Tableau License Management

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

Login-Based License Management

Login-based license management, helps you manage licensing for users with Creator roles on Tableau Server and Tableau Online. Users with Explorer or Viewer roles cannot use this feature. If you’re using Role Based Subscriptions with Tableau Server or Tableau Online, you can simplify your license management using login-based license 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 Online, you don’t need to manage any product keys at all. For more information, see Login-Based License Management (Tableau ServerTableau Online).

Note: Login-based license management is the default license management and activation option for Tableau Online. For Tableau Desktop used with Tableau Server in an on-premises environment, login-based license management requires a special login-based license management-enabled product key. Contact your Tableau sales representative if you are interested in using login-based license management.

Grant Role on Sign In

Beginning in 2020.3, grant role on sign in allows an Administrator to add all individuals at an organization 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 Online)

The benefits of Grant Role on Sign In include:

  • Adding all potential users within your organization quickly
  • Removes the need for users to request licenses, resolving the potential for Admin bottlenecks
  • Only consuming a seat or license for those who actually activate by logging in
  • Compatibility with new groups and existing groups
  • Time savings due to mitigation of one-off license allocation, saving time
  • Synergies with Login-Based License Management to simplify Creator license 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. User’s 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 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 folks licensed (this 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 optimize your usage. You can monitor adoption by looking at the group membership and scale-up licenses as needed.
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