Understanding License 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 Prefix Description
TC Tableau Creator product key, can be used to activate or deactivate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.
TD Tableau 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 license model is defined by the metric that permits use of Tableau Cloud. Term licenses are also called subscription licenses. Tableau currently sells access to Tableau Cloud with subscription licenses. In the subscription license model, customers pay a yearly subscription fee. If the subscription expires, the software will stop working.

Subscription licenses 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 license allows you to add users based on the available licenses of each role type.

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

Role-based license model

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

  • Display licenses 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 licenses; when using a Display license, 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 licenses let users view and interact with workbooks in Tableau Cloud. Viewer licenses 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 licenses are similar to the user-based licenses available in previous Tableau Cloud releases, and include the capabilities provided with Viewer licenses, and additional capabilities. An Explorer license allows access to workbook authoring capabilities using a web browser, as well as a full set of collaboration features.
  • Creator licenses permit a wide range of capabilities when using Tableau Cloud, and also grant use of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder. A Creator license allows all of the capabilities available under the Explorer license, 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 license management activation on Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder.

Embedded Analytics

Tableau’s Embedded Analytics offering is a limited-use license 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 organization.

Note: Embedded Analytics licenses cannot be used in the same environment as full-use licenses.

For example, consider an organization that runs a service where they analyze consumer data and generate reports on behavioral patterns regarding different consumer demographics. In this scenario, Tableau Cloud acts in support of a specific proprietary application titled ‘Demographics Analyzer’ and connects with exported TXT files and a SQL database. The organization makes visualizations 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 license contact Customer Success(Link opens in a new window).

Embedded Analytics usage-based license model

In the Embedding Analytics usage-based licensing model, while Creator and Explorer are still defined per user, Usage Viewers are licensed per usage measured in analytical impressions.

An analytical impression is 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. For example, when a Viewer is performing these following actions:

  • Loading a dashboard.

  • Loading a worksheet.

  • Loading a Tableau metric.

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

  • Receiving a subscription.

  • Receiving a data driven alert.

Note: Ask Data is not currently enabled for usage-based licensing. Ask Data will be enabled for usage-based licensing at a later time.

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.

Feature licenses

Feature licenses are sold differently than other licenses. Features with independent licenses 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 License Management

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

Data Management

The Data Management license includes Tableau Catalog 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 License Management

Login-based license 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 License Management.

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