What's New and Changed in Tableau Server

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

This topic lists all the new features and product changes for the latest release.

New in version 2020.4

User

New features and enhancements related to web authoring and interacting with views on the web are listed in What's New in Tableau for Users(Link opens in a new window) and Web Authoring and Tableau Desktop Feature Comparison(Link opens in a new window). For topics related to web authoring and interacting with views, see Using Tableau on the Web(Link opens in a new window).

Server or site administrator

Enable and configure Catalogue or Metadata API indexing limits for content

Use the following tsm configuration set command options to enable and configure Catalogue or Metadata API indexing limits, also called event throttling, for new and updated content across all sites:

Activate and register multiple product keys

Beginning with version 2020.4.0, you can activate and register multiple product keys during installation. Tableau Services Manager checks licensing levels (cores versus product keys) and licence types (creators versus explorers and viewers) to ensure the installation can be completed due to licensing. You can apply additional product key(s) to Tableau Server if necessary, to achieve the desired number or creator, explorer and viewer seats, cores and features to accommodate user capacity. For more information, see Activate and Register Tableau Server.

Configure Tableau Server for offline maps

Beginning with version 2020.4.0, you can configure Tableau Server to use offline maps that are installed with Tableau. To do this, set the vizqlserver.force_maps_to_offline configuration key to true and apply pending changes. For more information, see Displaying Maps in an Air-Gapped Environment.

Turn off Web Page objects

To prevent Web Page objects in dashboards from displaying target URLs, do either of the following:

  • For a specific site, deselect Enable Web Page Objects in the site settings.
  • For an entire server, set the vizqlserver.web_page_objects_enabledconfiguration key to false.

Improved control of extract query workloads

You can now fine tune extract query workload management in a multi-node deployment by using the new node role, extract-queries-interactive. For more information, see Workload Management through Node Roles. To use this feature, you must have a valid Server Management Add-on licence activated on your Tableau Server.

Automatic configuration of query cache size

The size of the query cache is now automatically set based on the amount of available system memory. This improves the number of query results that will fit into the cache by default. For more information, see General Performance Guidelines.

The default query cache settings are suitable for most situations but it is possible to manually configure them using the TSM command line interface. The TSM settings are: native_api.InitializeQueryCacheSizeBasedOnWeights, native_api.QueryCacheMaxAllowedMB, native_api.LogicalQueryCacheMaxAllowedWeight, native_api.MetadataQueryCachMaxAllowedWeight, native_api.NativeQueryCacheMaxAllowedWeight and native_api.QueryCacheEntryMaxAllowedInPercent. For more information, see native_api.InitializeQueryCacheSizeBasedOnWeights.

Custom sign in note appears for server sign in errors

In 2020.4, sign in page notes added to the Sign In Customisation setting will also appear when a user receives a sign in error, such as when a user attempts to log in with SSO (SAML, Site SAML and Open ID). Server administrators can use this note to help users understand how to get a licence or why they can’t access a site. For more information, see Customise Your Server. For more information, see Customise Your Server.

The 2020.4 release adds some new processes to Tableau Server. The Tableau Prep Flow Authoring (floweditor) and Tableau Prep Flow Service (flowqueryservice) processes now appear on the TSM Status page and in the output of the TSM command tsm status -v. For more information, see Tableau Server Processes.

Ask Data Usage and Adoption admin view

You can now see how users engage with Ask Data on a site, using the new Ask Data Usage admin view. The dashboard highlights the top Ask Data users, data sources and data source owners, along with headline value metrics. For more information, see Ask Data Usage.

New tsm schedules commands

Version 2020.4.0 introduces new commands for managing scheduled jobs. For this first release you are limited to using the tsm schedules commands with backup jobs, but our intent is to expand the scope of these commands in future releases of Tableau Server. For more information, see Scheduling and Managing Backups, tsm schedules, and tsm maintenance backup.

Checkpoint upgrades

Enhancements to the upgrade-tsm script give server administrators more options when faced with a failed upgrade. For more information, see "Changed in 2020.4" below.

Additional dynamically configurable keys for logging

Dynamic configuration was introduced in version 2020.2, and version 2020.3 added dynamically configurable logging options to those made available in 2020.2.0. Version 2020.4 continues to build on this with two new keys. When you make configuration changes with these keys, or configuration changes with these keys in combination with Tableau Server Dynamic Topology Changes, you do not have to restart Tableau Server.

New dynamically configurable keys in 2020.4:

  • tomcatcontainer.log.level
  • vizportal.log.level

For details viewing dynamically configurable keys, see tsm configuration list-dynamic-keys. For more information about the introduction of dynamic configuration in version 2020.2, see Dynamic Configuration. For more on changing logging levels, see Change Logging Levels.

Create extracts on the web

Now you can create extracts directly in web authoring, without using Tableau Desktop. For more information, see Create Extracts on the Web. You can extract new workbooks in addition to existing workbooks. Optionally, the extract creation can run in the background and you can be notified when it's completed. This will let you close your authoring session while the extract is being created, which can be helpful with large extracts that might take a long time.

Create and interact with flows on the web

You can now create flows to clean and prepare your data using either Tableau Prep Builder, Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Connect to your data, build a new flow or edit an existing flow and your work is automatically saved every few seconds as you go. Create draft flows that are only available to you or publish your flow to make it available for others. Run your individual flows right from the web or run your flows automatically on a schedule using Tableau Prep Conductor if you have the Data Management Add-on. For more information, see Create and Interact with Flows on the Web.

Add-ons

Tableau Resource Monitoring Tool updates- part of the Server Management Add-on

Resource Monitoring Tool is included in the separately licensed Server Management Add-on for Tableau Server. For more information, see Get Started with Tableau Resource Monitoring Tool.

The following features are included in this release:

Linux Support - Resource Monitoring ToolMaster Server and Agents can now be installed on Linux platform. For more information, see Install the Tableau Resource Monitoring Tool.

SSL Certificates - You can now use a locally imported SSL Certificates.

Agent OS Detection - Master Server can detect the OS that each Agent is installed on and will list it in the web interface. For more information, see Install the Tableau Resource Monitoring Tool.

Tableau Server External Repository- part of the Server Management Add-on

Tableau External Repository is included in a separately licensed Server Management Add-on for Tableau Server. For more information, see Tableau Server External Repository.

Azure Support - You can now configure Tableau Server External Repository on Azure Database. For more information, see Create a Azure Database PostgreSQL Instance on Azure.

Upgrade - If you have External Repository configured, before upgrading your Tableau Server to 2020.4, you must make sure you are using PostgreSQL version 12 or later. For more information, see Upgrade Tableau Server with External Repository for a New Major Version of PostgreSQL.

Tableau Catalogue updates – part of the Data Management Add-on

Tableau Catalogue is included in the separately licensed Data Management Add-on for Tableau Server and Tableau Online. For more information, see About Tableau Catalogue.

The following features are included in this release:

Data Quality Warning History admin view - Site administrators can see how data quality warnings are being used on the site using the pre-built admin view, Data Quality Warning History. For more information see Data Quality Warning History.

See quality warning details in Tableau Desktop - Tableau Desktop users can hover over the warning icon on the Data tab to see details about the data quality warnings affecting the data in their workbook. For more information, see Set a Data Quality Warning.

Metrics appear in lineage and show data quality warnings - Data quality warnings now appear on metrics affected by a warning. Metrics also appear in the Lineage tool, enabling you to see how a metric might be affected by data changes when performing impact analysis. For more information, see Create and Troubleshoot Metrics.

Tableau Prep Conductor updates - part of the Data Management Add-on

Now, the Data Management Add-on is only needed to schedule and monitor flows with Tableau Prep Conductor. Other flow-related tasks no longer require you to licence the add-on. For more information, see Tableau Prep Conductor.

Changed in 2020.4

Version 2020.4 includes the following changes you should know about before upgrading.

SHA1 certificates disabled for SSL mutual authentication

Beginning with Tableau Server 2020.4, Tableau Server configured for mutual SSL authentication will block authentication of users with client certificates that use the SHA-1 signing algorithm.

Users who attempt to log in with SHA-1 client certificates encounter an "Unable to sign in" error, and the following error will be visible in the VizPortal logs:

Unsupported client certificate signature detected: [certificate Signature Algorithm name]

If the clients in your organisation are connecting to Tableau Server using SSL mutual authentication and the clients are using certificates with the SHA-1 signing algorithm, then you must perform one of the following actions before upgrading:

  • Update the certificates used by your clients. The certificates must use the SHA-256 (or stronger) signing algorithm, or
  • Disable the SHA-1 blocklist before upgrading to Tableau Server 2020.4. To disable the blocking functionality, run the following TSM commands before you upgrade:
    tsm configuration set -k "ssl.client_certificate_login.blocklisted_signature_algorithms" -v ""

    Note that the value (-v) includes an empty set of quotes to specify a null value.

    For more information about how to reset this value after you have updated client certificates, see the Knowledge Base article, Mutual SSL Fails After Upgrading if Certificates Signed with SHA-1(Link opens in a new window).

For more information about why this change has been implemented, see the Tableau Community post, Retiring Default Support for SHA-1 Signed Certificates Used During Mutual SSL Authentication in Customer-Managed Tableau Server 2020.4(Link opens in a new window), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology policy statement, NIST Policy on Hash Functions(Link opens in a new window).

CPU requirement update

Beginning with version 2020.4, Tableau Server requires all nodes to have CPUs that support SSE4.2 and POPCNT instruction sets. These CPUs have been common for more than 10 years and are installed on most newer computers. If you attempt to install or upgrade Tableau on a computer that does not support these instruction sets, the installer will not allow you to continue.

Checkpoint Upgrade for Tableau Server

Version 2020.4 of Tableau Server includes updates to the upgrade-tsm script that give you the ability to rerun the script when an upgrade fails. The script keeps track of successful progress, and when you rerun the script after an upgrade failure, restarts at the latest successful "checkpoint". This saves time because successful steps do not need to be repeated on rerunning the script. As a first troubleshooting step, rerun the upgrade-tsm script. Doing this can result in a successful upgrade if a momentary environmental problem or timing issue caused the initial failure.

Checkpoint upgrades also give experienced IT professionals the option to further troubleshoot the failure, and make corrections (for example, if there is a problem with disk space, or a permissions issue on a particular file or directory) before rerunning the upgrade script. For troubleshooting details, see Upgrade fails on 2020.4.0 or later.

Upgrades from 10.5 must be done in stages

Beginning with version 2020.4, version 10.5 of Tableau Server on Linux is no longer officially supported. This means you cannot upgrade directly from 10.5.x to version 2020.4.0 or later. To upgrade from version 10.5.x you must first upgrade to a version between 2018.1 and 2020.3, and then upgrade to the newest version. For instructions on upgrading from 10.5, see Upgrade Tableau Server on Linux from 10.5.

postgreSQL upgrade

Version 2020.4 of Tableau Server includes a major-version update of the postgreSQL database used for the Tableau repository. During the upgrade a temporary pgsql-only backup is created and this increases the length of time the upgrade takes as well as the amount of temporary disk space used.

If you have External Repository configured, before upgrading your Tableau Server to 2020.4, you must make sure you are using PostgreSQL version 12 or later. For more information, see Upgrade Tableau Server with External Repository for a New Major Version of PostgreSQL

Visual improvements to user, group, and site dialogs

The 2020.4 release adds visual updates to administrator menus and dialogs to make managing users, groups and sites easier in Tableau Server.

Changes to default JVM heap size for Tableau Catalogue ingestion

Beginning with Tableau Server 2020.4, the default JVM heap size for Catalogue ingestion is determined by and then scales based on system memory. To review the default values for Catalogue ingestion, see noninteractivecontainer.vmopts.

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