Tableau Prep on the Web

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Tableau Prep now supports web authoring for flows. Starting in version 2020.4.1, you can create flows to clean and prepare your data using either 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. However, the Data Management add-on is only required if you want to run your flows on a schedule using Tableau Prep Conductor.

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) in the Tableau Server help.

  • 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 in Tableau Server and Tableau Online.
  • 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.

On Tableau Server, administrators can fine-tune the configuration of the Tableau Prep Flow Authoring processes. For more information, see Tableau Prep Flow Authoring.

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. For more information, see tsm configuration set Options(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Server help.
  • In Tableau Online, the number of flow runs you can perform in a day is also limited by the site administrator. For more information, see Tableau Online Site Capacity(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Online help.

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 Tableau Prep Builder Tableau Server Tableau Online
Connect to Data*
Build and Organize your Flow
Set your data sample size**
Union files and database tables in the Input step***
Clean and Shape Data
Aggregate, Join, or Union Data
Use R and Python scripts in your flow ****
Create reusable flow steps (version 2019.3.2 and later)
Automatically save your flows on the web Not Applicable
Automatic file recovery Not Applicable Not Applicable
View flow output in Tableau Desktop
Create an extract to a file
Create a published data source
Save flow output data to external databases
Add Einstein Discovery Predictions to your flow

* 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 .

Publishing flows and embedding credentials

Whether you are publishing flows from Tableau Prep Builder to Tableau Server or Tableau Online or publishing a new or edited flow on the web, you have the option to embed credentials for database connections. Embedding your credentials enables flows that include database connections to run seamlessly on the server without requiring manual intervention.

Note: Embedding credentials only applies to running published flows on your server. You will still manually need to enter your credentials when editing a flow connected to a database in either Tableau Prep Builder or on the web.

When creating or editing flows on the web, you must first publish a flow before you can run it to generate your flow output for your data analysis. During publish, you can choose to embed your credentials for your database connections. By default credentials are not embedded.

You can also change your credential option from the top menu under File > Connection Credentials. For more information, see Publish a flow in web authoring.

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