TWB vs TWBX in Tableau

Olga TsubiksAnalytics, Analytics Canvas Tool, Tableau

TWB TableauTableau Workbook File (TWB) is an XML document. It contains the information about your sheets, dashboards and stories. The TWB file references a data source file such as Excel or TDE, and when you save the TWB file, it is linked to the source.

The most important thing to remember about TWB files is that they don’t contain any data – if you want to share your workbook, therefore, you will need to send both the Tableau Workbook File and the data source file.

TWBX TableauTableau Packaged Workbook (TWBX) is a package of files “compressed” together. It includes a data source file, TWB, and any other file used to produce the workbook (including images).

TWBX is intended for sharing. It does not link to the original file source; instead it contains a copy of the data that was obtained when the file was created. TWBX files are usually used as reports and can be viewed using Tableau Viewer.

TWBX isn’t designed for auto updating. If you refresh/update the source file, TWBX will stay unchanged. If you want your workbook to update when the source file is updated, you need to use the TWB file format.

TDE TableauAnother important Tableau file type is Tableau Data Extract (TDE). This is a file format for compressed data sources. Although it is mainly used for packaging data from a database, publishing to Tableau Public and Tableau Online, TDEs are also valuable for their performance strengths.

TDE TableauBeginning in Tableau 10.5, a new type of extract was introduced called Tableau Hyper Extract (.hyper). The introduction of Hyper resulted in a number of changes related to extracts, primarily making them faster for analytical query processing on large or complex data sets.  Both .hyper and .TDE files can be used in TWBX files.

How to create a TWBX using Analytics Canvas

To create a TWBX workbook using Analytics Canvas, you will need a TDE file (a data source) and a TWB file (a template). Here are the steps you will need to take to get all the required files and create the TWBX dashboard:

  • Add a TDE export block to the canvas and click the “run” button to create a TDE output.
  • Use the TDE file to make a template dashboard in Tableau. Remember to save your template dashboard as a TWB file.
  • Go back to Analytics Canvas and add the new TWBX outputs under “New Output”. Analytics Canvas will use your template and the TDE file to create TWBX workbooks.


Analytics Canvas enables you to scale your Tableau implementation. It provides an automated, auditable, repeatable method to manage data presentation in Tableau.

Analytics Canvas can automatically retrieve data, create, package and deliver your workbooks to the Tableau Server and Cloud, notify your team that the files are ready, and send Tableau files via email. All these capabilities are delivered via a user-friendly, visual interface.

Wrapping Up

Analytics Canvas offers an instant free trial where you can create your own TBWX files in minutes. Simply sign-up, activate Canvas Desktop, and get started. Need a hand? Book a demo or a hands-on onboarding session with one of our team.