As part of defining your organisation's Analytics strategy, the cross-functional project team established the guiding principles for upgrades with the Tableau upgrade planning and process checklist The initial decisions about upgrade frequency, version selection and version compatibility define when and how upgrades are performed. When these areas are addressed early, administrators can better manage users' expectations, rather than having to react to business demands for new features and functionality. In addition, the communications, education and support plans should be created by the project team in preparation of the software upgrade process outlined in this topic.

Version compatibility

Tableau Server, Tableau Online and Tableau Desktop are updated on a quarterly release cycle, while Tableau Prep Builder is updated monthly. Quarterly releases may introduce new features that can cause architectural changes to the platform. Due to these changes, upgrades require comprehensive testing in your test environment to mitigate post-upgrade issues. For each upgrade, you should evaluate version compatibility by reviewing the links below:

Communicating the upgrade

To notify users of the pending upgrade, Tableau Server administrators should use a Tableau Server sign-in message and/or a welcome banner message to help communicate the downtime window. The sign-in message is found in Server Settings > General as shown below:

The welcome banner is found in Server Settings > Customisation as shown below:

Because Tableau Online is a fully-hosted solution, Tableau maintains it. The maintenance window for Tableau Online is communicated in advance through a pop-up message after sign-in, as shown below:

Software upgrade process

For Tableau Server, the software upgrade process will be performed by the Systems Administrator and Tableau Server Administrator roles, who will upgrade the server environments beginning with the test environment. Once validated in the test environment, they will schedule the production environment upgrade and, if applicable, the disaster recovery environment upgrade. The Resource Monitoring Tool master server and agents should also be upgraded, if deployed.

Beginning with version 2018.2, Tableau Server on Windows is available with Tableau Services Manager (TSM). TSM is the web-based server configuration and management utility that replaces the Server configuration utility and the tabadmin command line utility. The Tableau Server upgrade process has changed with the introduction of TSM. For information on how upgrade has changed, see Upgrade process changes.

When you upgrade from a pre-TSM version of Tableau Server (2018.1 or earlier) to a version running with TSM, you need to go through some special upgrade steps. These are required only for the pre-TSM to TSM upgrade. Pre-TSM versions of Tableau Server on Windows are versions older than 2018.2. Examples of pre-TSM versions are 9.3, 10.5, and 2018.1. For instructions on how to determine your version of Tableau Server, see View server version.

The Desktop Administrator and Mobile Administrator roles will be responsible for packaging and updating Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep Builder, and Tableau Mobile, which apply to both Tableau Server and Tableau Online deployments. Review and upgrade other applications based on your installations, such as tabcmd, Tableau Bridge for Tableau Online, and the Content Migration Tool.

For every upgrade, you should evaluate the following areas:

  • Understand how Tableau is used: how an upgrade may affect existing use cases and enable new use cases.

  • Assess the current deployment using monitoring and measurement data: topology, content, users.

  • Compare with future state: sources of data, configuration changes, capacity vs. planned user onboarding schedule.

  • Inventory existing software versions: client machines, drivers, mobile devices.

  • Identify programmatic dependencies:  embedded analytics, API-related, multi-instance deployments, client software versions and compatibility.

  • Schedule a retrospective to understand what worked and what didn’t, including identifying opportunities for improvement.


Before you upgrade Tableau Server (Windows| Linux), you should review and complete the upgrade process checklist below. It is included in the Tableau Blueprint Planner, so that it can be customised for your requirements. Tableau Online customers should complete the first two tasks in Research the upgrade, then skip to the tasks labelled Perform the client upgrades. Additional input from the Enterprise Architect, Database Administrator, Security Administrator and Network Administrator roles may be needed if changes are required in their corresponding area of expertise.


Note: Specific tasks related to pre-TSM to TSM version upgrades are designated with an asterisk in the tables below.

Review release notes: Tableau Server | Tableau Online




What's new and changed in Tableau Server | What's new in Tableau Online




     Upgrade from Tableau Server 2018.1 or earlier to TSM*




     Comparing functionality of tabadmin to TSM*




     Upgrade process changes*




Validate sufficient capacity to support workload




     Install on existing hardware




     Migrate to new hardware




Desktop and Server compatibility





Review and validate documented settings in Tableau Server architecture & configuration design document








     SMTP configuration




     SSL configuration and certificates




     SAML configuration, certificates, and IdP metadata files




     Kerberos configuration




     OpenID configuration




     Additional node(s) configuration




     Quantify projects, workbooks, views, data sources




     Quantify users and groups




Download setup files for the new Tableau Server version




Back up Tableau Server data




Check your product maintenance status





Prepare a test environment




Upgrade the test environment




Confirm Tableau Server functionality




     Server processes




     User access




     Publishing workbooks and data sources




     View published workbooks




     Subscriptions and extract refreshes








     Command-line utilities and APIs




Performance and user acceptance testing




     Performance resources




     Test workbook performance




Test new features




Communicate the planned upgrade window





Note: Specific tasks related to pre-TSM to TSM version upgrades are designated with an asterisk in the tables below.

Communicate the pending upgrade




Disable subscriptions and scheduling




Create a pre-upgrade backup of Tableau Server data




Uninstall existing pre-TSM version of Tableau Server and save tsbak file to another location*




Upgrade Tableau Server (existing TSM version) or upgrade from Tableau Server 2018.1 or earlier to Tableau Server with TSM  (note: Gather existing files section*)




     Install initial node




     Install other nodes in cluster




     Run the upgrade script to complete the installation




     Log in to TSM and start Tableau Server




     Restore gathered files*




Validate the upgrade




     Verify status of Tableau Server processes




     Verify Tableau Server settings




     Enable subscriptions and scheduling




     Modify Tableau Server processes (if needed)




     Review user access




     Verify publishing workbooks and data sources




     View published workbooks




     Review permissions




     Verify command-line utilities and APIs




Log in to Tableau Server




     Verify count of projects, workbooks, views, data sources




     Verify count of users and groups




     Verify database connectivity




Execute backup script




Upgrade Resource Monitoring Tool master server and agents




Communicate the successful upgrade





Communicate the client software to be upgraded (Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep Builder, tabcmd, Content Migration Tool, Tableau Mobile, Tableau Bridge)




Upgrade Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder




Upgrade tabcmd




Upgrade Content Migration Tool




Upgrade Tableau Mobile (auto update, publish to MDM)




Upgrade Tableau Bridge (for Tableau Online)






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