Tableau Server External Repository

Starting in 2019.3, you can deploy Tableau Server Repository to Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).  The Tableau Server Repository is a PostgreSQL database that stores data about all user interactions, extract refreshes, and more. For more information about what Tableau Server Repository is in general, see:

Tableau Server can now be configured in two ways:

Local repository:  The PostgreSQL Database is installed and deployed locally, meaning it is deployed along with Tableau Server.  This is what is available all the versions of Tableau Server previous to version 2019.3.

External repository:  The PostgreSQL Database is deployed externally.  In this release, deploying the repository to Amazon RDS PostgreSQL DB instance is supported.

This topic and the information detailed in this topic is about Tableau Server external repository.

External Repository Considerations

Amazon RDS offers scalability, reliability, high availability and security built-in for PostgreSQL. By integrating with AWS to configure Tableau Server external repository, you will be able to take advantage of these additional benefits of deploying the cloud.


  • Your Tableau Server must be installed and running on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Your Tableau Server must be using version 2019.3 or later.

  • Your Tableau Server must have the Server Management Add-on keys activated.

  • Familiarity with Amazon RDS setup and management.

Managing the External Repository

License Management

To configure an external Tableau Server Repository, you must first enable this feature using Server Management Add-onproduct keys. For more information, see About Tableau Server Management Add-on. If you don’t have the Server Management Add-on keys activated or if the licenses is expired, you will see the following behavior:

  • If you try to configure Tableau Server to use external repository during installation, you will see an error message, but you will be able to continue the installation and Tableau Server Repository will be installed locally.  For single server installations, the repository is installed on the same machine as Tableau Server.  For multi-node installations, the repository is installed on one of the nodes of your Tableau Server cluster.

  • If you are already using an external Tableau Server Repository on your Tableau Server installation, and the Server Management Add-on license expires, the server will fail on restart.  If you no longer have a valid Server Management Add-on license, but have a valid Tableau Server license, you will still be able to create a backup.  You can also migrate the external repository to local repository which does not require the Server Management Add-on license, to get your server up and running again.  For more information on how to migrate from external repository to local repository, see Re-Configure Tableau Server Repository.

Supported Migration Scenarios

  • Moving your repository from local to Amazon RDS

  • Moving your repository from Amazon RDS to local

Backup and Restore

The backup and restore process remains is the same for both local and external repository and as described in the Back up Tableau Server data  topic.

  • The backup and restore commands work in the same manner for both local and external repository.  Backup in the case where Tableau Server uses external repository requires more disk space for backup, so you should keep that in mind when configuring your disk space.

  • The default and other supported locations for storing the backup file are the same whether it the repository is local or external.

The following exceptions apply to Tableau Servers using external repository:

  • Any custom user accounts that are created in the external Tableau Server repository will be included in the restore, but the passwords for the custom user accounts will not be.  The passwords will have to be reconfigured after restore is complete. Custom user accounts are PostgreSQL database user accounts, used by SQL or other database client software to connect to the PostgreSQL database.

    Note: These custom accounts will be disabled as a security measure, but this can be reconfigured.

  • Configuration and topology should not be included in the backup.  For more information on how to export configuration and topology settings, see Perform a Full Backup and Restore of Tableau Server.

High Availability Considerations

Tableau Server does not manage or setup high availability for the external repository. Amazon RDS offers high availability features that can be used to provide high availability, manage failover, etc. For more information, see Amazon RDS High Availability.

Monitoring the Status of the Repository

TSM status page will show the Tableau Server external service as an additional node for your Tableau Server installation.

The topology tab indicates whether there are Tableau Server external services configured:

Getting Logs from the RDS Instance

Tableau Server logging and Tableau Server log file snapshot do not include logs from the external repository. For information on setting up logging for your external repository and publishing them, see PostgreSQL Database Log Files.

Next Steps

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