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 2021.3


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

Beginning with version 2021.3 we added a server configuration key that changes the behavior of the Copy Link option when sharing a view to be embedded in a web page.

In version 2019.4 the behavior of this option changed so that it did not include the "embed=y" parameter by default and you had to manually add it if you wanted to embed the view in a web page. This new configuration key allows you to configure Tableau Server so that it behaves as pre-2019.4 versions did and automatically includes the "embed=y" parameter. For more information, see vizportal.alwaysUseEmbeddedShareLinks.

For details about sharing views by embedded them in web pages, see Embed Views into Webpages(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help.

Set new permission capability for metrics

The Create/Refresh Metrics permission capability has been added for workbooks. For more information, see Permission Capabilities and Templates in the Permissions topic.

Prior to 2021.3, the Create/Refresh Metrics capability was controlled by the Download Full Data capability. On workbooks created prior to 2021.3, users who had the Download Full Data capability will have the Create/Refresh Metrics capability.

This new capability provides finer-grained control over your data, allowing you to grant users the ability to create metrics while denying the ability to view or download the full data for the view.

Control access to Explain Data with new site setting and Run Explain Data permission capability

Server administrators can now control the availability of Explain Data in site settings. Prior to 2021.3, the ability to enable or disable Explain Data was controlled at the server level only using the tsm configuration set option ExplainDataEnabled.

Authors can now control the availability of Explain Data at the workbook level using the Run Explain Data permission capability. For more information, see Explain Data in the Permissions topic.

Note: To make Explain Data available in viewing mode, a workbook author must also select the option Allow Explain Data to be used in this workbook when viewed online in the Explain Data Settings dialog box. For more information, see Control Access to Explain Data.

Limit the number of tags per item

A new setting allows you to limit the number of tags that users can add to Tableau content, such as workbooks and metrics, and external assets, such as databases and tables. This setting ensures that tags don’t pose resource consumption problems. When you lower the tag limit, it prevents new tags from being added above the limit, but it doesn’t remove existing tags on items in excess of the limit. For more information, see Site Settings Reference.

Integrate a Tableau Server site with a Slack workspace

The Tableau for Slack lets Tableau Server administrators connect a Tableau site with a Slack workspace. Once connected, Tableau users can see notifications in Slack when they’re mentioned in a comment, when teammates share content with them, or when data meets a specified threshold in a data-driven alert. For more information, see Integrate Tableau with a Slack workspace.

Manage data freshness

Cached data is great for the performance of live-connection workbooks, but seeing stale cached data in a viz can cause confusion and frustration for workbook users. Now with data freshness policies, you can strike a balance between performance and data freshness. Server administrators can set a default caching policy for all sites on the server, and workbook owners can override the default caching policy by setting data freshness policies for specific workbooks. For more information, see Set a Data Freshness Policy.

New configuration key for changing gateway logging levels

Beginning with version 2021.3 we added a server configuration key, gateway.httpd.loglevel, that allows you to change the logging level for the gateway process (Apache HTTPD) without needing to manually edit the httpd.conf.temp file. For information about the new key, see gateway.httpd.loglevel. For details about changing logging levels, see Change Logging Levels. When changing logging levels, be aware of potential impact to disk space usage and performance. When you have gathered the information you need with a non-default logging level, change the logging back to the default level to minimize impact to Tableau Server.


Tableau Catalog - part of the Data Management Add-on

Inherited descriptions appear in web authoring - When a description for a field exists upstream from the field, it now appears in web authoring with information about where the description is inherited from. For more information, see Describe fields in a published data source(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help.

Assets in personal spaces are indexed - Tableau Catalog indexes assets in personal spaces, but users who browse through the lineage tool see Permissions required instead of information about workbooks in personal spaces.

Data quality warnings appear in subscription emails - Subscription emails can include data quality warnings for workbooks or views if their upstream assets have warnings. For more information, see Data quality warnings in subscriptions.

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

Agent Registration Security Improvements

Improvement include, providing a user name and password during Agent registration, and requiring a bootstrap file that is not older than 24 hours. Registration also requires both port 443 and 5672 to be open during Agent registration. For more information, see Install the Agent Using the Web Interface or Install the Agent Using Command Line.

Session Time Limit

A new option has been added to the Resource Monitoring Tool Server setup to allow configuring the session expiration time. This can be done during initial install of the Resource Monitoring Tool Server in the web interface or through the command line. You can also update this as a post installation task at any time. For more information, see rmtadmin Command Line Utility .

Inclusive Language Update

In an effort to align with our company values of Equality, we have changed non-inclusive terminology, specifically, "Master Server" to "RMT Server" where possible. However, you may continue to see the terms in CLI commands and options and other instances. For more information, see About Tableau Help.

Content Migration Tool - part of the Server Management Add-on

Copy project permissions and ownership settings

Content Migration Tool now includes project options for copying permissions and content ownership settings to the destination location. The migration process will also copy project descriptions and content permission settings by default. For more information, see Migration Plans: Source Projects.

Apply saved credentials for data connections

The Apply Saved Credentials data source transformation allows you to apply saved credentials from your Account Settings page for data connections, making it easier to connect after migration. For more information, see Migration Plans: Workbooks and Migration Plans: Published Data Sources.

Improved user and group mappings

The "User or Group Mapping" has been separated into individual User Mapping and Group Mapping transformations. Mappings now auto-populate a list of domains, users, and groups from the source and destination location to make finding users easier.

Beginning in 2021.3, you can apply user mapping to content permissions, in addition to content ownership of projects, workbooks, and data sources. For more information, see Migration Plans: User Permissions Mapping.

Changed in 2021.3

Version 2021.3 includes the following changes you should know about before upgrading.

Python package is installed with Tableau Server

Beginning with Tableau Server 2021.3, The Tableau Server Setup program installs a Python package. Python will be used by future advanced analytics features. If you cannot or choose not to install Python with Tableau Server, you will not have access to any future features that require Python. For more information on how to opt out of installing the Python package, see the /skippythoninstall switch in Install Switches and Properties for Tableau Server.

Backup behavior changed

Beginning with Tableau Server 2021.3, when you run a backup of Tableau, the backup job skips any files that are newer than the start time of the backup job. This change impacts extract refreshes that run after the backup has begun. These will be skipped during the current backup. Other impacts to customers should be minimal except a reduction of the size of some backup files.

Tableau Server no longer supports Windows Server 12 or Windows Server 12 R2

Beginning with version 2021.3, in keeping with Microsoft's Windows Server support policy, Windows Server 12 and Window Server 12 R2 are no longer supported operating systems for Tableau Server. This change was originally scheduled to begin with version 2021.1 but was delayed until version 2021.3. For details of the announcement, see the Tableau Blog(Link opens in a new window).

For more information about supported versions of Windows, see Operating system requirements.

Tableau Server no longer supports Internet Explorer 11

Beginning with version 2021.3, we are ending our support for Internet Explorer (IE) for accessing Tableau Server. Tableau Server is fully compliant with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. For details of the announcement, see the Tableau Blog(Link opens in a new window).

For more information about supported web browsers supported by Tableau Server, see Tableau Tech Specs(Link opens in a new window).

SP-initiated SLO support for site-specific SAML

In addition to supporting service provider (SP)-initiated single log out (SLO) for server-wide SAML, Tableau Server supports SP-initiated SLO for site-specific SAML beginning with Tableau Server 2021.3. For more information about SAML configuration and requirements, see SAML Requirements.


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