this option, refer to Configure Virtual Desktop Support blog post.

Union summary to quickly align fields

  • You often need to align or merge fields that represent the same data with different names especially while combining data from multiple sources.
  • With this new feature, Tableau Prep offers a summary of the mismatched fields. It automatically recommends potential matches based on attributes such as similar data types and field names, thus making it quicker to align your data.

Use ISO-8601 date parts

  • As per the Idea forums, many customers, particularly those in Europe, wanted an easier approach to extract ISO-8601 date parts, especially for week numbers.
  • With a new native support in the calculation language, you can get the required data you want by creating a simple calculation – [Week Number] = DATEPART(“iso-week”,[Order Date]. Thus you don’t need to write any complex date calculations which were previously involved.

Group and filter data values

  • New techniques to easily group and filter your data are now available. You just need to select the field values and right-click to group them or select a group and right-click to ungroup the field values.
  • You can create new filters based on wildcard matches without writing a calculation.

New data connectors

New support has been added to the following connectors to help you connect to various cloud data sources and Hadoop Hive:

  • MapR Hadoop Hive
  • Apache Drill
  • SparkSQL
  • Snowflake
  • Amazon EMR Hadoop Hive
  • Cloudera Hadoop (Hive and Impala)
  • Hortonworks Hadoop Hive

In order to learn more about how to connect Tableau Prep to your data, see the Supported Connectors blog post.

These are the key new features offered by the Tableau Prep 2018.2.1 version. However, there are more updates and user experience improvements. To find a complete list of new features, please refer to the what’s new blog post.

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