Tableau licence management

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After purchasing role-based licences, you should manage them according to your organisation's software licence processes for allocating to new Tableau users, changing Tableau licence levels as analytical skills increase, and reclaiming available Tableau licences when someone leaves the company. Login-based licence management and grant role on sign in are available in Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud.

With the core licence model, there are no Creator users that can leverage LBLM. Stacking role-based licences with a core licence will allow the assigned Creator users to activate Desktop and Prep by signing in to a server (LBLM). Contact your Tableau sales representative if you are interested in using the core licence model.

Login-based licence management

Login-based licence management helps you manage licensing for users with Creator roles on Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud. Users with Explorer or Viewer roles cannot use this feature. If you’re using Role-Based Subscriptions with Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud, you can simplify your licence management using login-based licence management to eliminate separate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder product keys. You only need to manage one or more product keys for on-premises Tableau Server, or in the case of Tableau Cloud, you don’t need to manage any product keys at all. For more information, see Login-based licence management (Tableau ServerTableau Cloud).

Note: Login-based licence management is the default licence management and activation option for Tableau Cloud. For Tableau Desktop used with Tableau Server in an on-premises environment, login-based licence management requires a special login-based licence management-enabled product key. If your Tableau Server is not enabled for login-based licence management, contact your Tableau sales representative to obtain a special login-based licence management-enabled product key.

Grant role on sign-in

Beginning in 2020.3, grant role on sign-in allows an administrator to add all individuals at an organisation to a given site quickly, without needing to know or assign the appropriate role (Creator, Explorer, Viewer). Instead, a minimum role is assigned to the group to which a user belongs. Until those group members actually sign in, they will remain unlicensed and the minimum role will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see Grant role on sign-in (Tableau ServerTableau Cloud)

The benefits of grant role on sign-in include:

  • Adding all potential users within your organisation quickly
  • Removes the need for users to request licences, resolving the potential for admin bottlenecks
  • Only consuming a seat or licence for those who actually activate by logging in
  • Compatibility with new groups and existing groups
  • Time savings due to mitigation of one-off licence allocation, saving time
  • Synergies with login-based licence management to simplify Creator licence management
  • Eases the transition from legacy or core licensing model to role-based licensing


  • Make licensing changes before enabling the grant role on sign-in option, such as unlicensing users who have never signed in. Users’ existing site roles won’t change when the feature is enabled (only when they sign in). Once enabled, members in the group cannot be “demoted” to a lower role (including unlicensed) without first being removed from the user group.
  • Users receiving subscriptions should stay licensed. If you have users who are receiving subscriptions to Tableau dashboards but aren’t signing in to Tableau, this feature will cause their subscriptions to stop working. We recommend keeping these people licensed (they might be your boss’s boss), so they can receive the data they need – even if they rarely or never sign in.
  • Enable access for everyone. If you’re getting started with Tableau, we recommend bringing all potential users into Tableau as unlicensed users. This way, any user can get instant access while you optimise your usage. You can monitor adoption by looking at the group membership and scale-up licences as needed.
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