Looker 4.4 Release Notes

  • 22 December 2016
  • 14 replies

Userlevel 5

Release Rollout Begins: January 2, 2017

Release Final & Download Available: January 19, 2017

Release Highlights

In addition to general tweaks and enhancements, this release comes with new and improved features in the following categories. Read on for more detail.

  • Looker Platform and Administration

  • Scheduling and Downloading

  • Content Management and Discoverability

  • Dialects

  • LookML

Preparing for Release

Please take notice of items marked with a as they indicate changes to existing functionality and may require your attention. For more information see the Legacy Feature Updates and Features by Section below.

  • YAML-based LookML is a legacy feature

  • Beta API endpoint changes (impacts Lookerbot)

  • Admin panel reorganization

  • Google Cloud SQL and persistent derived tables

  • i__looker field changes

  • Pivot sorts nulls last

  • Filter suggestions reduced from 5,000 to 1,000

Notable Features

User Attributes

Curate the Looker experience by dynamically modifying interactions with User Attributes. Administrators can assign values to Users and Groups and subsequently reference those values throughout the Looker platform to tailor interactions for each User. You can assign attributes such as a sales region or credentials to some outside services.

We’re starting with User Attributes to allow you to set User- or Group-specific Data Actions or database Connections, enabling you to do things like allow product managers to update issue tracking software right from Looker.

Legacy Feature Updates

The following feature have been deprecated and will only be available by enabling the associated legacy feature:

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

Features by Section

Looker Platform and Administration

  • User Attributes. Introducing a new system whereby Users and Groups can be assigned values that can then be referenced throughout Looker. Learn more.

  • Database connections: The host, port, database, username, and password of a Connection can be parameterized so that each User will connect with their own credentials rather than through a single Looker user. Learn more.

  • Data Actions. Data Actions now accept User Attributes as part of their payload, allowing you to use a User’s credentials to perform an operation against a particular service. Learn more.

  • Changes to beta API endpoints including, but not limited to:

  • Renamed the filters attribute of the dashboard response to dashboard_filters. Created a new Lookerbot release as a result. Learn more.

  • Added joins attribute to the lookml_model_explore response class.

  • Better handle LookML field names with a ..

  • Added a is_personal_descendant flag for sub-personal spaces.

  • Deprecated is_user_root and is_root properties in the space response class. These will still work temporarily, but you should transition to is_users_root and is_shared_root.

  • Admin Panel Reorganization.

  • Regrouped items in the left navigation, bucketing items into smaller, more specific categories.

  • Reconfigured Labs panel to indicate which features are beta (under development) and which are experimental (and may be discontinued).

Scheduling and Downloading

  • Larger scheduled result sets to SFTP via the API. Added the ability to schedule queries with no limit to SFTP via the API.

  • Scheduled tables now include totals and table calculations. Improved inline table and HTML attachment scheduled Look formats to include table calculations as well as row and column totals.

  • Improved Single Value visualization downloads. Scheduled inline visualizations and Look downloads are captured as images rather than text, allowing comparisons, text, and generally making them more closely resemble how they appear in the web browser.

Content Management and Discoverability

  • Recently Viewed Content. A list of the Dashboards and Looks you have been visiting lately. Learn more.

  • Bulk delete Dashboards in Spaces.

  • Sortable and paginated content browser. Top Content, Favorites and Recently Viewed Content are now sortable and pages currently contain ten Looks or Dashboards.


  • IBM DB2. Added support for persistent derived tables.

  • Google Cloud SQL. Temporarily removed support for persistent derived tables. This only impacts Google Cloud SQL, not Google BigQuery Legacy SQL or Google BigQuery Standard SQL.

  • Presto. Added support for symmetric aggregates. Requires Presto version 0.153 or above.


  • New projects cannot be created using YAML-based LookML without the legacy feature. Learn more.

  • order_by_field on measures. Measures now accept the order_by_field parameter, allowing you to order query results based on another measure. Learn more.

General Tweaks & Bug Fixes

  • i__looker.

  • Added average and total runtime measures.

  • Removed the total query count measure, allowing for pivoting by source.

  • Reduced the number of filter suggestions from 5,000 to 1,000.

  • Nulls now sort last in most pivot cases.

  • Fixed an issue where the looker.log file associated with HyperSQL application databases did not properly checkpoint.

  • Fixed an issue where downloads would fail if they included totals.

  • Fixed an issue where the Explore page could go blank after removing a table calculation.

  • Fixed an issue where columns were displayed as dimensions (blue) rather than properly displayed as table calculations (green).

  • Fixed an issue where values entered in to filters did not always make it to the SQL generated for an Explore.

  • Fixed an issue related to filtering on month or year in BigQuery Standard SQL.

  • Fixed two pivot SQL syntax issues, one related to MSSQL and one to Redshift.

  • Fixed an issue where the sort indicator on results tables did not always match the sort direction.

  • Fixed an issue where Dashboards and their associated Looks could sort results differently.

  • Fixed an issue where custom Spaces Access Controls were not being displayed in the modal.

  • Fixed an issue where copying a LookML dashboard to Spaces would fail if you did not have the see_lookml permission.

  • Fixed an issue where users with the see_lookml could not see an Explore page’s SQL when in an embed context.

  • Fixed an issue where gears were not clickable on mobile browsers.

  • Fixed an issue where the IDE displayed the Save button when users were not in development mode.

14 replies

About the Improved Single-Value visualization downloads…

I am psyched about the improvement! That said, the way that single-value visualizations now look in email makes me REALLLLLLLY miss being about to control the font_size for single-value in a LookML dashboard.

We have a daily dashboard that goes to the whole company at 6am – everyone reads it on their phone in bed (sad or awesome?). When the single-value viz rendered as text, the numbers were Huge and easy to read on mobile. Now that it’s an image and the font size can’t be changed, it’s tiny – I am getting lots of complaints. Would love if I could get back my ability to change the font size!

If I could get the image… with font_size=large… my life would be perfect 🙂

Userlevel 3

Hi Maya,

Thanks for the feedback! That’s a perfect use case for being able to adjust the font size. I’ve passed this on to the product team here for consideration.

Kind regards,


Userlevel 1

Hi Maya,

Wanted to let you know that we are working on improvements to inline visualizations this release (4.6) including larger, more legible font for single value visualizations. They should look better and be much more readable on mobile.



@zachtaylor You just made my day! This is awesome to hear. Can’t wait!

I no longer receive the email notification for downloads. Is there a central location where the downloads are placed once available? I’d very much like to upgrade my on-premise install to 4.x.

Userlevel 3

@bconneen, I just replied to your support email. For reference, in order to receive emails on future releases, you can add your email into Technical Contacts under General Settings in the Admin panel.

Very anxious to start using SFTP destinations for scheduled looks! The above release notes mentioned this is now available via the API, but the API docs don’t appear to be updated with this info. I assume this is now another option in ScheduledPlanDestination.type with additional parameters needed in ScheduledPlanDestination.parameters and/or ScheduledPlanDestination.secret_parameters. Would love to know exactly what is needed to get SFTP destination schedules to work. I already reached out to support with this question this morning, but figured there are others also interested in this


Userlevel 3

@daking13 The docs team is running a bit behind on 4.4, but good news is that we’re in the process of hiring some additional team members. We’ll try to get the API docs updated to 4.4 soon.

Hi Maya, you might be able to use HTML as a work around.

If you add HTML to the measure and reference that in the dashboard, it should render with the style provided.


  - measure: measure_name
type: number
sql: ${field}
html: |
<span style="color:#8952a1; font-size:45pt; font-weight:bold;">{{ rendered_value }}</span>

PS. We haven’t migrated our LookML yet. We’re still using YAML.

Thanks @Brett_Sauve! In the meantime, do you know if ScheduledPlanDestination.type = sftp is available? and if credentials are set in the secret_parameters object?

Userlevel 3

@daking13 I should have mentioned this earlier, but up-to-date API docs are available within the Looker product, assuming that you’ve updated to 4.4. There are instructions for accessing them in this Discourse post: API Documentation for prospective customers

Yes - Forgot all about those! They are indeed updated with SFTP-related details. For those interested, here are the relevant bits to the ScheduledPlan API for SFTP destinations

ScheduledPlanDestination {
address (string): Address for recipient. For SFTP e.g. 'sftp://host-name/path/'.,
type (string): Type of the address ('email', 'webhook', 's3', or 'sftp'),
parameters (string): JSON object containing parameters for external scheduling. For SFTP, this requires a key and value for username.,
secret_parameters (string): (Write-only) JSON object containing secret parameters for external scheduling. For SFTP, this requires a key and value for password.,
Userlevel 2

Hopefully you’ll be able catch up soon. Hitting the release notes link in the help menu isn’t bringing up the 4.4 notes as of today, let along whether or not they’re implemented in the main docs? Your docs are well-done and critical for self-discovery, so I look forward to your team getting things back up to speed.

Userlevel 5

Absolutely @la5rocks, we’re working on getting that page up to speed.