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All Tableau Help > Tableau Help > 
Publish Data Sources and Workbooks > Restrict Data Access with User Filters and Row Level Security
Applies to: Tableau Desktop

Restrict Access at the Data Row Level

When you share workbooks with others by publishing them to Tableau Server or Online, by default, all users who have access to the workbooks can see all of the data shown in the views. You can override this behavior by applying a type of filter that allows you to specify which data “rows” any given person signed in to the server can see in the view.

How user-based filtering works

Suppose you created a quarterly sales report for a set of products over several years, in different geographic regions.

When you publish this report, you want to allow each regional manager to see only the data relevant to his or her region. Rather than creating a separate view for each manager, you can apply a user filter that restricts access to the data based on users’ characteristics, such as their role.

Restricting access to data in this way is referred to as row-level security (RLS). Tableau offers the following approaches to row-level security:

Adding user filters to data sources

The two approaches in the previous section describe ways to add filters to data embedded in workbooks. If multiple workbooks connect to the same data, instead of wrangling filters on each workbook, you can filter the data source, and then connect the workbooks to the data source after you publish it.

Workbooks that connect to your filtered data source expose only the data the user signed in to the server is allowed to see. In addition, all connected workbooks show data refreshes as they occur.

Extracts vs. live connections with user filters

The related topic describes how to publish a live connection with user filters. Publishing extracts with user filters has its own complications around row duplication and performance. These are not addressed here.

However, we can direct you a comprehensive discussion about row level security with extracts, on a blog maintained by a Tableau Sales Consultant who has extensive experience with this area. See the following two posts:

Part 2 contains what our Sales Consultant refers to as the “scalable” approach. This is described in the Advanced Solutions section of Part 2.

Disclaimer: Clicking these links will take you away from Tableau.com. Although we make every effort to ensure links to external websites are accurate and relevant, Tableau cannot take responsibility or provide support for the external content.

For further help with publishing extracts with user filters, we recommend that you work with the Tableau Professional Services team.

See also

Data Security in the Tableau Server Help

Create a User Filter and Secure it for Publishing