Securing a Tableau workbook for Multiple Customers using the Tableau REST API and Zuar Runner

Securing a Tableau workbook for Multiple Customers using the Tableau REST API and Zuar Runner

A customer of ours who has Netsuite, the Netsuite Zuar Runner Connector and Tableau Cloud provides Company specific reports to a range of different Companies.

It is a security requirement that these customers can only see their own data.  The Tableau Cloud Workbook was initially secured using a calculated field that tests the User’s Group against the Company’s name in the datasource:

When the client adds a customer to Netsuite and wishes to allow them access to Tableau Cloud reports the following process is performed.

  • Add a Company Name to Netsuite (“Company 1”):
Netsuite Company
  • Add the company user to the group created
  • Add a group corresponding to the Company Name in Tableau Cloud:
Add User to Corresponding Group
  • Edit the USER FILTER TEST security function above to add in the logic pertaining to Company 1

While the process to add the company to Netsuite and the group/user to Tableau Cloud will always be manual*, having to manually edit the workbook each time a Company is added is not scalable.  

The solution to this was to automate the process using the Tableau REST API and Runner.

Using the Tableau Server REST API ( a list of the following from Tableau Cloud was obtained in a format that could be read by Runner and then output to database tables:

  • Groups
  • Users
  • Group to User
Tableau REST API code example - Get Groups and Users

In Runner jobs are then created to schedule the call of the Python Script above and output the data to a series of database tables:

Runner Jobs
Database tables created by Runner

The resultant table looks like this (Company and Usernames hidden).  

Group - User Listing

As some groups have more than one user a lookup table is created using the string_agg function to concatenate each user for each group into 1 row (this avoids blowout of the dataset - 1 company has one row):

This table looks like this.  Each group_name has a single line and the username field is comma separated for each username in that group:

Group to Username (Comma separated on single line)

So now the USER FILTER TEST equation can be changed to use this table.

Related: Trusted Ticket Authentication with Tableau Server

In our Tableau data source we join this table to our company table, so each row in the data has the Company Name and the usernames pertaining to that company.  The join with the comma separated fields ensures that we only join 1:1 with company data and doesn't create duplicated rows in the data set.

Joining in row level security Group-User lookup table

We then change our USER FILTER TEST calculation to test whether the username exists in the row:

The dashboards are now secured based upon this method.  When a new company is added to Netsuite, and users/groups added to Tableau Cloud, Runner is able to recognize this and update the security table automatically.

If your company might benefit from Runner streamlining your Netsuite data pipeline, contact us to start a free trial.

Take advantage of everything Zuar offers to companies using Tableau!

  • Zuar Portal is an easy way to provide branded Tableau dashboards. Monetize your data or provide secure access outside of corporate firewalls.
  • Zuar's team of Tableau-certified consultants can take the headaches out of even the most complex projects.

* The Adding of groups could be automated with Runner and the REST API as well, but that’s another blog post