Tableau Data Extract (TDE) Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Professional Edition.


Tableau is a business analytics and data visualization tool with optional online components for displaying visualizations in web pages.

FME provides write access to Tableau Data Extract (.tde) files (also known as extracts). The base name of the TDE file will match the feature type name. Each TDE file will have a single table named Extract present within the file that matches the attribute names and types supplied on the writer feature type.

A Tableau Data Extract file is a compressed, memory-mapped file that uses columnar store and supports standard, non-spatial data types, as well as certain spatial geometry types. It can be used with Tableau products including Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server.

Each attribute in FME is mapped to a column in a TDE file; during the writing process, spatial information is placed in an additional column with a given name. Each feature type in FME is written to a separate TDE file.

More information about Tableau and TDE files can be found at


This writer supports creation of Tableau 10.2 TDE files.

About the Writer (TDE)

The TDE writer writes features as rows into a single table in an extract file per feature type in FME. The writer provides the capability to create a single file and table with an arbitrary number of rows and columns. The feature type name will be the name of the TDE file created.

Format Usage Notes

  • Tableau does not support some geometry types. If you attempt to render any non-supported geometries (by dragging them into a mark in the sheets view), Tableau will open an error window indicating that they are not yet supported.

  • 3D geometries are not supported. All 3D geometries will be forced to 2D if possible; otherwise, features that contain 3D geometries will not be written – they will be skipped.
  • Currently Tableau supports points, lines, polygons, ellipses (as polygons), and donuts (as polygons). Certain aggregate types such as multipolygons are also supported.
  • Tableau will only render one type of geometry per mark. As such, in order to render multiple types of geometry, each row with a different type of geometry must have another attribute that allows that row to be differentiated from other rows with different geometries. For example, we could add a row with a number per geometry (1=Polygon,2=Point, etc.). Adding both of these to the same mark would allow Tableau to render both geometries at the same time.


Writer Overview

The TDE writer uses the Tableau SDK to create TDE files and add rows to them. The TDE writer provides the following capabilities:

Tips for Using the Tableau Data Extract (TDE) Writer

When inserting a feature into TDE, missing and null attributes on the feature will be written out as null values. Empty string attributes on the feature will be written out as empty strings.


  • Before trying to write to the TDE file, ensure that the file is not open.

FME Community

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