Set Up a Bridge Refresh Schedule

This topic describes how a data source owner can set up and update refresh schedules for a data source that connects to on-premises data. Refresh schedules for data sources that connect to on-premises data rely on Tableau Bridge. The tasks described in this topic assume Bridge has been set up and is being maintained by your site admin. Exceptions are noted.

Notes:

  • Bridge keeps data fresh for published data sources only, i.e., data sources published separately from workbooks. Bridge can't keep data fresh in data sources embedded in workbooks.
  • To set up and configure a refresh schedule for a private cloud-based data source, see Use Bridge for Private Cloud Data.

Online refresh schedules versus Bridge (legacy) schedules

For data sources that are set up to use extract connections, Bridge uses refresh schedules to keep data fresh.

There are two types of refresh schedules that you can configure for Bridge to use: 

  • Refresh schedules in Online (formerly called Recommended)
  • Bridge (legacy)

The schedule you use can depend on a couple of factors, including which version the original schedule was created and the type of underlying data that the data source connects to. In summary, Online refresh schedules are designed to leave client management tasks to the site admin and enables you to perform all your data source management tasks directly on Tableau Online. Bridge (legacy) schedules is designed to continue supporting file-based data sources.

Version

Beginning with Bridge 2020.2, all newly created schedules use Online refresh (formerly called Recommended) schedules by default unless the data source connects to file data. An Online refresh schedule requires at least one Bridge 2020.2 (or later) client to be set up and added to the client pool by your site admin.

By default, schedules that were created prior to Bridge 2020.2 use Bridge (legacy) schedules. Bridge (legacy) schedules can be migrated to Online refresh schedules unless the schedules are used to refresh data sources that connect to file data.

File-based data sources must use Bridge (legacy) schedules regardless of which version of Tableau was used to set up the original schedules. For more information, see the next section.

Underlying data

As mentioned above, file-based data sources must use Bridge (legacy) schedules because they are not currently supported with the Online refresh schedules workflow.

Relational-based data sources can use either Online refresh (formerly called Recommended) schedules or Bridge (legacy) schedules. However, a benefit of Online refresh schedules is that it leaves client management tasks to the site admin and enables you to perform all your data source management tasks directly on Tableau Online.

Compare schedules

The following table delineates the primary differences between Online refresh (formerly called Recommended) and Bridge (legacy) schedules for keeping on-premises data fresh.

  Online Refresh Schedule Bridge (Legacy) Schedule
Supported data types

Relational data

Private cloud data

File data (requires Bridge (legacy) schedule to keep data fresh)

Relational data

Connector plugins (requires Bridge (legacy) schedule to keep data fresh)

Data source management Data source page on Tableau Online Data source page on Tableau Online + designated client
Scheduling Integrated with Tableau Online refresh schedules Can be configured to refresh as frequently as 15 and 30 minute increments
REST API

Run Extract Refresh Now(Link opens in a new window) option

Update Data Source Now(Link opens in a new window) option

Not supported

Manage schedules

Though the scheduling tasks are exactly the same, there are two primary entry points for setting up a Online refresh (formerly called Recommended) schedule for a data source that connects to on-premises data. The first entry point is during the data source publishing process, from Tableau Desktop. The second entry point is at any time after the data source publishing process.

Note: Online refresh schedules that use Bridge support the same scheduling frequency options as Online refresh schedules that do not use Bridge.

Set up a schedule

In most cases, you will set up a schedule as you publish your data source from Tableau Desktop.

  1. In Tableau Desktop, create your data source.

  2. Select Server > Publish Data Source to begin the publishing process. If you haven't already signed in to Tableau Online, you will be prompted to.

  3. In the Publish Data Source to Tableau Online dialog box, configure the various options for your data source, and then click the Publish button. This opens a browser window to Tableau Online.

    Note: Depending on the data that the data source is connected to or how you've configured the data source, the dialog will default to publishing an extract or will give you the option to publish an extract. If you are provided options, select the option to publish an extract.

  4. In the Publishing Complete dialog box, click the Schedule Extract Refresh button.

  5. In the Create Extract Refresh dialog box, configure a schedule for the refresh. For more information about how to configure the schedule, see Schedule Refreshes on Tableau Online

  6. Click the Create button.

Add or update an existing schedule

For whatever reason you are unable to schedule a refresh during the data source publishing process, you can add a new or update a schedule anytime after.

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online and navigate to your data source.

  2. From the data source page, click the Extract Refreshes tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    1. To set up a new schedule, click the New Extract Refresh button and configure a schedule for your refresh.

    2. To update an existing schedule, select the check box next to the schedule, click the Actions menu, and then select Change Frequency to reconfigure the schedule for the refresh.

  4. Click the Create button.

Manage Bridge (legacy) schedules

If your data source connects to file data, you can use the Bridge (legacy) schedule to keep your data fresh.

Notes:

  • Bridge (legacy) schedules can only complete successfully if you embed your database credentials in the connection through the Bridge client. For more information, see Embed or update database credentials for Bridge (legacy).
  • When you use a Bridge (legacy) schedule, the time that shows on the client and the time that shows on Tableau Online correspond to the time zone of the machine from which the client is running.

Set up a Bridge (legacy) schedule

Just like with Online refresh schedules, in most cases, you will set up a Bridge (legacy) schedule as you publish your data source from Tableau Desktop.

Make sure to use Bridge (legacy) schedules to keep all your file-based data sources fresh.

  1. In Tableau Desktop, create your data source.

  2. Select Server > Publish Data Source to begin the publishing process. If you haven't already signed in to Tableau Online, you will be prompted.
  3. In the Publish Data Source to Tableau Online dialog box, configure the various options for your data source, and then click the Publish button. This opens a browser window to Tableau Online.

  4. In the Publishing Complete dialog box, click the Schedule Extract Refresh button. The Create Extract Refresh dialog box, where you configure the Bridge (legacy) schedule, displays.

  5. In the Create Extract Refresh dialog box, follow each step to configure the schedule.

    Notes: 

    • To refresh during a specific time period on selected days: Select Hourly, specify the time range during the day using the From and To drop-down lists, and then select the days of the week.

      To optimize performance on the server, refresh tasks are distributed within a range of up to five minutes of the time of day you specify. For example, if you set an hourly schedule, the occurrence set to run at 1:00 AM could run any time between 1:00 and 1:05 AM.

    • Full or incremental refresh: If available, you specify whether you want a full or incremental refresh. By default, Tableau Online runs a full refresh. Incremental refresh is available only if you configured the data source for an incremental refresh in Tableau Desktop before publishing. For information, see Refreshing Extracts(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Help.

  6. Click the Create button.

Add a new or update an existing Bridge (legacy) schedule

If you're unable to schedule a refresh during the data source publishing process, you can add a new or update a Bridge (legacy) schedule anytime after.

Make sure to use Bridge (legacy) schedules to keep all your file-based data sources fresh.

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online and navigate to your data source.

  2. From the data source page, click the Extract Refreshes tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    1. To set up a new Bridge (legacy) schedule, in the data source's actions menu, select Schedule with Bridge (Legacy), configure the schedule, and then click the Schedule Refresh button.

    2. To update an existing Bridge (legacy) schedule, select the check box next to the existing schedule, click the data source's actions menu, and then select Change Schedule. In this workflow, you can't change the client that performs the refresh. If you need to change the client that performs the refresh, see Change the client that performs the Bridge (legacy) schedule. When finished, click the Change Schedule button.

Other Bridge (legacy) schedule management tasks

Add a new or update an existing schedule from the client

If you, not your site admin, are managing the "named" clients or the clients that are associated with your file-based data sources, you can add a new or update an existing Bridge (legacy) schedule directly from the Bridge client.

  1. Open the Windows system tray and click the Bridge icon to open the client.

  2. Point to the data source and click the Schedule icon. This opens a browser window to the data source page in Tableau Online.

  3. Repeat steps 2-3 from the above Add a new or update an existing Bridge (legacy) schedule section to set up the schedule.

Add a new computer (client) to perform a scheduled refresh

When you publish a data source that connects to file-based data, you must set up a Bridge (legacy) schedule to keep the data fresh. As part of the scheduling process, in the scheduling dialog, you must specify a machine. The machine you specify is the Bridge client that performs the refresh.

The Bridge (legacy) schedule displays the clients that you signed into.

If the client you want to select is not available from the drop-down list, it can be one of a few reasons: 

  • You're not signed in to the client.
  • The client is not properly registered or connected to the site. Go to and open the client and make sure that it has a green or "Connected" status.
  • Your site admin manages all clients in your organization. When using Bridge (legacy) schedules, the data source owner and the user signed into the client must be the same. If your site admin is signed into the client, he or she must reassign ownership of the data source to him or herself in order to schedule a refresh.

Cancel an in-progress refresh

In some cases, you might need to cancel an in-progress refresh of a file-based data source. You can cancel a refresh for a data source that uses the Bridge (legacy) schedule only.

  1. Open the Windows system tray and click the Bridge icon to open the client.
  2. Click the Cancel Refresh button. This action will cancel the in-progress refresh.

Note: A client can perform one Bridge (legacy) refresh at a time. If you need to run more than one Bridge (legacy) refresh at the same time, discuss with your site admin about setting up additional clients on different machines to perform the extract refreshes.

Change the client that performs the Bridge (legacy) schedule

If you're working with a Bridge (legacy) schedule and want to change the location or machine that performs the refresh, you must set up a new refresh schedule. You can only schedule a refresh using a client that you are signed in to.

To set up a new Bridge (legacy) schedule, see Set up a Bridge (legacy) schedule. When you're done setting up a new refresh schedule, make sure that you delete the previous schedule identical to the new schedule.

Important: If the data source requires database credentials to access the underlying data, you must go back to the client and edit the connection information to re-embed the database credentials. You can use the Test Connection option in the client to check whether the data source can access the underlying data.

Remove a client from a site

After you change the client that performs the Bridge (legacy) schedule, consider permanently removing the client from the site if it's no longer being used for any other data freshness tasks.

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the browser, click your profile image or initials, and select My Account Settings.

  3. Under Connected clients, click Delete next to the client you want to remove from the site.

Verify a previous or upcoming refresh

You can check when a previous refresh took place or find out when the next refresh will occur.

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online and navigate to your data source.

  2. From the data source page, click the Extract Refreshes tab.

  3. Next to the schedule, review Last update and Next update columns.

Migrate from Bridge (legacy) to Online refresh schedules

Refresh schedules that were created before 2020.2 use the Bridge (legacy) schedule by default. For data sources that connect to relational data, you can migrate Bridge (legacy) schedules to use Online refresh schedules to keep your data fresh. Online refresh schedules run on Bridge 2020.2 clients managed by your site admin and take advantage of a pool of available Bridge clients to perform the refreshes.

When you migrate a pre-2020.2 schedule to use an Online refresh schedule, the previous schedule is deleted and can't be recovered. If you change your mind after migrating the schedule, you must create the previous schedule using the Bridge (legacy) schedules workflow described in the Set up a Bridge (legacy) schedule section above.

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online and navigate to your data source.

  2. From the data source page, click the Extract Refreshes tab.

  3. Click the New Extract Refresh button.

  4. Configure the schedule and click the Create button. The original Bridge (legacy) schedule will be deleted.

Note: Online refresh schedules require at least one Bridge 2020.2 (or later) client to be set up and added to the pool by your site admin. If no clients have been set up or are available at the time of the scheduled refresh, the refresh will fail.

Delete a refresh schedule

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online and navigate to the data source whose refresh schedule you want to delete.

  2. On the data source page, click the Extract Refreshes tab.

  3. Select the check box next to the schedule you want to delete and select Actions > Delete.

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