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Starting in version 2020.4 ,Tableau Prep supports web authoring for flows. Now you can create flows to clean and prepare your data using Tableau Prep Builder, Tableau Server, or Tableau Online. You can also manually run flows on the web and the Data Management Add-on is not required.

While most of the same Tableau Prep Builder functionality is also supported on the web, there are a few differences when creating and working with your flows.

Important: To create and edit flows on the web you must have a Creator license. The Data Management add-on is only required if you want to run your flows on a schedule using Tableau Prep Conductor. For more information about configuring and using Tableau Prep Conductor, see Tableau Prep Conductor in the Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window) help.

Installation and Deployment

To enable users to create and edit flows on the web, you'll need to configure several settings on your server. For more information about each of these settings, see Create and Interact with Flows on the Web(Link opens in a new window).

  • Web Authoring: Controls whether users can create and edit flows on Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  • Run Now: Controls whether users or only administrators can run flows manually using the Run Now option. The Data Management Add-on isn't required to run flows manually on the web.
  • Tableau Prep Conductor: If the Data Management Add-on is enabled, enable this option to let users schedule and track flows.
  • Tableau Prep Extensions (version 2021.2.0 and later): Controls whether users can connect to Einstein Discovery to apply and run predictive models against data in their flow.
  • Autosave: Enabled by default, this feature automatically saves a user's flow work every few seconds.

Sample data and processing limits

To maintain performance while working with flows on the web, limits are applied to the amount of data you can include in a flow.

The following limits apply:

  • When connecting to files, the maximum file size is 1GB.
  • The data sampling option to include all data is not available. The default sample data limit is 1 million rows.
  • The maximum number of rows that a user can select when using large data sets is configured by the administrator. As a user, you can select the number of rows up to that limit.
  • In Tableau Online, the number of flow runs you can perform in a day is limited by the site administrator. For more information, see Tableau Online Site Capacity(Link opens in a new window).

Available features on the web

When you create and edit flows on the web you may notice a few differences in navigation and the availability of certain features. While most features are available across all platforms, some features are limited or not yet supported in Tableau Server or Tableau Online. The following table identifies features where differences might apply.

Feature area Tableau Prep Builder Tableau Server Tableau Online
Connect to Data(Link opens in a new window)*
Build and Organize your Flow(Link opens in a new window)
Set your data sample size(Link opens in a new window)**
Union files and database tables in the input step(Link opens in a new window)***
Clean and Shape Data(Link opens in a new window)
Aggregate, Join, or Union Data(Link opens in a new window)
Use R and Python Scripts in your Flow(Link opens in a new window)****
Create reusable flow steps(Link opens in a new window)
Automatically save your flows on the web(Link opens in a new window) Not Applicable
Automatic file recovery(Link opens in a new window) Not Applicable Not Applicable
View flow output in Tableau Desktop(Link opens in a new window)
Create an extract to a file(Link opens in a new window)
Create an extract to a Microsoft Excel worksheet(Link opens in a new window)
Connect to a Custom SQL Query(Link opens in a new window)
Create a published data source(Link opens in a new window)
Save flow output to external databases(Link opens in a new window)
Add Einstein Discovery Predictions to your Flow(Link opens in a new window)

* Some connectors may not be supported on the web. Open the Connect pane on your server to see supported connectors.

** In Tableau Server and Tableau Online, the data sample size is subject to limits set by your administrator.

*** Input unions can't be edited or created in Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Only in Tableau Prep Builder.

**** Script steps can't be added when creating or editing a flow in Tableau Online. This is currently supported only in Tableau Prep builder and Tableau Server.

Autosave and working with drafts

When you create or edit flows on the server, your work is automatically saved as a draft every few seconds so that in the event of a crash, or when closing a tab by accident, you don't lose your work.

Drafts are saved to the server and project you are signed into. You can't save or publish a draft to another server, but you can save the flow to another project on that server using the File > Publish As menu option.

Draft content can only be seen by you until you publish it. If you publish changes and need to revert them, you can use the Revision History dialog to view and revert to a previously published version. For more information about saving flows on the web, see Automatically save your flows on the web(Link opens in a new window).

Publishing flows on the web

Whether you create a flow from scratch on the web or edit an existing flow, before you can run the flow you'll need to publish it.

  • You can only publish draft flows to the same server you are signed into.
  • You can publish a draft to a different project using the File menu and selecting Publish As.
  • You can embed credentials for your flow's database connections to enable the flow to run without having to manually enter the credentials when the flow runs.

Embed credentials

Embedding credentials only applies to running flows on your server. Currently, you will manually need to enter your credentials when editing a flow connected to a database. Embedding credentials can only be set at the flow level and not at the server or site level.

Do one of the following:

  • From the top menu, select File > Connection Credentials > Embed in Published Flow.

  • When publishing a flow, select the Embed credentials check box. This option shows when you select Publish As to publish the flow to a new project for the first time or when you are editing a flow that was last published by someone else.

Publish a flow

When you publish your flow, it becomes the current version of the flow and can be run and seen by others who have access to your project. Flows that are never published or flow changes that you make to a draft can only be seen by you until you publish the flow. For more information about flow statuses, see Automatically save your flows on the web(Link opens in a new window).

To publish your flow, do one of the following:

  • From the top menu, select File > Publish or File > Publish As

  • From the top bar, click the Publish button or click the drop arrow to select Publish As.

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