Managing Background Jobs in Tableau Server

In Tableau Server, users can schedule extract refreshes, subscriptions, or flows to run periodically. These scheduled items are referred to as Tasks. The Backgrounder process initiates unique instances of these tasks to run them at the scheduled time. The unique instances of the tasks that are initiated as a result are referred to as Jobs. Jobs are also created for runs that are initiated manually, by clicking the Run Now option in the web interface, programmatically through REST API, or tabcmd commands.

For example, an extract refresh task is created to run daily at 9 AM. This is an extract refresh task, and every day at 9 AM, a job will be created for the Backgrounder to run. In addition to user-generated jobs, the Backgrounder also does a number of System jobs on behalf of the user to support general Tableau work flows, such as thumbnail generation.

Running all these jobs can mean that Backgrounder uses a lot of resources at various times during the day. Using the Job Management feature, Server and Site administrators can get more details on these jobs that happen in their Server or Site, and take action on those jobs to better manage server resource usage. System jobs are only viewable by Server administrators, and by default are filtered out..

The Run Now settings on the General settings page also allows you to manage your resources by either allowing or blocking users from running jobs manually. By default, this option is selected to allow users to run jobs manually. Clear the check box to prevent users from running jobs manually. To learn more about managing Backgrounder resources, see Tableau Server Backgrounder Process.

The Jobs page which contains the information about jobs can be accessed by navigating to the Existing Tasks menu of the left navigation menu.

Information about jobs can only be viewed by Server and Site administrators.

Overview

This topic describes how to view and understand the information displayed in the Jobs page.

At the top of the page there are high level statistics for the number of Failed, Completed, and Cancelled jobs within the past 24 hours. For Server administrators, this also includes System jobs. Applying filters do not change these values.

For each job generated, there is a Job ID, the status of that job, the priority, the type of task that the job was generated from, the current run time - if the job is in-progress, current queue time - if queued, as well as the average run time, and average queue time. Tableau records historical run and queue times to compute the average run time and average queue time.

The Job ID can be useful when viewing jobs on Admin views and can also be used to query the Workgroups Database. When you click on the Job ID, you will see more detailed information about the job, such as the Job LUID, the project name, the schedule , the content name, content owner, job creator, the last time the job ran successfully, and the site name. The site name is displayed if you navigate to the Jobs page using the Manage All Sites menu.

 

Note: Doing a Refresh Now from the Data Sources page will only show the LUID information in the Job Details dialog box.

 

Important! Jobs that existed 24 hours or newer before an upgrade to Tableau Server 2019.4 will not have data for Average Queue Time, Average Run Time, Last Successful Run Time, and Job Creator on the Jobs page.

Task Types

There are five types of tasks:

  • Extracts: This includes extract creation, incremental extract refreshes, and full extract refreshes. For more information on extract refreshes, see Quick Start: Refresh Extracts on a Schedule.

  • Subscriptions: For more information, see Set Up a Site for Subscriptions.

  • Flow: For more information, see Schedule a Flow Task.

  • Encryption: Includes the following:

    • Extract encryption and decryption
    • Flow encryption and decryption
    • Re-key extracts and flows
  • System: This is all system Jobs that the Backgrounder handles behind the scenes to support Tableau Server.

Filters

You can filter to see only certain jobs. The available filters are by Job Status type, Task Type, and Time Range. For the Time Range filter, you can choose from past one to 24 hours, in four hour increments. The option to filter in System Jobs is available if you are a Server Administrator.

Canceling Jobs

Extract refreshes, subscriptions and flow run jobs can be canceled. You can only cancel one job at a time, and selecting multiple jobs at one time for cancellation is not supported.

When you cancel a job, an email with the time the job was canceled, the affected content, and the time the job ran before being canceled is sent to the recipients that you select in the Cancel Job dialog box . In addition you can add your customized notes to be included in the email.

If you do not select any recipients, the job will be canceled, but no email will be sent.

 

To cancel a job, click on the ellipses next to the Job ID and use the dialog to cancel the job:

Status

There are seven types of status that jobs can be in, and hovering over each status will display more relevant information.

  • Completed: This job shows as Completed successfully and you can see the time when the job completed in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • In Progress: This job shows as In Progress. A time for how long the job has been running for is displayed in the tooltip when you hover over the status.

  • In Progress: This job is In Progress, but is running late. Tableau keeps track of the average run times for the same job, and if the current run time is longer than the average run time, then it is considered running late. Times for how much longer than average the job has been running and its average run time is provided in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • Pending: This job is currently Pending, waiting to be run when there is available Backgrounder capacity. A time for how long the job has been in the queue for is provided in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • Pending: This job is currently Pending, but is running late. Tableau keeps track of the average queue times for the same job, and if the current queue time is longer than the average queue time then it is considered running late. Times for how much longer than average the job has been queued is provided in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • Cancelled: This job was Cancelled by a Server or Site administrator. The time the job was cancelled and how long it ran for before cancellation is provided in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • Failed: This job is showing as Failed. The time when the job failed, how long it ran for before it failed, and why the job has failed is provided in the tooltip that is displayed when you hover over the status.

  • Suspended: This job is showing as Failed with a pause icon. If the job fails 5 times consecutively, then the job is suspended. Suspended tasks are still available but Backgrounder will not create jobs for these tasks until they are resumed by the user.

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