Allow Your Publishers to Maintain Live Connections to On-Premises Data
The steps in this topic describe how you, as a site administrator, can configure your Tableau Online site to use one or more Tableau Bridge clients to maintain data sources with live connections to on-premises data.
By default Tableau Bridge is set to refresh extracts only. You can modify the site settings to allow support for live queries, which allows publish publishers to publish data sources that contain live connections to on-premises data.
Open a browser window, sign in to your Tableau Online site as a site administrator, and go to the Settings page.
Click the Authentication tab and ensure that the Let clients automatically connect to this Tableau Online site check box under the Connected Clients heading is selected. For more information about this check box, see Access Sites from Connected Clients.
Click the Bridge tab, and under Tableau Bridge heading, select Enable Tableau Bridge to maintain live connections to on-premises data.
After you allow live query support on your site, you can start Tableau Bridge, link it to the Tableau Online site, and then designate it as the client that will support published data sources with live connections to on-premises data.
Note: If you’re a publisher, and your administrator has already enabled live connection support for Tableau Bridge, you see the option to maintain live connections when you publish a data source. The option is available for on-premises relational data. This option is not available for cube- or file-based data.
On the computer on which you want to run Tableau Bridge, install Tableau Desktop.
Open Tableau Desktop and select Server > Start Tableau Bridge.
Sign in to Tableau Online through Tableau Bridge using the account you want to run the client. For live connections, the account must be a site administrator account.
In the client window that appears, from the Mode drop-down menu, select Application or Service.
Selecting Application runs Tableau Bridge as a Windows application. This allows the client to run only when the user is logged on to Windows. Selecting Service runs Tableau Bridge as a Windows service, which allows the client to continue running on the computer even after the user is logged off Windows.
Go back to the Bridge tab of the Settings page for your Tableau Online site to see the registered Tableau Bridge computer listed under Client Status.
In the Type column for your client, select Extract and Live. For newly configured clients, "Extract and Live" type is selected by default.
After you enable live connection support, publishers will see the option to maintain a live connection when they publish a data source that connects to on-premises, relational data. If they select the option, Tableau Online associates their data source with this Tableau Bridge client.
Note: Live connection support is available only for data sources published separately, and not for those embedded in published workbooks.
Publishers can still choose to publish extracts and schedule refreshes. In this case, they can use their own Tableau Online account to run Tableau Bridge. See also System and configuration requirements.
After you designate one client to support live queries, you can configure additional clients on different computers to load balance the live queries.
When more than one Tableau Bridge client supports data sources with live connections for a site, by default, all the clients are automatically included in a "pool." The purpose of this pool is to distribute (or load balance) the live queries among the available clients. Although the client in the pool that performs the live query work is chosen at random, if for whatever reason a client can no longer perform the live query work, another available client from the pool is also automatically chosen at random to handle the live queries that are sent to it. There is no additional intervention required from you, the site administrator, or by your users, to support or manage the pool of clients.
In general, Tableau recommends that you consider configuring additional clients to support live queries based on one or both of the following situations:
Tableau Bridge is used as a critical service. If your environment requires that live connection support must be available even if a client becomes unavailable.
Client is at capacity. If your existing site traffic is exceeding current capacity of the client.
You can use the procedure below to configure additional clients to support live queries:
Follow the procedure in Step 2: Configure the client to support live connections for each additional client.
Ensure the status of the client you add shows a green or "Connected" state as described in Step 4: Monitor Tableau Bridge on Tableau Online.
Note: Do not configure a client to load balance live queries if it has already been designated as a centrally-managed client for extract refreshes. For more information, see Manage extract data sources using a central Tableau Bridge client.
As a site administrator, you can monitor Tableau Bridge in a couple of ways:
Monitor traffic to data sources with live connections using the built-in administrative view
Monitor client status on the site settings page
Traffic to data sources with live connections
Using a built-in administrative view in Tableau Online, you can see how often a data source with a live connection, through a specific client or all clients associated with a site, is used based on project and day, and by whom.
Open a browser window and sign in to your Tableau Online site as a site administrator.
Go to the Status page, and click Traffic to Bridge Connected Data Sources.
Under Tableau Bridge Client name, select the client you want to monitor.
Understand client status
You can see the status of the clients that are managing extract and live connections. To see client status, sign in to your Tableau Online site as an administrator, go to the Settings page, and then click the Bridge tab. On that page, you'll find the information described below.
Under Client Summary, you'll see a few things:
The number of registered clients that support refreshes of published extract data sources
The number of registered clients that support published data sources with live connections to on-premises data
The total number of registered clients for your site
If you don't have two or more clients configured to support live connections, you see Not load balanced display in the Live Clients column. This indicates that you either have one or no clients managing live connections.
Under Client Status, you'll see a list of registered clients. The clients you see in this list, along with the associated computer name and owner, are configured to support one of the following:
Refreshes of published extract data sources
- Refreshes of published extract data sources and published data sources that contain live connections.
Availability of clients that can support live connections
In this list of registered clients, the colored circles or status labels indicate the availability of the client to support live connections (in either Application or Service mode). However, the status does not indicate whether you, as the site admin, have enabled the site and then configured the client to support live connections. For more information, see "Step 1" and "Step 2" above.
Green or "Connected": A green or Connected state indicates that the client is available to support live connections (in either Application or Service mode).
Red or "Disconnected": A red or Disconnected state can indicate one of a few conditions that have temporarily put the client in a disconnected state. The most common scenario is if the client itself is not running or was unable to establish communication with Tableau Online after being launched. You can hover the mouse over the status to see a tooltip that describes the condition.
- When the client is in a disconnected state, there may be views that depend on the data sources with live connections that cannot properly display until the issue is resolved.
- When a client is in a disconnected state, live connection may be disrupted. However, extract refreshes continue to run on schedule and manual refreshes from the client can be initiated.
No color or blank: Tableau Bridge clients that are integrated with Tableau Desktop (versions 2018.1 and earlier) cannot show different states of availability.
The states described above reflect and correspond to the status you see in the client.