Looker 5.6 Release Notes

  • 10 January 2018
  • 18 replies

Userlevel 5

Anticipated Deployment Dates

Release Rollout Begins: January 14, 2018

Release Final & Download Available: January 25, 2018

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.

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 Features by Section below.

Notable Features

Action Hub

Whether you want to move data out of Looker into another app, or simplify your ETL process, the new Action Hub is your one stop shop for pre-built integrations. Replacing the “Integrations” tab in the Admin panel, the Action Hub makes integrating your data sources simpler, faster, and more straightforward. Integrations now available with Airtable, Segment, Twilio, Slack, JIRA and more.

Content Sidebar for Admins

For Looker Admins who want an easier way to communicate with end users, introducing the curatable “From Your Company” content sidebar on the Looker Homepage. The customizable sidebar supports images, links, and markdown text.

##Schedule Dashboards as .zip

Users are now able to schedule dashboards to email as a .zip file. When this option is selected, each tile on the given dashboard will appear as an individual .csv inside the .zip file.

Features by Section

Action Hub

- **Introduced the Looker Action Hub** and some great integarations (Airtable, AWS, Azure Storage, Digital Ocean, Hipchat, JIRA, SendGrid, Slack, Tray, Twilio, Zapier joining Segment). [Learn More.](https://docs.looker.com/admin-options/tutorials/notify-users)
- ⚡️**Changes to Segment integration.** User who have previously used Segment integration will need to accept new terms of service before continuing to use this feature.

Content Management and Discoverability

- **Curatable Content Sidebar for Admins.** Admins are now able to create and curate a sidebar on the Looker homepage that allows them to communicate with Looker users in their organization. [Learn More.](https://docs.looker.com/admin-options/tutorials/notify-users)
- **"Recently Viewed" Content on Homepage.** "Recently Viewed" content can be organized by user group, allowing admins to track content use.

LookML and Development

- ⚡️ **Renamed `Push` and `Pull`** in Developer Branch git options menu in IDE to `Push` and `Pull Remote Changes` for clarity.

Scheduling and Downloading

- **Dashboard CSV ZIPs.** It is now possible to deliver zipped .csv files from Dashboards via schedule and Send Now.
- ⚡️ Public Looks no longer support row limits of more than 5,000. Larger result sets will be truncated at the lesser of the saved row limit or 5,000 rows.
- ⚡️**Increased the size of images in scheduled emails.** Look and Dashboard images embedded in scheduled emails no longer have a fixed width.


- **Added Qubole Presto streaming capability.**
- **Introduced support for Date/Time partitioned columns in Google BigQuery.** [Learn more.](https://discourse.looker.com/t/announcing-date-time-partitioned-pdts-for-google-bigquery/7132)
- **Database views in Vertica now appear in SQL Runner.**

General Tweaks and Bug Fixes

  • Dashboards, Visualizations, and Explore

  • Added animated scrolling for the filter pane.

  • Fixed a bug where Dashboards with “newspaper” layout didn’t re-render when window was resized.

  • Fixed a bunch of issues around a mistaken ability to add a Look with an invalidly high limit to a Dashboard.

  • Fixed a bug where Dashboard Refresh Intervals were not properly updating the Dashboard.

  • Fixed a bug where Filter bar takes up space in embedded dashboard when there aren’t any filters.

  • Fixed a harmless error that would appear in the console when editing dashboard filters.

  • Fixed a bug where Dashboard suggestions dropdown not closed when dashboard is run.

  • Fixed a couple issues with filter suggestions not appearing when they should

  • Fixed a bug where Saving changes from Edit Settings on a look with a schedule in space gear menu doesn’t work.

  • Fixed a bug where toolbar buttons didn’t work after resizing and deleting last tile on dashboard.

  • Fixed a bug where the Dashboard edit toolbar did not follow embed dashboard styling.

  • Fixed an issue on mobile dashboards where filters would not wrap, thereby causing whitespace

  • Shortened the time it takes for a tooltip to disappear on mobile Dashboards in the hopes of leaving fewer phantom tooltips

  • Fixed a bug where Dashboard banners had poorly escaped titles.

  • Fixed a bug where the ability to option+click a legend series name no longer selected that item/reselected all other items.

  • Fixed a bug where, when collapsed, the filter bar showed a parameter’s value instead of its label.

  • Fixed a bug where Map doesn’t move on filter update.

  • Provide the ability to delete all Looks no longer on a Dashboard when deleting a Dashboard.

  • Allow horizontal scrolling in the filter suggestion field to enable ability to see full value names.

  • LookML and development

  • ⚡ The LookML Validator now correctly warns when Dashboard filters have empty, unnecessary, or unknown parameter declarations. Until addressed, these warnings may prevent committing new LookML changes if the Code Quality feature is enabled.

  • Fixed a bug where access_filter_fields usage, though deprecated, was passing through the lookml validator.

  • Fixed a bug where _in_query not working as expected for sql_on in row totals.

  • Fixed a couple of bugs with conditional formatting and table calculations

  • Fixed a bug where the timezone tooltip was activating even when the mouse was not hovering over it.

  • Fixed a bug where typo in join relationship would cause the validator to 500.

  • Fixed a bug where Drill on totals passes {} into filter leading to no results.

  • Content Management and Discoverability

  • Fixed a bug where page:properties:changed event broadcast static height incorrectly for embedded iframes.

  • Fixed a bug where Top Content wouldn’t load when faceted to another group.

  • Updated the logic behind the Suggested For You section to more heavily weight users like you and the recency of views.

  • Scheduling and Downloading

  • Wrap filters instead of cutting them off on PDF download.

  • Ensure Heatmap legend appears on PDF download.

  • Fixed a bug where Embedded users were unable to download dashboards as .csv.

  • Fixed a bug where downded png images from dashboard tile did not have filter applied.

  • Fixed a bug where .xlsx files didn’t open in Excel due to a value_format issue.

  • Fixed a bug where sending explore results errored.

  • Fixed a bug where Custom SMTP password not updated to null when blank password is saved in SMTP settings

  • Fixed a bug where pdf downloads didn’t work on Dashboards that contained blank table calculations.

  • Remove the Download option from drill menus if users do not have the permission to download.

  • Dialects

  • Fixed a vulnerable dependency from QubolePresto

  • Platform and Administration

  • Provide an error for customers who try to start Looker with Java 9, which is not supported.

  • Updated the S3 SDK.

  • Content Management

  • Fixed a bug where the Content Access Admin panel didn’t show all subspaces of a given space.

  • Authentication

  • Provide the ability to use alternate login (email/password) when using OpenID Connect as authentication scheme.

18 replies

Thank you for this release! I’ve been looking forward to these particular features since the JOIN conference in September.

Regarding the Action Hub components, particularly Jira and Slack, I would really like the ability to send individual Looker user information with an action. For example, I create a Jira task, or send a Slack attachment, through Looker’s Action Hub integration - I would want Looker to supplement the text the user writes with the given Looker user’s name, otherwise we don’t know who created/sent it (and you can’t rely on users to enter it all the time). Until something like that is in place, I don’t see these features as production ready at my company.

Regarding the “Recently Viewed” Content on Homepage, are there plans to allow admins to hide and/or curate the groups a given user can view within that dropdown? While departmental groups are interesting, groups created for Beta tests or feature permissions are less interesting.

All in all great release!

Userlevel 5

Appreciate the feedback, @terence.knorr!

I just spoke with the man with the Action plan and he thought it was a great idea. For the immediate term, I’ve done something pretty similar with Data Actions and Zapier.

    action: {
label: "I'm done following up on this bug"
url: "https://hooks.zapier.com/hooks/catch/redacted_value/another_redacted_value/"
param: {
name: "Issue ID"
value: "{{ issue.url._value }}"

In the Zap I pick up the issue ID (from the param) and put it in an email. Instead of the issue’s URL you could use a User Attribute (such as email, Looker user name, or even JIRA user) with _user_attributes['name_of_attribute'] instead of the issue.url._value variable (more variable docs here).

Regarding the “Recently Viewed” section, I’ve also filled the relevant product folk in on the request there as well, but it’s not currently something we support.

Thanks for the updates! Is there on ETA on saving Merged Results and using them on Dashboards?

Userlevel 2

Hey @Anish_Giri,

This should be active as of 5.8 however it’s experimental feature and all might not run as smooth. We still have some work to do on it.

Love the concept of Actions! Will they always require using a server hosted by Looker? We would love to be hosting Looker with Looker but can’t due to HIPAA. Which means we can’t use the hosted Action Hub either.

When I had read about this and heard about at JOIN, I thought that there would be sample code for a node.js server (or server(s)) that we could host ourselves.

Userlevel 2

Hey @Stephen_Bronstein,

I believe this is what you are looking for:

https://github.com/looker/custom-action-hub-example ** (Private Repo at the moment) **

This is an example custom action hub that can be used to create a Looker Action Hub server that only includes your own custom actions.



That sounds great! But I get a 404 for that link so looks like the repo is private?

Userlevel 2

Hey @Stephen_Bronstein,

We’re going through legal review to open source it now. So it should be available shortly, pardon me for not checking this before putting the link here.



Is there any documentation on the Content Sidebar? I can’t find where this is configured in 5.6.11

Userlevel 5

The sidebar is part of the Homepage with Thumbnails (appears in Browse)

experimental Labs feature. If that’s enabled in Admin->Labs your admins and those with the manage_homepage permission should see a little sidebar with an edit pencil and some suggested additions like this:

Is it possible to enable this feature without featuring most recent favorites and suggested content based on other users’ activity?

Userlevel 5

In its current state the homepage is an all-or-nothing feature, though it will filter out content you shouldn’t be able to see. So that our product and design folks understand where you’re coming from, why do you want it to just look at your activity?

I don’t want it to just look at my activity. 🙂

I would like to just have the curate sidebar on the Looker homepage so that I can easy communicate with end users without featuring the favourite and suggested contents.

We previously tried the homepage with thumbnails and we found it quite confusing.

Userlevel 5

Oooh I follow you, sorry about the confusion. You may want to give it another whirl with this release’s improvements, I’ve personally found the homepage much more helpful as of late. That said, I get where you’re coming from and will make sure that gets in front of the right eyes.

Yes! Please see our new tutorial: https://docs.looker.com/admin-options/tutorials/notify-users.

I’ve verified that in 5.8 you will still get thumbnails on the home page that you don’t have access to. Then when you click on them you get:

Could not find the model or view requested.

This is the reason we have not yet enabled the thumbnail homepage.

However, we too would really like to use the content sidebar…

Userlevel 5

The Homepage is should only display content to which you have access (access to content can be different than access to data). For example, I might have access to HR data, but they might not want me to see the Reasons to Fire Carter Dashboard.

I suspect that what’s going on is there are users who can access a Space but not all of the data underlying some of its Looks and Dashboards. That content is then making it to the Homepage, but some users can’t access the data.

I recommend checking out this Access Control guide, I think you’ll want to check out the section on Open, with Restrictions setups. If I’m off-base there you can add this to the aforementioned HR dashboard and visit us at help.looker.com; they’ll be able to help guide you through the specifics of your setup.


I’d also like to be able to further personalise this newHomepage with Thumbnails. I think the features are good, I for one would like to be able to not have suggestions displayed. Would be great if this could find its way into a future release.