Looker 3.48 Release Notes

Userlevel 4

Release Rollout Begins: June 8, 2016

Release Final & Download Available: June 22, 2016

Preparing for Release

Please note items marked with a as they indicate changes to existing functionality and may require your attention.

Notable Features

Improved Dashboard PDFs

Dashboard PDF downloads now look like they do in the browser and include vector based rendering. This includes dashboard PDFs sent as attachments from Scheduled Looks.

Note the following requirements:

  • Looker Labs feature must be enabled

  • The default layout for scheduled emails will change to the new format

  • On-premise installations must be running PhantomJS 2.11. Check your version and update.

Documentation Updates

Looker Docs has new features to help streamline your access to finding the right information. We’ve added Looker versioning to provide you with access to information specific to your version and there are improved navigational elements to help you move around.

Legacy Feature Updates

The following 3 features are being turned off in this release, and will be removed entirely in 3.50:

  • $$ substitution

  • Joins declared in views

  • LookML “scoping” Parameter

Details on how to migrate off these features can be found here.

Features by Section


Improved Dashboard PDFs

  • PDF dashboard downloads now look like they do in the browser.

  • Vector-based rendering allows zooming without losing quality.

  • Note the following requirements:

  • Looker Labs feature must be enabled

  • The default layout for scheduled emails will change to the new format

  • On-premise installations must be running PhantomJS 2.11. Check your version and update.


  • Table Calculations editor now works properly with special characters or ambiguous calculation names.

  • Single Value Visualizations have improved support for fields that display images via HTML.


  • Faceted Filters enabled at an explore level when using access filter fields or sql_always_where: When an explore has sql_always_where or access_filter_fields set, full_suggestions defaults to true for all fields exposed by that explore. Individual fields can still opt out of full_suggestions query behavior by setting full_suggestions = false, and can opt out of suggestions altogether with suggestable = false. Learn More.

  • New timeframe month_name. Dates can now be bucketed by name of month. Learn More.

  • New can_filter Parameter: Accepts the inputs true or false. When set to false, the field cannot be used as a filter. This parameter can be applied to measures and dimensions. Learn More.

  • Explore and View names can now start with numbers.

  • Built-In Named Value Formats for British Pounds and Euros: gbp_0, gbp, eur_0, and eur. These are used as inputs to the value_format_name parameter. Learn More.

  • Unsafe Liquid parameters have been deprecated with a Legacy Feature.


  • MySQL. Fixed an issue where NULLs would be filtered out of pivoted tables.

  • Spark. Fixed an issue that was causing connections to break due to long index name values.

  • Redshift. Provides a more useful error when Redshift Admin kill queries.

  • BigQuery

    • Added support for User-Defined Functions (UDFs) as part of a PDT definition. Docs

    • Streaming downloads are now possible

    • Fixed an issue where wide queries would fail in Looker

    • Updated to a new BigQuery driver that includes Google Drive support

    • Expanded the max field name length to BigQuery’s documented 128 character length limit from the previous limit of 24 chars.

  • Bityota. Removed support for Bityota

  • Redshift & MS SQL. Limited the duration of the long running query statements Looker uses for query killing tests on Redshift and MS SQL.


User-Specific Database Connections

  • Connections can be configured to use the user’s LDAP credentials to connect to the database. Learn More.

  • Allows user-specific, database-level permissions to be enforced within Looker, as well as query auditing.

  • NOTE: public URLS and PDTs are not supported for these types of connections

New Sub-Admin Permissions

  • New permissions for various admin panels can be granted to users without making them full-blown admins.


  • Added Looker versioning in documentation.

  • Use the Looker version selector in the upper right to select your version.

  • Versioning officially starts with 3.48 features but we have preserved some pre-3.48 version-specific content that can be viewed using the selector.

  • The Looker version selector appears on all pages in the “Exploring and Visualizing Data” and “Sharing, Importing, and Embedding Data” section and will gradually appear on all looker.com/docs pages.

  • Added a button to jump back to the top of the page.

  • Added +/- to the side menu to show when a menu item can be expanded.

  • Moved the search bar to the top of the side menu.

General Tweaks and Bug Fixes

  • Added a “Scheduled By” note to the bottom of scheduled emails.

  • Fixed a bug causing a parse error in exploring from the SQL Runner.

  • Fixed an issue that prevented suggestions from populating in filters that depended on some PDTs.

  • Fixed an issue that caused LookML Dashboard elements to overlap when using layout: static.

  • Fixed a bug causing the group by clause in the SQL related to some pivoted tables to call the wrong field.

  • Properly warn when attempting to filter a measure on a raw timeframe.

  • Fixed a few small table calculation bugs related to pivoted dimension handling.

  • Fixed an issue with connectivity to the internal database (when using MySQL) which could lead to outages.

  • Fixed an issue where instant dashboard would cause a dashboard not to return from cache if the prior run resulted in an error.

  • Fixed a bug where Looker would incorrectly filter “empty” in “is equal to” string filter.

  • Fixed an issue where Looker tried to convert timezone to ‘’ certain generated SQL.

  • Fixed an issue where filters on some date timeframes were generating incorrect SQL.

  • Fixed an issue where scheduled dashboards could send from Dev mode.

  • Removed an unneeded warning for unset database timezones in the Connections panel.

  • Fixed an issue where field_group_label was causing an erroneous error.

  • Fixed a few errors related to PDF downloads that reflected ‘No Results’ incorrectly.

13 replies

Does this require any action on our part, and what does this actually provide in terms of functionality?

Also, looks like an awesome release!

Userlevel 6

BigQuery supports external tables that are spreadsheets, CSVs (and I think AVRO and JSON) files that are stored in Google Drive. We had to update the BigQuery driver to make this work.

This Looker release supports BigQuery with external tables in Google Drive. Here an example:

Live Spreadsheets in Databases

Thanks for this update! Our staff use the ‘Download as PDF’ function pretty often, so this is really helpful!

Userlevel 2

Great job guys. Such amazing progress over the last year.

any performance improvement to PDF download? still seem quite slow/unresponsive.

Userlevel 4

@john_handshake we are exploring ways to address and identify performance issues in upcoming release cycles. Stay tuned for more improvements in next few cycles.

Still eagerly awaiting for you to reintroduce the text showing what dashboard filters are active on a chart in a dashboard as well as proper timezone support.

Userlevel 2

This release was fire. The PDF upgrades were amazing, thank you!

Userlevel 5

@nahis, plans are in motion to re-expose dashboard filters. I can’t really speak to the final implementation, but new designs are currently being discussed. I suspect that we’ll see them again soon!

@DMFForrester and @awoodcock It looks like Looker is thinking of ways to add back the filter values to the looks/widgets.

Userlevel 2

Can you clarify what parameters these are, please?

Userlevel 3

Hi Michael,

The capture parameter is the only one that was deprecated. Cheers!

Userlevel 2

Thanks, @Morgan!