Developer Guide

This topic describes how to contribute to the Tableau Server Client (Python) project:

Submit your first patch

This section will get you started with the basic workflow, describing how to create your own fork of the repository and how to open a pull request (PR) to add your contributions to the development branch.

Get the source code and set up your branch

  1. Make sure you have signed the CLA.

  2. Fork the repository. We follow the “Fork and Pull” model as described here.

  3. Clone your fork:

    git clone<user-name>/server-client-python.git
    cd server-client-python
  4. Install dependencies and run the tests to make sure everything is passing:

    python -m pip install --upgrade pip
    pip install -e .[test] build
    pytest test
  5. Configure a remote that points to the source (upstream) repository:
    git remote add upstream

    More information about configuring a remote for a fork can be found here.

  6. Sync your fork:
    git fetch upstream
  7. Set up the feature/fix branch (based off the source development branch). It is recommended to use the format issue#-type-description, for example:

    git checkout -b 13-fix-connection-bug upstream/development

For documentation changes, see the documentation section below.

Code and commit

Here’s a quick checklist to follow when coding to ensure a good pull request (PR) that will pass the PR checks:

Use git pre-commit hook

Setting up a git pre-commit hook can be helpful to ensure your code changes follow the project style conventions before pushing and creating a pull request.

To configure the pre-commit hook, navigate to your local clone/fork of the server-client-python project and change into the .git/hooks directory. Create a file pre-commit with the contents below and mark it as executable (chmod +x pre-commit).

To test that the hook is working correctly, make a style-inconsistent change (for example, changing some indentation to not be a multiple of 4), then try to commit locally. You should get a failure with an explanation from black with the issue.


# only check if on a code branch (i.e. skip if on a docs branch)
if [ -e tableauserverclient/ ];
   # check for style conventions in all code dirs
   echo Running black format check
   black --check --line-length 120 tableauserverclient samples test
   echo Running mypy type checking
   mypy --show-error-codes --disable-error-code misc --disable-error-code import tableauserverclient test

Windows users: The first line of the sample script above will need to be adjusted depending on how and where git is installed on your system, for example:

#!C:/Program\ Files/Git/usr/bin/sh.exe

Adding features

  1. Create an endpoint class for the new feature, following the structure of the other endpoints. Each endpoint usually has get, post, update, and delete operations that require making the url, creating the XML request if necessary, sending the request, and creating the target item object based on the server response.

  2. Create an item class for the new feature, following the structure of the other item classes. Each item has properties that correspond to what attributes are sent to/received from the server (refer to docs and Postman for attributes). Some items also require constants for user input that are limited to specific strings. After making all the properties, make the parsing method that takes the server response and creates an instances of the target item. If the corresponding endpoint class has an update function, then parsing is broken into multiple parts (refer to another item like workbook or datasource for example).

  3. Add testing by getting real xml responses from the server, and asserting that all properties are parsed and set correctly.

  4. Add type hints to all new classes and functions added. Including type hinting on unit tests.

  5. Add a sample to show users how to use the new feature. Try to keep the command line arguments of your sample consistent with the Samples documentation page and with other samples.

  6. Add documentation (most likely in in a separate pull request (see more below).

Add tests

All of our tests live under the test/ folder in the repository. We use pytest and the built-in test runner python test.

Follow the structure of existing tests, especially if new server responses are going to be mocked.

If a test needs a static file, like a .twb/.twbx/.xml, it should live under test/assets/

Make sure that all tests are passing before submitting your pull request.

Update the documentation

When adding a new feature or improving existing functionality we ask that you update the documentation along with your code. See the Updating documentation section below for details.

Commit changes to your fork and open a pull request

  1. Make a PR as described here against the development branch for code changes.

  2. Wait for a review and address any feedback. While we try and stay on top of all issues and PRs it might take a few days for someone to respond. Politely pinging the PR after a few days with no response is OK, we’ll try and respond with a timeline as soon as we are able.

  3. That’s it! When the PR has received (:rocket:’s) from members of the core team they will merge the PR.

Updating documentation

Our documentation is written in Markdown (specifically kramdown) and built with Jekyll on GitHub Pages.

All of the documentation source files can be found in /docs folder in the gh-pages branch. The docs are hosted on the following URL:

If you are just making documentation updates (adding new docs, fixing typos, improving wording) the easiest method is to use the built-in Edit this file feature (the pencil icon) or the Edit this page link.

To make more significant changes or additions, please create a pull request against the gh-pages branch. When submitted along with a code pull request (as described above), you can include a link in the PR text so it’s clear they go together.

Running docs locally

To preview and run the documentation locally, these are the steps:

  1. Install Ruby (v2.5.0 or higher).

  2. Install Bundler.

  3. Install the project dependencies (which includes Jekyll) by running bundle install. (In the future you can run bundle update to catch any new dependencies.)

  4. Run the Jekyll site locally with bundle exec jekyll serve.

  5. In your browser, connect to to preview the changes. As long as the Jekyll serve process is running, it will rebuild any new file changes automatically.

For more details, see the GitHub Pages topic on testing locally.