4.0+ Release Notes

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Preparing for Releases

  • In the release notes, items marked with a indicate changes to existing functionality that may require your attention as you upgrade.

  • We occasionally retire features. You can plan using this Legacy Features End-of-life Schedule.

Release 4.2 2016-10-27

This release is the latest release that is fully distributed and available to all customers.

Content Management and Discoverability

  • Favorites. A system for selecting and quickly navigating to the Looks & Dashboards you care about most. Clicking the :heart: icon will put a link to the content piece in a list that’s easy to access straight from Spaces. Learn more.
  • Top Content. A list of the most popular Looks & Dashboards on your Looker instance. This section is a great way to learn about new reports you haven’t taken a look at yet. Learn more.
  • Global Search. A search function in the navigation bar that searches across Looks, Dashboards, LookML Dashboards, LookML files, Explores, your Favorites, Top Content, and pages like Browse and your Account Settings. Learn more.

Scheduling & Downloading


  • Streamable In-database Pivots. Implemented streamable pivots for the majority of SQL dialects for which Looker supports query streaming (exceptions in the second link below). Baring other restrictions, query results are no longer limited to 30,000 cells and users may download results without fearing undue harm to their Looker instance. Learn more about streaming pivots. Learn more about streaming in Looker.


  • Added the ability to fade one of the series on a chart when hovering. Learn more.
  • Implemented logic to reduce the chances of value label collisions.

LookML and Derived Tables

  • Introduced the sql_always_having parameter, which conceptually behaves like the sql_always where parameter but instead affects the HAVING clause of a query. The parameter can be used to limit the granularity of results an end user may see. Learn more.
  • Introduced the allow_fill dimension parameter, which prevents the filling when relevant dimensions are included in a query. Learn more about dimension filling.
  • Scheduled Persistent Derived Table Maintenance. Admins can enter a cron string to govern when maintenance operations such as the trigger checker and derived table table reaper run. Learn more.

Looker Design


  • Renamed the Look Validator the Content Validator. When enabled, it’s still found under the Develop tab and functionality remains the same.

IDE Improvements

  • Added syntax highlighting to SQL blocks and LookML objects referenced in the sql parameter.
  • Improved readability by deemphasizing LookML punctuation such as { and ;;.
  • Surfaced IDE keyboard shortcuts.
  • A personal Space will now appear at the top of the Space list in the Spaces sidebar when it is set as a default space.

General Tweaks & Bug Fixes


  • Introduced the Default query result persistence is 5 minutes legacy feature. New instances and those with the legacy feature unchecked will default to a 60 minute query result cache. It is still possible to adjust query cache timing with model- and explore-level persist_for parameters. Learn more.

Dimension Fill Improvements

  • No longer apply fill when filters are applied to measures.
  • Dimension filling is disabled when a non-default order_by_field is used.
  • Filtering on an enumeration dimension disables filling.
  • In the event that dimension filling is not possible, queries and downloads will warn and not apply filling rather than fail.

i__looker Updates

  • Usage panel dashboard tables no longer scroll. Users may still access more data by clicking Explore from here on each element.
  • Added tracking for dashboard usage to the Usage panel and the history explore.

LookML, Converter, and IDE Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where links didn’t work on measures.
  • Addressed reference checking for value_format_name and map_layer_name.
  • Fixed an issue where new LookML did not recognize day_of_year.
  • The LookML conversion now automatically translates date_date to date.
  • The LookML converter will no longer fail when there are ambiguous names.
  • Fixed an issue related to pasting into the IDE.
  • The IDE no longer autosuggests immediately upon return.

Visualization Fixes

  • Fixed an issue related to drilling from pie charts.
  • Fixed an issue related to axis label rotation on bar charts.
  • Fixed several trend line related issues.

Rendering Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where text elements could break LookML Dashboard downloads.
  • Fixed an issue where automagic heatmaps could not plot data.

Dialect-specific Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with MSSQL related to using a relative date filter with a non-US server default date format.
  • Fixed an issue related to using Custom Filters in Vertica.
  • Fixed an issue related to Symmetric Aggregates on BigQuery Standard SQL.
    • Fixed an issue where LookML Dashboards could not be copied into a Space.
    • Fixed an issue where the LookML Validator errored if the raw timeframe is used in a set of filters.
    • Fixed an issue where the save modal would not load for certain users.
    • Fixed an issue where the chat window duplicated on the Look page and the Edit modal.

Release 4.0 2016-10-23

LookML & Development Environment

  • LookML. Introduced a newer LookML syntax that borrows from the existing “YAML-style” LookML syntax, but brings three key improvements to the table. Learn more.
    • Indentation no longer defines hierarchy. Tab as you please (or don’t) without fear of parse errors or applying a parameter to the wrong object.
    • It is more consistent. No more debating the “proper” way to define a list or when to quote something.
    • LookML has meaning. YAML provides syntax, but has no concept of relationships or rules. LookML now knows that a dimension can’t be of type: sum.
  • Development environment. The improvements to the LookML syntax allow for a revamped IDE development environment. Learn more. The new IDE includes:
    • Autosuggest and autocompletion. Only valid parameters and values are proposed, helping you compose new LookML quickly and accurately.
    • On-the-fly error checking. Just like your spell checker, the IDE will let you know that you’ve declared a dimesnion rather than a dimension without having to run the full LookML Validator.
    • A context-sensitive help pane. Dynamically updates to show you documentation relevant to what you’re working on.
    • Automatic formatting to keep things looking good.
    • Folding to help you focus on what you’re working on rather than getting lost in the entire file.
    • A LookML converter to help you transition from YAML-style LookML to the new refreshed syntax. Learn more.

Note that because of LookML’s more defined meaning, the LookML Validator may expose errors that were not previously surfaced. Even error-free YAML-style LookML model conversion requires developer coordination and should be viewed as a short project rather than a flip of a switch. Additionally, upon conversion all persistent derived tables will rebuild, so please set aside some time for conversion to ensure the process is as seamless as possible. Learn more.

Looker Platform

  • API
    • Public API documentation. The API now has public documentation. Learn more.
    • Stable endpoints.
  • Data actions. Introducing the ability to create custom tasks directly inside of Looker using query results. Learn more.


  • Dimension fill. The results table now populates with missing date, yesno, and many other dimensional values. Associated measures are given values of null. Learn more.
  • Added “Save & Schedule” option. Users will be prompted to save their query as a Look and then be taken directly to the Schedule modal.

Looker Design

  • Updated Colors to use white backgrounds and new button styles and colors.
  • Added “Explore From Here” link in Spaces. This shortcut takes users directly to a Look’s Explore page equivalent for faster exploration.


  • Series tab for pie charts, donut multiples, and table visualizations. Implemented the Series tab, previously only available on Cartesian charts, for pie charts, donut multiples, and table visualizations, which replaces the Style tab’s key-value pair method for changing colors and column labels.
  • Visual Drilling. Added a visualization option to the drill overlay, selectable when drilling from a visualization. Learn more.
  • Pivots no longer require a a second dimension.
  • Introduced labels for Trend Lines.

Scheduling & Downloading

Looker 4.0 requires PhantomJS 2.1.1.

  • Image Rendering. Added the ability to download an image of the visualization from a Look, Explore, or a Dashboard.
  • Added a progress page for downloading tasks.
  • Access filters on Scheduled Dashboards. Added an Admin option to run scheduled tasks as the recipient, applying access filters to the Dashboard’s queries. Learn more.
  • Multiple schedules. Added the ability to create multiple, differently filtered schedules via the API.
  • Larger scheduled result sets. Added the ability to schedule queries with no limit to S3 via the API.


  • Spark.
    • Added support for Spark 2.0 including symmetric aggregates and PDTs.
    • Spark 1.6. Added support for symmetric aggregates.
    • Removed support for Spark 1.4.
  • Hive. Added full support for datatype: date.

General Tweaks & Bug Fixes

  • Added Admin panel option to disable backups.
  • Admins can now make any Space their default Space.
  • Other Issues
    • Fixed an issue where the instant dashboards could not pull correctly from cache.
    • Fixed an issue where Liquid templating constants did not work properly.
    • Fixed an issue where not all values pasted into a filter would appear.
    • Fixed an issue where visualizations containing Trend Lines did not properly render with data containing zeros.
    • Fixed an issue where Admins were unable to view users who do not use email authentication.
    • Fixed an issue where users would be removed from their personal Space after switching to a Closed System.
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