Discrimination is bad. Mom and Pop taught me to treat all people equally, which I try to do every day.
Don’t get me wrong: just the other day Windows told me, “One of my best friends isn’t built in Redmond!” Tableau just doesn’t happen to be on that list.
What in the world am I rambling about? Search.
When Windows indexes your computer, it can categorize your files in one of two ways:
- Using information provided by file properties
- Using information provided by file properties and contents of the file
Guess which is more effective in terms of finding what you want? The second, generally. Guess which technique is used for Tableau-related file extensions? The first.
(And to be fair, I have no idea how this option is initially set on a per-file basis – for all I know, Tableau is discriminating against itself by not setting some sort of “index with” property on the file extension during setup….but it’s way more fun to poke fun at ‘softies and blindly assign blame.)
Why do file indexing options matter to you? Here are some situations where you aren’t going to find what you’re looking for very easily:
- You remember the title of a dashboard in cool workbook (*.twb) on your machine, but not the name of the workbook file itself
- You’re hunting for that data damn source (*.tds) which contains a dimension named “YoY Profit” – you just can’t recall where it lives on the file system
- You want to find all workbooks and data sources that connect to a particular database on a certain server
Here’s how you can get that extra minute or two it takes to find what you’re looking for back (and feel some satisfaction that you’ve stuck it to the Man):
In Windows, open “Indexing Options”.
Click the Advanced button.
Click the File Types tab, then find the Tableau file type you’d like to index differently. Below, I’ve chosen the *.tds extension.
Change the How should this file be indexed? option to Index Properties and File Contents.
Repeat for other file types you’d care to.
When you click OK and close the Indexing Options dialog, you’ll be warned that you’re about to blow away the existing index and that it’ll take a while to re-create – Microsoft isn’t joking here. Set aside at least 2-3 hours for this operation if you have an untidy disk drive like mine.
Once done, let the searching fun begin:
Where’s my Delicious Dashboard?
And how about anything that connects to the database WWReach on the SQL Server russchSammy?
As you can see, forcing Windows to index “the guts” of Tableau files leads to much more effective Search.