Migrate from Core-Based to Role-Based Licensing

You can migrate Tableau Server from a core-based licence metric (which counts the processor cores on which you have Tableau Server installed) to a role-based licence metric (which counts named users). To learn more about licensing metrics, see Licensing Overview.

Prepare for migration to role-based licensing

Core-based licences allow an unlimited number of users, including view-only guest accounts. Every user has a site role when they are added to Tableau Server, and these users and site roles persist when licensing is changed. Because role-based licences limit the number of users, you should ensure that your new role-based licences accommodate the number of users who are currently connecting to Tableau Server, including the users currently using guest accounts.

Important: If your new role-based licences don't accommodate the full number of users, some users will move to the Unlicensed site role, which can be very CPU intensive. If you have a large number of users, your application server processes may become unavailable until all the users are processed. This operation could take hours to complete, so plan accordingly.

Before you migrate, verify that you have user licences and corresponding product keys to allow all users to access Tableau Server after the migration is complete:

Migrate to role-based licensing

To migrate to role-based licensing you must stop Tableau Server, deactivate the core-based product key, activate the role-based product key(s) and then start Tableau Server. Because this process will result in a restart of Tableau Server and cause downtime for Tableau Server users, you should migrate licensing during a period of low usage.

  1. Stop Tableau Server:

    Use the tsm stop command.

  2. Deactivate the core-based product key(s):

    Use the tsm licenses deactivate command with the core-based product key(s).

  3. Activate the role-based product key(s):

    Use the tsm licenses activate command with the role-based product key(s).

  4. Start Tableau Server:

    Use the tsm start command.

Use role-based licences on a server with core-based licensing

The 2018.1 release of Tableau Server allows you to add Creator role-based licences to Tableau Server installations with existing core-based licensing.

Note: If you upgrade a Tableau Server installation to 2018.1 without activating role-based licences, Tableau Server will continue to operate as it did previously, with no changes to Tableau Server UI or permissions except that the legacy Viewer site role is renamed to Read Only. In version 2018.2, the Read Only site role was deprecated and once again became the Viewer site role.

When Creator licences are introduced to Tableau Server, all Server Administrator users are required to have Creator licence roles, which may require additional licences. Administrators can activate additional Creator licences using the tsm licenses activate command in Tableau Server to increase licensed user capacity. Activating these role-based licences gives you a combination of the capabilities granted by role-based Creator licences and the capabilities granted by your core-based licence. To learn more about the different types of role-based licences, see role-based licences.

Note: The unlimited number of users who have access to Tableau Server under core-based licensing have equivalent capabilities to users with an Explorer licence under role-based licensing. Creator functionality is limited to the defined user licence model(s).

For example, if a Tableau Server installation has a 16 core licence that includes guest access, and you added an Updatable Subscription Licence (USL) product key(s) with 10 Creator licences, that server would have the following capabilities:

  • A limit of 16 processor cores on hardware that runs Tableau Server
  • Guest access
  • Unlimited Explorer/Viewer licences (from the unlimited user licences that come with a core licence)
  • 10 Creator licences

Example of completing a migration from core-based licensing

To extend the example above: If the core-based licence was then deactivated, the following capabilities would be available:

  • No limits on server hardware
  • No guest access
  • 10 Creator licences

If you then added 50 Explorer licences and 200 Viewer licences, after deactivating your core-based licence, the following capabilities would be available:

  • No limits on server hardware
  • No guest access
  • 10 Creator licences
  • 50 Explorer licences
  • 200 Viewer licences
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