Activate Tableau Server Using the Authorization-To-Run (ATR) Service

You can use the Server authorization-to-run (ATR) service to activate Tableau Server deployed in on-premises, cloud, container, or virtual environments without running out of license activations. The ATR service achieves this by providing short-term leases of configurable duration (ATR duration) which ties the license to the device until product key expiration date is met. ATR handles activation capacity tracking so if there is an underlying hardware change, maximum activation errors don't occur. This option is recommended for all Tableau Server installations.

If you are activating Tableau Server online (this is the default), Tableau Server connects to various internet locations for licensing purposes. For more information, see Communicating with the Internet(Link opens in a new window).

If you are activating Tableau Server offline, you can still use ATR service to activate, however there are slight differences in how ATR duration works with offline activations. For more information, see ATR Duration for Offline Activations.

We recommend using the Server authorization-to-run (ATR) service to simplify server licensing. If you chose not to use Server ATR, you will use the legacy licensing technology which does not provide the dynamic management capabilities of Server ATR.

Your choice of activation type will be permanent for this installation of Tableau Server. To change this later, you must backup, remove, and then reinstall Tableau Server.

How Tableau Server ATR works

When ATR service is enabled, Tableau Server periodically contacts a Tableau-hosted authorization-to-run (ATR) service to verify that Tableau is authorized to run, based on its license and the length of the authorization window (ATR duration or lease). As long as this communication is successful, Tableau runs without any impact to the user.

When Tableau Server is activated offline and ATR is enabled, Tableau Server can not periodically contact the ATR service to verify Tableau is authorized to run. Instead, Tableau Server internally tracks the ATR Duration from when the product key was first activated offline.

ATR Duration

By default, an instance of Tableau Server is given a 5 day ATR lease (duration) to successfully contact the ATR service for verification. This means that after the initial authorization, Tableau Server could be used for 5 days without network connection before the activation expired. The authorization checks between Tableau Server and ATR service are attempted regularly, and each time a check is successful, the ATR duration is reset to its full length.

The authorization check frequency varies, and is dependent on the ATR duration:

ATR duration Authorization check frequency
< 4 hours every 15 minutes
< 24 hours every 1 hour
< 7 days every 12 hours
> 7 days every 24 hours

For example: If the ATR duration is 48 hours, Tableau Server will contact the ATR service every 12 hours to complete an authorization check and the ATR duration is reset to 48 hours after each successful authorization check. The ATR duration will then begin to count down to 0 until the next authorization check. If the Tableau Server machine is shut down or there is no internet access, Tableau Server can no longer contact ATR service. If this happens, the ATR duration will not be reset to 48 hours and will continue to count down to 0. If Tableau Server is not started or cannot communicate with the ATR service before the ATR duration reaches 0, the license will expire and you must activate the license again.

Note: You should keep your Tableau Server running as much as possible. If Tableau Server cannot successfully complete an authorization check within the ATR duration period, ATR service will reclaim the license lease and then you'll need to reactivate your license.

To view the ATR duration, see tsm licenses atr-configuration get(Link opens in a new window).

Set or change the Server ATR duration

When using Server authorization-to-run (ATR) to activate Tableau Server, you can change the ATR duration and use a setting different than the default of 432000 seconds (5 days). If you're creating a test server or virtual machine (VM) that will have a short lifespan, you might want to shorten the ATR duration. Similarly, if you have a server that you plan to keep for a long time, you might want to lengthen the ATR duration.

If you start up new VMs frequently, reducing the ATR duration can allow older VMs to release their capacity, allowing it to be used by new VMs. On the other hand, if you increase the ATR duration, renewal cycles will be longer but capacity is not released as often.

To change the ATR duration, you use the tsm licenses atr-configuration set –duration <value_in_seconds> command. For more information, see tsm licenses atr-configuration set(Link opens in a new window).

ATR duration in seconds Minimum Maximum Default
Tableau Server (non-container) 3600 (1 hour) 7776000 (90 days) 432000 (5 days)

To set ATR duration and manually start the Activation Service, run the following commands:

Note: You must run these commands as an administrator from a command prompt. Depending on how your computer is configured, you may need to run them in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator, and then use the following commands.

  2. tsm licenses atr-configuration set -–duration <value_in_seconds>

  3. tsm pending-changes apply

  4. net stop activationservice_0

  5. net start activationservice_0

ATR Duration for Offline Activations

When Tableau Server is activated offline, the ATR duration is set to either one year from the day the product key was activated offline, or to the renewal date of the product key, whichever comes first. Once the ATR duration reaches the set date, the product key will become deactivated. Since Tableau can not communicate with the ATR service in offline environments, there are no authorization checks.

If you use the tsm licenses atr-configuration get command to view the ATR duration for offline activations, the result will be 0, which is expected. To view ATR duration for offline activations, use the ATRDiag -product "Tableau Server" command instead. For more information, see ATRDiag.exe Command Line Reference. In the resulting output, the TTL End date is the date the ATR duration ends.

Updating ATR duration in offline environments

Because authorization checks are not possible in an offline environment, the ATR duration is set to a fixed value as described above. To avoid unplanned Server downtime, be aware of the ATR duration in your installation, and plan to follow these steps to update the ATR duration before it expires:

Move a Server ATR product key to another Tableau Server

If you want to stop using your product key on an existing Tableau Server and use it on a new installation of Tableau Server, you can move your Server ATR product key. You might want to move product keys when:

  • Switching between development or pre-production environments.

  • Moving Tableau Server to upgraded hardware.

  • Moving Tableau Server to cloud infrastructure.

  • Using an ephemeral Tableau Server, such as a virtual machine (VM) or container.

Deactivate a product key for reuse on another Tableau Server

Deactivate a product key in version 2021.4 and later

You can remove product key(s) that were activated using Server ATR when you want to reclaim license capacity from one Tableau Server installation and use it on another. For more information about reclaiming a product key, see Deactivate Product Key.

Deactivate a product key in version 2021.3 and earlier

When ATR service is used to activate a Tableau Server license you cannot manually deactivate the license. You can have one production and two non-production installations per license. If you have unused activations on a license, you can activate the same license on another Tableau Server. If you’re out of activations, you can still activate the license after the ATR lease expires by taking the following steps:

  1. Disable the existing Tableau Server from refreshing its leased activation. You can do this using any of the following methods:

    • Shut down your existing Tableau Server.

    • Uninstall the existing Tableau Server.

    • Disconnect the existing Tableau Server from the Internet by unplugging the ethernet cable or disconnecting wifi.

  2. After the ATR lease expires, you can reuse the license on another Tableau Server.

  3. On the new computer, install Tableau Server.

    When prompted, activate Tableau Server using the same license.

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