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 2021.1

User

New features and enhancements related to web authoring and interacting with views on the web are listed in What's New Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring(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

Integration of Einstein Discovery Predictions

Beginning with version 2021.1, you can integrate predictions directly into Tableau views and dashboards using models deployed by Einstein Discovery in Salesforce. For an introduction to Einstein Discovery in Tableau, see Integrate predictions from Einstein Discovery into Tableau in What's New in Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring help. Also 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).

To use Einstein Discovery predictions on Tableau Server, some server configuration is required. For more details, see Configure Einstein Discovery Integration. For information on required licenses, access, and permissions in Salesforce and Tableau, see Requirements for access(Link opens in a new window).

For information on how to configure and use Einstein Discovery predictions in workbooks and dashboards, see Integrate Einstein Discovery Predictions in Tableau(Link opens in a new window) in Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring help.

Server authorization-to-run (ATR) service

Server authorization-to-run (ATR) enables you to activate Tableau Server in any cloud, container, or virtual environment without being impacted by underlying hardware changes that lead to maximum activation errors. For more information, see Activate Tableau Server using the authorization-to-run (ATR) service(Link opens in a new window).

Zero downtime licensing

With zero downtime licensing, you can apply most licensing changes to Tableau Server without needing to restart when license end dates, capacity, or installed features change. For more information, see Zero downtime licensing(Link opens in a new window).

Specify ports that should not be used during dynamic port allocation

Use the new configuration key ports.blocklist to specify ports in the dynamically assigned range that should not be used by Tableau. Setting this key with specific ports will cause Tableau Server to not use the ports when dynamically assigning ports on start up. For more information, see Blocking specific ports within the range.

Block ingestion of complex content

Use the tsm configuration set command option metadata.ingestor.blocklist to troubleshoot content ingestion issues with Catalog or Metadata API. For more information, see metadata.ingestor.blocklist.

Use personal access tokens for admin impersonation

Beginning with version 2021.1, you can enable Tableau Server personal access token impersonation. In this scenario, access tokens that are created by server administrators can be used for user impersonation when using the Tableau Server REST API. See Server administrator impersonation .

StartTLS encryption method supported for LDAP connections to AD

Beginning with Tableau Server on Linux 2021.1, StartTLS is the default method for simple bind LDAP connections to Active directory. The StartTLS method works by establishing an insecure connection with the Active Directory server. After a client-server negotiation, the connection is upgraded to a TLS encrypted connection. This scenario requires a valid TLS certificate on Tableau Server. See Configure Encrypted Channel to LDAP External Identity Store.

Backup performance improvements

Beginning with version 2021.1, you can increase the number of threads the tsm maintenance backup command uses. This can significantly improve performance if your hardware supports it. Our testing suggests that you should limit the number of threads to the number of virtual processors on the computer, up to a recommended maximum of four. For more information about backing up Tableau Server, see Back up Tableau Server data.

New Server Process - Content Exploration Service

Beginning with version 2021.1, a new server process has been added to enhance the searching and navigation capabilities in Tableau Server. The new process is called the Content Exploration Service. For more information on what this service does, and guidance on how to configure this process for multi-node installations, see Tableau Server Content Exploration Service.

Redesigned notifications center now includes notifications for sharing and comments

Users can now see notifications for new comments and shares by selecting the bell icon in the top right corner of their Tableau site. The redesigned notification center also displays updates for flows and extract jobs. Users can also control where they receive notifications in their Account Settings—directly in Tableau, by email, or both. To configure notifications for all site users, turn on notifications in Settings under Manage Notifications. For settings information, see Site Settings Reference. For more information on this change, see Changed in 2021.1.

Add-ons

Azure Key Vault - part of the Server Management Add-on

Tableau Server can use an Azure Key Vault as a Key Management System (KMS) beginning with version 2021.1. This requires the separately licensed Server Management Add-on for Tableau Server. For more information, see Azure Key Vault.

External File Store and External Repository- part of the Server Management Add-on

Enhanced snapshot backup - If you have both External File Store and External Repository configured for your Tableau Server, you now have additional options to manage backup and restore of your Tableau Server data. For more information, see Backup and Restore with External File Store.

Note: Beginning with Tableau Sever 2021.1, if you have both External File Store and External Repository enabled, Tableau Server Backup process no longer includes creating a backup file of the repository by default. If you are upgrading from a version earlier than 2021.1, and you have scripts to run or schedule your backups, and want to continue to include the repository backup, see Option 1: Include Repository in the Backup .

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

  1. Performance improvements- The Resource Monitoring Tool can now provide real-time performance reporting for a Tableau Server deployment serving up to 5,500 views per hour.
  2. Filters - New filter options are available in the web interface to improve navigation and help explore event monitoring.
  3. SSL configuration for Tableau Server Repository - You can now configure secure encrypted communications between Resource Monitoring Tool and Tableau Server Repository database. For more information, see Encrypted Data Collection.

Tableau Catalog- part of the Data Management Add-on

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.

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

Changed in 2021.1

Version 2021.1 includes the following changes you should know about before upgrading.

Change in default behavior for snapshot backups

Note: If you have both External File Store and External Repository enabled and use scripts to do backups, this can potentially result in not having a backup of the repository.

Beginning with Tableau Sever 2021.1, if you have both External File Store and External Repository enabled, Tableau Server backup process no longer includes creating a backup file of the repository by default. If you are upgrading from a version earlier than 2021.1, and you have scripts to run or schedule your backups, and want to continue to include the repository backup, see Option 1: Include Repository in the Backup .

SHA-256 hash algorithm enforced for SAML assertions with IdP

Beginning with Tableau Sever 2021.1, Tableau Server will hash message signatures and digests with SHA-256 in SAML assertions to the IdP. To change this behavior, see wgserver.saml.sha256.

New SAML configuration keys

Beginning with Tableau Sever 2021.1, Tableau Server includes three new SAML configuration keys:

  • wgserver.saml.blocklisted_digest_algorithms:Specifies the digest algorithms that are not allowed as part of certificates used in SAML configuration or for signing SAML assertions. When set, assertions that are signed with a blocklisted algorithm will fail and certificates containing a blocklisted digest algorithm will fail. We recommend blocking the SHA-1(SHA1) algorithm. Before blocking SHA-1, confirme that your SAML certificates digest algorithms are not SHA-1, and that your SAML idP does not sign messages with SHA-1.

  • wgserver.saml.min.allowed.elliptic_curve_size: Specifies the minimum elliptic curve size required for ECDSA certificates that uploaded and configured for Tableau Server. If Tableau Server is configured with an ECDSA certificate that does not satisfy this minimum curve size, Tableau Server may go into a degraded state. If you attempt to upload a certificate that does not meet the minimum curve size, Tableau Server will reject the certificate. We recommend a minimum curve size of 256.

  • wgserver.saml.min.allowed.rsa_key_size: Specifies the minimum key size that required for RSA certificates that are uploaded and configured for Tableau Server. If Tableau Server is configured with an RSA certificate that does not satisfy this minimum key size, Tableau Server may go into a degraded state. If you attempt to upload a certificate that does not meet the minimum key size, Tableau Server will reject the certificate. . We recommend a minimum key size of 2048.

In future releases of Tableau Server, these keys will be configured with secure minimum defaults, as specified in the recommendations above. In future releases, if your SAML configuration is not configured with the minimum requirements, SAML functionality or upgrade may fail. In the meantime, we recommend that you update your SAML configuration to be in compliance with the recommendations above.

Client and CA certificates used for mutual SSL must meet minimum security requirements

Beginning with Tableau Server 2021.1, Tableau Server configured for mutual SSL authentication will enforce secure certificate requirements.

Client and certificate authority (CA) certificates used for mutual SSL must either have an RSA key strength of 2048, or ECDSA curve size of 256.

Tableau Server will fail mutual authentication requests from client certificates that do not meet these requirements.

Additionally, upgrade of Tableau Server will fail if the certificate authority (CA) certificate that is configured for mutual SSL does not meet these requirements.

Improvements to JVM maximum heap size scaling for Tableau Catalog ingestion and elastic server

Beginning with Tableau Sever 2021.1, JVM maximum heap size scales automatically for Catalog ingestion and elastic server. For more information, see noninteractivecontainer.vmopts and elasticserver.vmopts.

Old notifications do not appear in new notifications center

When you upgrade to Tableau Server 2021.1, old notifications will not appear in the new notifications center. All existing email notifications will continue. To continue tracking older notifications, make sure the server setting for Notifications for Extract Jobs and Flow Runs is enabled before upgrading. For more information, see Redesigned notifications center now includes notifications for sharing and comments.

 

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