Install Bridge

Tableau Bridge is software that you can install and use in conjunction with Tableau Online. Always install the latest version of Bridge to take advantage of the latest security and feature updates.

Before installing Bridge

Before you install the Bridge client, review the minimum requirements and general information that you need to know to help ensure a successful start to using Bridge.

System requirements

Bridge is available for the 64-bit Windows operating system. You can also install the client on a virtual machine. For more information about which versions of Windows are supported or about memory or disk space requirements, review the Recommended hardware.

License requirements

You do not need a product key to use Bridge. Use of Bridge is subject to your End User License Agreement (EULA). Users of Bridge must be authorized users of Tableau Online.

Network access

Because Bridge facilitates connections between your on-premises data and Tableau Online, it requires the ability to make outbound connections through the internet. Bridge does not require the ability to make inbound connections, which means that it typically does not require a network administrator to make firewall or network changes to work.

Addresses and ports

Just like Tableau Desktop, Bridge uses common ports (80 and 443) to make outbound requests to Tableau Online. In most cases, the machine where the client is installed and the network it is running on are already configured to allow the necessary access.

Database drivers

Bridge uses Tableau connectors to connect to different databases to maintain data freshness. Some of those connectors require drivers to communicate with the databases.

By default, the following drivers are installed with the client:

  • Oracle
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL

To get drivers for other connectors that the client supports, see the Driver Download(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website.

With the exception of the Oracle drivers, you can choose not to install any default database drivers on the Customize page during Bridge installation.

Install Bridge

Follow the procedure below to install a Bridge client. You do not need a Tableau product key to install or use the client.

  1. Download the installer from the Product Downloads and Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website. We recommend downloading the latest version listed on the page to take advantage of the latest security and feature updates.

  2. Run the installer.

  3. When prompted, accept the license agreement to continue.

  4. (Optional) Customize the installation by clicking Customize. You can change any of the following options:

    • Install location: You can specify a different location to install the client.
    • Create a desktop shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Bridge.
    • Create a Start menu shortcut: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically add a shortcut for Bridge to the Start menu
    • Enable error reporting: If Bridge has a problem and closes unexpectedly, crash dump files and logs are generated and sent to Tableau. To turn off this option, clear this check box during installation. You can also turn this option off (or back on) in the client after installation. For more information, see Error reports.
    • Install database drivers: Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically install the default database drivers.
  5. Click Install to begin the client installation.

After the client is installed, you can start the client by double-clicking the Bridge shortcut on your desktop or from Tableau Desktop (if it's installed on the same machine as Bridge).

About My Tableau Bridge Repository

As part of the Bridge installation, a folder called My Tableau Bridge Repository is created on the machine where the client is installed. This repository folder contains critical sub-folders, such as Logs and Configuration, that Bridge needs in order to operate properly.

The repository folder is created under the Documents folder: \Users\<user>\Documents\My Tableau Bridge Repository. Tableau recommends that you do not change the folder that Bridge uses as its repository.

Upgrade Bridge

Staying in sync with the latest version of Bridge ensures that you can take advantage of the latest features and fixes included with each new version of the Bridge client.

To upgrade the client, follow the procedure below.

Important: If you're running client version 2018.2-2018.3, we strongly recommends upgrading to the latest version of Bridge to take advantage of the latest security and feature updates. For more information, see Error "There was problem and the data engine could not start properly"(Link opens in a new window) article in the Tableau Knowledge Base.

  1. Log on to the machine where the client is installed.

  2. If you're running the client in Service mode, in the lower-left corner of the client, next to Mode, select Application. Changing to Application mode ensures that the Tableau Bridge service stops completely before the upgrade.

  3. Select Settings > Exit.

  4. Follow the steps listed in the Install Bridge section to install the client and complete the upgrade.

After installation is complete, the client will start as normal. If the client was running in Service mode prior to the upgrade process, switch back to Service mode.

Error reports

You can help improve Bridge by automatically sending error reports to Tableau. Error reports are comprised of crash dump files that are sent to Tableau when the Bridge client has to close unexpectedly (crash). These files are used by Tableau to identify and address issues that can cause the client to close unexpectedly.

Important: Turn off this option if your data is subject to any privacy regulations.

What's in an error report

The encrypted package is made up of the following files: crash/core dump files and manifest files related to the crash.

The files can contain data that include:

  • Machine-specific information. For example: hardware, operating system, domain, etc.

  • Snapshot of the memory contents at the time of the crash. For example: which data sources had extracts refreshed, which data sources had live queries, etc.

  • Information that Bridge was processing at the time of crash, including customer-identifiable information that might be used to correct the error. For example: who is using Bridge with which site, the name of the client that the user is signed in to, etc.

For more information about how Tableau treats sensitive information, see the Tableau privacy policy on the Tableau website.

Configure automatic error reporting

You can configure Bridge to send error reports automatically in one of two places: during the client installation process or after installation directly in the client.

Enable the automatic error reporting option during client installation

During installation, the option to automatically send error reports from the client is selected by default. However, you can remove the selection.

Disable the automatic error reporting option in the client

If you decided to use the default setting during the installation process and decide later on that you don't want to allow error reports to be sent automatically, you can modify the option from the client menu.

Install Bridge from the command line

You can install the Bridge client from command line if you're a local administrator on the machine.

General command line syntax

The syntax for running the Bridge installer from the command line is the following:

tableauBridge<installer_name>.exe /option1 /option2 PROPERTY1 PROPERTY2

A few notes about the syntax:

  • The tableau<installer_name>.exe file is the client installer for the product and version you're installing.
  • The options specify how the installation process should run. For example, whether it should display output while installing and whether it should create log files.
  • The properties settings specify configuration settings that the installer should make during the installation process.

Example installer command

The following example shows an installer command with some options and property settings.

tableauBridge-64bit-2018-2-0.exe /quiet /passive ACCEPTEULA=1 DATABASEDRIVERS=1

You must run the command from the directory where the .exe file is located or specify a full path to the location of the .exe file on the machine. Do not run the installer from a shared directory on your network. Instead, download the .exe file to a directory on the machine where you want to install the client.

Installer options and properties

You can specify one or more options in the command line for the installer.

Installer options

A couple of notes about the options: 

  • Each option is prefixed with a slash (/).
  • Options must come before properties.
Option Description
quiet Run the installer without messages (status or installation progress) and without requiring user interaction. The client doesn't launch after installation is complete.
passive Run the installer and display dialog boxes and installation status. Does not prompt the user for input. The client launches after installation is complete.
norestart Suppress any attempts to restart. By default, the installer will prompt you before restart unless you run the installer in quiet mode.
log "logfile.txt" Log installation information to the specified path and file. Specify the path and file name, such as /log "c:\logs\logfile.txt". The default log file is the system %TEMP% directory.
repair Run the installer to repair an existing installation of Bridge.
h Help—lists options and properties for the installer.

Installer properties

You can also include one or more properties in the command line for the installer.

Some notes about the properties:

  • All of these properties can be used for the initial installation of client. They can't be used to update any settings after initial installation.
  • Property names are case sensitive.
  • There are no spaces on either side of the equal sign.
  • Each property set is delimited with a space.
  • Properties must go after options.
Property Description Value
ACCEPTEULA Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). If you don't set this option to 1, Bridge cannot be installed using quiet mode. 1=Accept
0=Don't accept (default)
CRASHDUMP You can set this option to "1" to help improve Bridge by sending error reports to Tableau automatically when the client crashes. For more information, see Error reports. 1=Yes (default)
0=No
DATABASEDRIVERS Install the default set of database drivers that you might connect to from Tableau Bridge. For more information, see Database drivers.

To download other database drivers, see the Driver Download(Link opens in a new window) page on the Tableau website. You must distribute other drivers using whatever asset management tools you use for software deployment in your organization.

1=Yes (default)
0=No
DESKTOPSHORTCUT Create a desktop shortcut. 1=Yes (default)
0=No
DRIVERDIR Specify an installation directory (other than the default) for the database drivers. This option creates the directory and creates an entry in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ registry. The default location for drivers is C:\Program Files\Tableau\Drivers. A path such as D:\Drivers
DRIVER_MSSQL

Disable the Microsoft SQL Server driver from installing automatically during Tableau Bridge installation.

1=Install (default)
0=Don't install
DRIVER_POSTGRES

Disable the PostgreSQL driver from installing automatically during Tableau Bridge installation.

1=Install (default)
0=Don't install
DRIVER_REDSHIFT

Disable the Amazon Redshift driver from installing automatically during Tableau Bridge installation.

1=Install (default)
0=Don't install
INSTALLDIR

Specify an installation directory other than the default.

If you specify a custom directory for the installation location and plan to install future releases to this same location, you need to specify a version specific sub-folder to install to. Otherwise you will need to uninstall the previous version first.

Side-by-side installations of multiple versions in the same sub-directory is not supported.

A path such as D:\Software\Tableau Bridge.
SKIPAPPLICATIONLAUNCH You can set this option to "1" to prevent the new application from opening automatically when the installation process is complete. This option applies to manual. This option doesn't apply to quiet installations because Tableau Bridge doesn't open automatically when using that option. 1=Yes
0=No (default)
STARTMENUSHORTCUT Create a Tableau Bridge entry on the Windows Start menu. 1=Yes (default)
0=No

Uninstall Bridge

Although it's not necessary to uninstall previous versions of the Bridge client when installing a newer version, you can uninstall Bridge 2018.2 and later if you no longer need it on your machine.

The primary method for uninstalling the client is through the Windows Control Panel.

Alternatively, you can use the following procedure to uninstall Bridge from the command line.

  1. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.

  2. In the location where the .exe was installed, run the following command:

    tableau<installer_name>.exe /uninstall /quiet

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