Tableau Online is a secure, cloud-based solution for sharing, distributing, and collaborating on content created in Tableau. Tableau Online servers are typically upgraded when a new major version of Tableau is released. When this happens, you need to consider how to maintain compatibility with your existing environment, which can contain Tableau Desktop installations, Tableau Bridge, and any existing scripts or processes that use the Tableau command-line utilities, such as tabcmd and the Tableau data extract utility.

For information on what constitutes a major upgrade, see Upgrade Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

When to upgrade Tableau Desktop and Tableau Bridge to work with Tableau Online

After Tableau Online is upgraded to a new major version, you can still publish data sources and workbooks from earlier versions of Tableau Desktop. However, you will need to upgrade to the latest major version of Tableau Desktop to do the following:

  • Download and open a published workbook that has been edited and saved in the Tableau Online web editing environment.

  • Make a local copy of a data source.

  • If multi-factor authentication (MFA) is enabled with Tableau authentication, Bridge clients must be running Tableau Bridge version 2021.1 and later. For more information about Tableau with MFA, see About multi-factor authentication and Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window).

If you try to use such a workbook or data source in a Tableau Desktop version that is earlier than that of the Tableau Online servers, you will receive the following error:

This file was created by a newer version of Tableau. Please upgrade Tableau Desktop to the version (or greater) that the file was saved in.

The latest Tableau Bridge client is installed when you install a new major version of Tableau Desktop. It starts automatically and resumes any extract refreshes that you set up with the previous versions.

When to upgrade tabcmd for site administration

If you use tabcmd to administer your Tableau Online site—for example, to automate the tasks of uploading workbooks, managing users, and so on—you will need the most recent version of tabcmd to run these tasks. Using an outdated version of tabcmd will cause errors and unpredictable results.

For more information and the current supported version of tabcmd, see Install tabcmd(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Online help.

Use the Tableau data extract utility for refreshing data sources

The Tableau data extract command-line utility is installed automatically with Tableau Desktop. If you use this tool to push data to a published data source on Tableau Online, consider the following requirements:

  • You will need to use the site ID instead of the site name.

    The site ID is part of the Tableau Online URL. For example, in the following, the site ID is WidgetWorks:

    For more information about the -t option, see Automate Extract Refresh Tasks(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Online help.

  • After you publish a data source to Tableau Online, you must refresh the data in the published data source using the data extract utility that comes with the Tableau Desktop version that matches the Tableau Online version.

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