Understanding Licence Models

This topic describes the different licensing models and the product keys or subscriptions that may be associated with them. A useful visual of how product keys and subscriptions are represented in Tableau Cloud can be found in the Tableau Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window).

When viewing product keys using the Tableau Customer Portal (Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder), note the product-specific prefixes.

Product Key PrefixDescription
TCTableau Creator product key, can be used to activate or deactivate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.
TDTableau Desktop product key, can be used to activate or deactivate Tableau Desktop only. This is a legacy product key that is no longer sold or provided.

Term licensing models

Tableau’s term “licence model” is defined by the metric that permits use of Tableau Cloud. Term licences are also called subscription licences. Tableau currently sells access to Tableau Cloud with subscription licences. In the subscription licence model, customers pay a yearly subscription fee. If the subscription expires, the software will stop working.

Subscription licences are either role-based or core-based subscriptions. A single license key can be purchased with all roles and features and this license is called an Updatable Subscription License (USL). Only one key needs to be activated on Tableau Cloud to represent the entire purchase.

  • A role-based licence allows you to add users based on the available licences of each role type.

  • A usage-based licence imposes no constraints on the number of Viewer user accounts in Tableau Cloud. Instead, the licence is per usage, more specifically analytical impressions. An Embedded Analytics usage-based licence is one type of usage-based licence.

Role-based licence model

Tableau offers role-based term licences that grant a range of capabilities at various price points. Four types of role-based term licences are available: Display, Viewer, Explorer and Creator.

  • Display licences let users share and display Tableau content with a broad, internal audience of users who consume dashboards via shared displays with no interaction. There is no separate site role for Display licences; when using a Display licence, administrators create a dedicated login account for each licensed Display location, which is not the same as an individual user’s login account, and assign the maximum site role of Viewer.
  • Viewer licences let users view and interact with workbooks in Tableau Cloud. Viewer licences also let users access Tableau Mobile, add comments to workbooks, export visuals in various formats, download workbook summary data, create subscriptions for themselves and receive data-driven alerts.
  • Explorer licences are similar to the user-based licences available in previous Tableau Cloud releases, and include the capabilities provided with Viewer licences and additional capabilities. An Explorer licence allows access to workbook authoring capabilities using a web browser, as well as a full set of collaboration features.
  • Creator licences permit a wide range of capabilities when using Tableau Cloud, and also grant use of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. A Creator licence allows all the capabilities available under the Explorer licence, as well as the following capabilities when using Tableau Cloud:
    • Create and publish new workbooks from a new data source.
    • Edit embedded data sources in the Data pane.
    • Create and publish new data connections.
    • Use login-based licence management activation on Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

Usage-based license model

In a usage-based licensing (UBL) model, Usage Viewers are licensed per usage measured in analytical impressions, while Creators and Explorers are defined per user.

An analytical impression is generated when a Usage Viewer (who must be a viewer outside your organization) accesses one or more embedded analytics within (or related to) your external facing application, or a Pulse metric. For example, when a Viewer is performing these following actions:

  • Loading a dashboard.

  • Loading a worksheet.

  • Downloading or exporting a visualisation (dashboard or worksheet) such as an image, PDF, PowerPoint or Tableau workbook via API or the UI.

  • Receiving a subscription.

  • Loading an insight exploration of a Pulse metric.

Note: Tableau Pulse will be available for usage-based sites at release, and will begin measuring analytical impressions in June 2024.

Site administrators will receive monthly overview emails(Link opens in a new window) updating them on Analytical Impressions consumption so they can track their usage and manage their budget. You can also request usage metrics at any time from your account managers to monitor usage.

Embedded Analytics

Tableau’s Embedded Analytics offering is a limited-use licence for Tableau Cloud that’s made available to customers who want to embed Tableau Cloud analytics into an external-facing solution to provide Tableau content and insights to clients outside of their organisation.

Note: Embedded Analytics licences cannot be used in the same environment as full-use licences. To change to an Embedded Analytics licence, first deactivate your existing full-use licences and then activate the Embedded Analytics licence.

For example, consider an organisation that runs a service where they analyse consumer data and generate reports on behavioural patterns regarding different consumer demographics. In this scenario, Tableau Cloud acts in support of a specific proprietary application titled ‘Demographics Analyser’ and connects with exported TXT files and an SQL database. The organisation makes visualisations available to its clients in a secure portal, where clients log in to manage their account and view the results. End users are uniquely identified by the account they use to access the portal.

To verify the licence contact Customer Success(Link opens in a new window).

Feature licences

Feature licences are sold differently than other licences. Features with independent licences must be licensed for every user in the deployment.

These features are licensed annually, and in the context of licensing, the availability of these features to the user base are “all or none”.

  • Data Management
  • Advanced Management
  • Login-based Licence Management

Note: Updatable subscription licences include both features and roles in one licence. You no longer need to activate multiple licences and product key(s) for different features and their associated roles.

Data Management

The Data Management licence includes Tableau Catalogue and Tableau Prep Conductor. For more information, see About Data Management.

Advanced Management

Tableau Cloud Advanced Management is licensed on a per-deployment basis. For more information on Advanced Management and the features included, see About Tableau Advanced Management on Tableau Cloud.

Login-based Licence Management

Login-based licence management (LBLM) simplifies licensing for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. Instead of end users needing to activate product keys, Cloud Creators can activate and use Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder by signing in to the Cloud site (LBLM).

For more information, see Activate Tableau using Login-based Licence Management.

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