What's New in Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring

Browse summaries of new features for the current release.

Tableau Desktop Release Notes(Link opens in a new window) | Known Issues(Link opens in a new window)

New in version 2021.1

Install and Deploy Tableau Desktop

Zero downtime licensing

Starting in Tableau version 2021.1, internet-connected Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder users no longer have to manually refresh product keys. Licenses are automatically refreshed without requiring any action as their subscription approaches expiration. For more information, see Maintain Licenses for Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep.

Amazon Redshift driver no longer installed automatically

Starting in Tableau version 2021.1, Tableau no longer automatically installs the Amazon Redshift driver as part of the product install process. If you need this driver, download it from the Driver Download(Link opens in a new window) page.

Connect to and Prepare Data

Get web authoring support from more Tableau connectors

Tableau web authoring support has expanded to include connectivity using these connectors:

  • Amazon Athena
  • Apache Drill (available for Tableau Server, but not Tableau Online)
  • OData
  • SharePoint Lists
  • Teradata

For a full list of connectors you can use for web authoring in Tableau Online and Tableau Server, see Creators: Connect to data on the web.

Use Tableau connectors with Azure Active Directory authentication

Tableau has enhanced these connectors to include support for authentication via Azure Active Directory:

Snowflake connector supports virtual data warehouses

Beginning with Tableau 2021.1, Tableau automatically uses your default Snowflake virtual warehouse if none is specified. When you create a Snowflake data source, Tableau uses your virtual warehouse. Later, if you publish that data source or a workbook, Tableau uses the default Snowflake virtual warehouse of the person who accesses it. (For more details, see Snowflake.)

New JDBC driver for SAP HANA connector in Windows has arrived

The SAP HANA connector now uses JDBC drivers for Mac, Linux, and Windows. The JDBC driver for Windows is new in Tableau version 2021.1. JDBC drivers for Mac and Linux were introduced with Tableau version 2020.2.

Connect to Anaplan data using certificates

Beginning in February 2021, you can choose to connect to your Anaplan data with a certificate and private key. (For more details, see Anaplan.)

Design Views and Analyze Data

Integrate predictions from Einstein Discovery into Tableau

Previously, you could access Einstein Discovery only in Salesforce. But now you can integrate predictions directly into Tableau views and dashboards using models deployed by Einstein Discovery in Salesforce to combine powerful predictive and visual analytics. For related information in Tableau help, see Integrate Einstein Discovery Predictions in Tableau.

For information on required licenses, access, and permissions in Salesforce and Tableau, see Requirements for access.

For an introduction to Einstein Discovery in Tableau, see the Einstein Discovery in Tableau(Link opens in a new window) page and demo(Link opens in a new window) on tableau.com(Link opens in a new window).

Connect Tableau table calculations to Einstein Discovery predictions

Supported in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server

With Tableau connected to the Einstein Discovery analytics extension, you can embed Einstein Discovery predictions directly in calculated fields. In Salesforce, use Model Manager to auto-generate a Tableau table calculation script, and then paste that script into a calculated field for use in a Tableau workbook.

Script for Tableau table calculation in Einstein Discovery model manager

For more information, see Einstein Discovery in Pass Expressions with Analytics Extensions.

Note: To let users see predictions in published table calculations, Tableau Server administrators need to enable analytics extensions for the site. For more information, see Configure Connection with Analytics Extensions(Link opens in a new window) in Tableau Server help.

Add Einstein Discovery predictions to Tableau dashboards

Supported in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server

With the new Einstein Discovery dashboard extension, as users select marks in a view, they see dynamic updates to predictions and suggestions to improve predicted outcomes. Authors simply drag the Extension object onto the dashboard canvas, select Einstein Discovery from the extensions gallery, and then configure the extension in Tableau. For more information, see Explore Predictions in Tableau with the Einstein Discovery Dashboard Extension.

Add dashboard extensions directly in Tableau

In the past, adding a dashboard extension required you to open a browser and then download and navigate to a file. But now you can quickly add extensions directly in Tableau. Simply drag the Extension object into your dashboard, and then search for and select the desired extension.

For more information, see Use Dashboard Extensions.

Regularization and augmentation supported in predictive modeling functions

In 2020.3, we introduced the MODEL_QUANTILE and MODEL_PERCENTILE table calculation functions, which allow you to leverage the power of a statistical engine to build predictive models. Now in 2021.1, if you're an advanced user, you’ll be able to fine-tune your predictions with two new arguments in your prediction calculations: lambda (or the “regularization parameter”) and augmentation. Lambda is a scalar you can use to adjust the regularization effect on your model. Augmentation allows you to increase the ability of your models to pick up non-linear patterns.

For more information, see How Predictive Modeling Functions Work in Tableau and Regularization and Augmentation in Predictive Modeling.

Create Level of Detail expressions more easily with Quick LODs

Create Level of Detail expressions directly in the Data pane using drag-and-drop or context menus. Quick LODs make it easy to bring a calculation from one table to a different level of detail in another table. Press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac), and then click and drag a measure onto a dimension to automatically create an LOD expression. For more information, see Use a Quick LOD expression.

Prepare, Author, and View Data on the Web

Web authoring now available on Tableau Public

Web authoring has been available on Tableau Online and Tableau Server for years, and you’ve been able to edit existing vizzes on Tableau Public in a browser for some time. But now, you can finally create new visualizations on Tableau Public right in the browser. Simply go to your author profile and click Create a Viz. Then, connect to Excel, CSV, or other text-based data source files to get started. For more information about connecting to data in a browser, see Creators: Connect to data on the web.

Creating a viz in Tableau Public.

Quickly access assistance for Ask Data

When you first navigate to Ask Data, a dialog of helpful tips appears. Data owners see links to all resources pictured below, including unique ones for setting up data and analyzing usage. Data consumers see only the links under "Do More" for Help and the product feedback form, which sends feature requests directly to our development team at Tableau.

To later access the tips again, simply click the "i" to the left of the Ask Data text box.

For more information, see Automatically Build Views with Ask Data.

Exclude values of specific fields from query interpretations in Ask Data

To improve the usability of query interpretations in Ask Data, data source owners can exclude the values of specific fields from indexing. Though Ask Data doesn't add non-indexed values to query interpretations, the values still appear in visualization results when relevant. For example, if you don't index values from a "Product" field because they add unnecessary detail to query interpretations, Ask Data can still display values such as "iPhone 12" in resulting data visualizations.

For more information, see Exclude values of specific fields from query interpretations.

Get notified when animations are paused for a viz

If a viz is particularly complex or uses density marks, it's rendered on the server rather than your device, disabling animations in the browser. Tableau now notifies you about this and suggests that you filter out data, which sometimes simplifies the viz enough for animations to play.

For more information, see Why animations won't play.

Create, rearrange, and preview device-specific layouts on the web

You can now preview and customize what your dashboard will look like across different device types when authoring on the web, including changing the dashboard layout to show differently i. Previously, customers could see and view device-specific views, but couldn’t edit or create new layouts. Create desktop, tablet, or phone layout by right-clicking the device preview area in the Dashboard left pane. For more information, see Create Dashboard Layouts for Different Device Types.

Drag and drop headers on the web

Create a custom sort order by dragging-and-dropping headers to actively reorder columns/rows directly within a view on the web, just like in Tableau Desktop. With a sortable horizontal or vertical header, click to drag and drop the header to a new location within that header set. For more information, see Sort Data in a Visualization.

See connected metrics on a view

When you open the metrics pane on a view, you will now see metrics that have been created from that view. Users with any site role can see connected metrics. Previously, the metrics pane was available only for users with a site role of Creator or Explorer (can publish) to create metrics. For more information, see Create and Troubleshoot Metrics.

View toolbar and metrics connected to the view

Collaborate and Explore with Tableau Online and Tableau Server

Keep track of your data with notifications on the web

Find out when someone comments or shares a view or workbook with you, right in your Tableau site. Select the bell icon in the top right corner to see all your notifications (including updates if you own flows or extracts) and take action. Control where you receive these notifications in your Account Settings--directly in Tableau, by email, or both. For more information, see Tour Your Tableau Site.


Tableau Catalog updates - part of the Data Management Add-on

Tableau Catalog is included in the separately licensed Data Management Add-on for Tableau Server and Tableau Online. For more information about Tableau Catalog, see "About Tableau Catalog" in the Tableau Server or Tableau Online Help.

The following features are included in this release:

Automated data quality warning - You can set Tableau to monitor for extract refresh failures and for flow run failures. When a failure occurs, Tableau generates a data quality warning that displays to users. For more information, see "Set a Data Quality Warning" in the Tableau Server or Tableau Online Help.

Quick search results expanded - Quick search results now include tags on external assets.

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