Synchronise External Directory Groups in a Site

At any time, you can synchronise an external directory (such as Active Directory) group with Tableau Server to ensure new users in the external directory are also added in Tableau Server. You can synchronise individual groups or multiple groups at once.

Note: In the context of user and group synchronisation, Tableau Server configured with LDAP identity store is equivalent to Active Directory. Active Directory synchronisation features in Tableau Server function seamlessly with properly configured LDAP directory solutions.

  1. In a site, click Groups.

    On the Groups page, select one or more groups.

  2. Click Actions > Synchronise.

Set the minimum site role for users in an external directory group

In the Groups - Details page, administrators can set the minimum site role for group users to apply during synchronisation.

This setting does not run synchronisation; it sets the minimum site role applied to the group every time synchronisation runs. When you synchronise external directory groups, new users are added to the site with the minimum site role. If a user already exists, the minimum site role will be applied if it gives the user more access in a site. If you don't set a minimum site role, new users are added as Unlicensed by default.

Note: A user's site role can be promoted but never demoted based on the minimum site role setting. If a user already has the ability to publish, that ability will always be maintained. For more information on minimum site role, see Site roles and Active Directory import and synchronisation.

  1. In a site, click Groups.

  2. On the Groups page, select a group, and then select Actions > Minimum Site Role.

  3. Select the minimum site role, and then click Change Site Role.

What happens when users are removed in the source external directory? 

Users cannot be automatically removed from the Tableau Server through an external directory sync operation. Users that are disabled, deleted or removed from groups in the external directory remain on Tableau Server so that administrators can audit and reassign the user's content before removing the user's account completely. For more information, see Sync behaviour when removing users from Active Directory.

What happens when a user name changes in the source external directory

By default, Tableau Server will not synchronise changes to the user display name or email address after the initial synchronisation when the corresponding account is created in Tableau Server. For example, if the user name jsmith is used for the display name John Smith, changing the display name in external directory to Joe Smith will not synchronise to the corresponding jsmith user in Tableau Server. Similarly, if the user's email changes in the external directory, Tableau Server will not synchronise changes.

You can configure Tableau Server to update the name and email properties when they change in the source external directory by setting vizportal.adsync.update_system_user to true.

To change this behaviour run the following tsm commands:

tsm configuration set -k vizportal.adsync.update_system_user -v true
tsm pending-changes apply

If the pending changes require a server restart, the pending-changes apply command will display a prompt to let you know a restart will occur. This prompt displays even if the server is stopped, but in that case, there is no restart. You can suppress the prompt using the --ignore-prompt option, but this does not change the restart behaviour. If the changes do not require a restart, the changes are applied without a prompt. For more information, see tsm pending-changes apply.

What happens when an external directory group is removed from Tableau Server?

Many Tableau administrators use external directory groups to import and create users. After the users are imported into Tableau Server, administrators will then delete the group in Tableau Server. Deleting a group does not delete the users in it.

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