About Tableau Prep Conductor

Tableau Prep Conductor enables you to leverage the scheduling and tracking functionality available in Tableau Server or Tableau Online to run your flows automatically to update the flow output. Tableau Prep Conductor is part of the Tableau Data Management Add-on introduced in Tableau Server version 2019.1 and must be enabled to schedule your flows to run.

Note: Starting in Tableau Prep Builder version 2020.4.1, you no longer need the Data Management Add-on on your server to publish flows to the web or manually run flows. As a Creator, you can also create and edit flows directly on your server. If you want to schedule flows to run on your server, the Data Management Add-on is still required.

If you create your flows in Tableau Prep Builder, you'll need to first publish them to Tableau Server or Tableau Online to run them on a schedule. Publishing flows is similar to publishing data sources and workbooks with Tableau Desktop. You can package files with the flow or specify a direct connection to data sources to update the flow input as data changes. If your flow connects to databases, specify the authentication type and set credentials to access the data.

You can also publish a flow to share it with others or to continue editing it on the web. For example, publish an incomplete flow to Tableau Server or Tableau Online and then open the flow on the web in Edit mode to continue working on it. You could also create a flow with only Input steps (that are properly configured) and share it with co-workers who can then download the flow to their computers and create and publish their own flows.

Flows can only be run in Tableau Server or Tableau Online if the flow is published, includes output steps, and has no errors or incompatible features. For more information about publishing a flow, see Publish a Flow to Tableau Server or Tableau Online(Link opens in a new window). For more information about incompatibility, see Version Compatibility with Tableau Prep(Link opens in a new window).

Keeping track of the health of your flows is easy. With the Data Management Add-on with Tableau Prep Conductor enabled, you can:

  • View and monitor the details about your flow, including recent activity in the Content pages.

  • Edit your flow (starting in version 2020.4).
  • View the results of the flow runs and any errors in the Run History tab.

  • Use Administrative Views to monitor server and site activity including a new view that tracks flow performance history.

  • View detailed alerts for failed flow runs.

  • Set up email notification alerts to send emails to flow owners notifying them when the flow failed to run and why.

    For more information about setting up alerts, see Monitor Flow Health and Performance(Link opens in a new window).

If you don't have the Data Management Add-on, you can:

  • View the details about your flow, including recent activity in the Content pages.

  • Edit your flow (starting in version 2020.4).

  • View and edit your connections on the Connections tab.

If a flow fails to run due to errors, such as a calculation that isn’t valid, or a connection failed, you can fix the error right in Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Edit the connection or edit the flow to fix the error, then republish it to pick up where you left off.

Enabling Tableau Prep Conductor

Tableau Prep Conductor is available with the Data Management Add-on and can be installed with Tableau Server or Tableau Online or added to an existing installation of Tableau Server or Tableau Online version 2019.1 or later. For more information about how to install and enable Tableau Prep Conductor, see Enable and Configure Tableau Prep Conductor on Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Enable Tableau Prep Conductor on your Tableau Online Site(Link opens in a new window).

To publish flows to Tableau Server or Tableau Online from Tableau Prep Builder, use Tableau Prep Builder version 2019.1.2 or later. For information about how to install Tableau Prep Builder, see Install Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder from the User Interface(Link opens in a new window).

Getting to know the flow workspace

After you publish your flow you can schedule tasks in Tableau Server or Tableau Online to automatically run your flow on a regular basis to keep your output data fresh.

Tableau Prep Conductor leverages much of the same functionality for managing flows that you might see when managing workbooks or data sources from Tableau Desktop in Tableau Server or Tableau Online. For example, just like extract refreshes, scheduled flow tasks and on-demand flow runs are queued as background tasks. But when it comes to working with flows, there are a few differences.

Flow Overview page

The flow Overview page is the main landing page where you can view data about your flow and schedule, monitor, and maintain the flow. If you don't have the Data Management Add-on, you will have different options.

Open the flow Overview page by clicking on a flow in your list. You can navigate there from Content > Explore > All Flows or by opening the project that contains your flows.

  1. The header lists the name of the flow, the flow owner and the date that the flow was last modified. Starting in version 2020.4, click Edit to edit existing flows.

    Add a flow to your favorites, or from the More actionsmenu you can also edit, run, download the flow, set permissions, change the flow owner, restore previous flow versions, and more.

  2. View and edit the flow description and set tags to help others find the flows they are looking for.

  3. View the output steps for a flow along with the status of the last update, any schedule the output is assigned to, and any errors from the last flow run. You can also click the Runbutton to run all output steps or individual output steps on-demand.

    If the flow has errors, the flow run will fail. Connectivity errors can be resolved directly by navigating to the Connections tab for the flow and editing the input connections. To resolve any other flow errors, edit the flow then republish it and try running the flow again. If you are using an earlier version of Tableau Prep Builder, from the More actionsmenu, you can also download and open the flow in Tableau Prep Builder, then republish it and try running the flow again.

    After a flow has run successfully, outputs that are data sources become links that you can click to open the Data Source page to view more information about the data source or edit the flow input connection.

    In the Schedule field, view the scheduled tasks that the output step is assigned to. A flow output can be assigned to one or more tasks.

    If no schedule has been assigned yet, click Create new task to add the output step to a schedule. To immediately run the flow to update a specific output step, click the Runbutton on the left-hand side of the row.

  4. View an image of the flow.

Flow Overview page without the Data Management Add-on

If you don't have the Data Management Add-on installed on your server, you can still publish flows to Tableau Server and Tableau Online, but you will see fewer options to manage your flow.

Flow Connections page

View both the input and output locations for a flow, connection types, authentication settings, input and output steps and any connectivity errors. You can set authentication settings when publishing a flow. For more information, see Publish a flow from Tableau Prep Builder(Link opens in a new window).

For database input types, click the More actions menu for an input connection to edit the connection and change the server name, port, user name and password.

Flow Scheduled Tasks page (Data Management Add-on required)

View any schedules that the flow is assigned to and the outputs that are included in those schedules. Click the schedule link at the top of the task card to open the Schedules page and see a list of flows that are assigned to that schedule. For more information about assigning flows to a schedule, see Schedule a Flow Task(Link opens in a new window).

You can also add new tasks or manage existing ones from this page. To take action on an existing task, select the check box on a task card then click the Actions drop-down menu to run, edit, or delete the task.

In Tableau Server, if the flow fails to run after a configured number of consecutive attempts, the flow is automatically suspended. In Tableau Online, if a flow task fails to run after 5 consecutive attempts, the flow is automatically suspended.

You can see that status on the Overview tab as well as this tab. You can resume suspended tasks from this menu.

For information about how to set the threshold for suspended flow tasks, see Step 5: Optional Server Configurations(Link opens in a new window). For more information about suspended flow tasks, see View and resolve errors.

Schedules page

On the Schedules page, you can view the flows assigned to a schedule and the details about the flow runs. You can run the schedule on-demand and run all flows assigned to it. You can also select one or more flows, then use the Actions menu to change the flow schedule or priority, delete selected flows from the schedule or resume suspended flows.

For information about how to set up a schedule, see Step 3: Create Schedules for Flow Tasks(Link opens in a new window).

Flow Run History (Data Management Add-on required)

See, search, and sort through a list of historical runs for a flow. This page also includes details about the flow run such as run type, duration and number of rows that were generated.

If the flow output has an error, hover over the error to view the messages. If applicable, click the Go to Connections link in the error message to navigate to the Connections page to fix connectivity errors. You can also edit the flow directly to fix any errors, or click Download the flow to download and fix flow errors in Tableau Prep Builder, then republish the flow to continue to manage it using Tableau Prep Conductor.

Note: The run history for a flow will persist unless the flow is deleted.

Flow Revision History

If you need to revert a flow to a previous version, from the More actions menu for the flow, select Revision History. On the Revision History dialog, select the flow version from the list that you want to revert to.

Who can do this

Server Administrators can activate Data Management Add-on license keys.

Server administrators can enable Tableau Prep Conductor.

Creators can create, edit, and run flows manually. If the Data Management Add-on is installed, creators can run flows on a schedule.

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