Upgrades

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

 

 

 

     Customisation

 

 

 

     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

 

 

 

     Permissions

 

 

 

     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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