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 2021.2

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

Multiple analytics extensions in a site

Beginning with version 2021.2, you can now create multiple analytics extensions connections for each site. This means that organizations with different language or connection requirements can use analytics extensions on the same Tableau Server site, with different workbooks using different connections. For more information on analytics extensions, see Configure Connections with Analytics Extensions. Note: As of 2021.2, Einstein Discovery analytics extensions are still limited to one per site.

New Server service - Collections

Beginning with version 2021.2, a new service has been added to support the Collections feature. The new process is called the Collections service. For more information on what this service does, and guidance on how to configure this process for multi-node installations, see Tableau Server Collections Service.

Collections are like playlists that let users organize content in a way that is meaningful to them. For more information on how to create and manage collections, see Organize Items in a Collection(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help.

Configure settings for extracts in web authoring

Beginning with version 2021.2, you can configure settings for extracts that you create in Web Authoring. Optionally, configure options to tell Tableau how to store, define filters for, and limit the amount of data in your extract. For more information, see Create Extracts on the Web .

Streamlined site settings for Ask Data

Streamlined site settings for Ask Data now disable or enable the feature site-wide for all data sources. If it's enabled site-wide, indexing frequency remains customizable for each data source. For more information, see Disable or Enable Ask Data for a Site.

Bring Einstein Discovery predictions into your Prep flows on the web

Beginning with version 2021.2, you can bring prediction models built in Einstein Discovery directly into your Prep flows on the web.

Note: You must have a Salesforce license and user account that is configured to access Einstein Discovery to use this feature.

With the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence, you can bulk score your flow data and generate new fields for predicted outcomes at the row level, as well as add top predictors and recommended improvement fields to include data about which fields contributed to the predicted outcome. Add a Prediction step to your flow, sign into Einstein Discovery and choose from deployed models, and apply them to your flow data. Then generate your flow output and use the new data source to analyze the predicted outcomes in Tableau. This feature was first introduced in Tableau Prep Builder in version 2021.1.3. For more information, see Add Einstein Discovery Predictions to your flow(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Prep help and Create and Interact with Flows on the Web.

Share explanations from Explain Data in published dashboards

Explain Data has a reimagined user interface optimized for a broader audience of business users. Authors (Creators or Explorers with editing permissions) can now enable Explain Data for viewers of dashboards and sheets in published workbooks. Viewers can select a mark of interest in the view and run Explain Data to explore their data more deeply than before.

Access to Explain Data in viewing mode is not enabled by default, so authors will need to enable this option. For information on how to enable Explain Data in viewing mode, see Enable Explain Data in viewing mode in published workbooks and dashboards.

For more information on Explain Data, see Discover Insights Faster with Explain Data, Get Started with Explain Data, and Control who can use Explain Data and what they can see.

Daily removal of embedded external assets without downstream connections

Beginning with version 2021.2, a backgrounder job for Tableau Catalog (or Tableau Metadata API) runs daily by default to delete embedded external assets without downstream connections to Tableau content. For more information, see features.DeleteOrphanedEmbeddedDatabaseAsset and databaseservice.max_database_deletes_per_run.

Backgrounder TSM Command Update

Beginning in version 2021.2, you can now set the maximum time to complete a single subscription job using the updated backgrounder.timeout_tasks command. As of this release, the backgrounder.timeout_tasks command does not use the single_subscription_notify, setting. For more information, see tsm configuration set Options.

Configure custom OAuth

You can now configure custom OAuth clients for a site to 1) override server-wide OAuth client settings if configured for the server or 2) enable support for securely connecting to data that requires unique OAuth clients. For more information, see Configure custom OAuth for a site.

Add-ons

Tableau Catalog - part of the Data Management Add-on

Add Field Descriptions - You can add descriptions for fields in a published data source that then display in the Description column on the data source page Lineage tab. You can also see the description on the Data tab when you build a visualization. For more information, see Describe fields in a published data source in the Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help.

Data Quality Warning Updates

  • Formatted text support for warning messages - When you create or edit a data quality warning message, you can format the text with bold, underline, and italics, and include a link or an image. For more information, see Set a Data Quality Warning.
  • Message required for warnings - When you create a data quality warning, you're now required to enter a message to display to users. (This doesn't apply to warnings generated when you set Tableau to monitor for extract refresh or flow failures.) For more information, see Set a Data Quality Warning.

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

Full table name appears - The table's full name has been added to the table page.

Filter by tags - You can now filter databases, files, and tables by tags in the Connect To dialog box.

Filter by embedded or non-embedded - On the External Assets page, you can filter databases, files, and tables by asset category: embedded or non-embedded.

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

Automated Process Discovery

Resource Monitoring Tool now supports hot topology changes on Tableau Server and automatically updates the processes information. You no longer have to configure the process information manually.

CLI support for Environment setup

New CLI commands are available to allow you to configure a new environment during install or updating an existing environment. Previously, you had to use the web interface to configure the Environment. Here are the new commands related to Environment setup:

  • rmtadmin create-env: Creates a new Environment
  • rmtadmin update-env: Updates an existing Environment:
  • rmtadmin bootstrap-file: Downloads the bootstrap file to register Agents.

For more information, see Install the Master Server Using Command Line and rmtadmin Command Line Utility .

New CLI commands

Several new CLI commands have been added to support environment setup and management. Here is a list of all the new commands added in this release:

  • rmtadmin agents: Lists all the registered Agents on Tableau Server nodes for all environments.
  • rmtadmin create-env: Creates a new Environment
  • rmtadmin bootstrap-file: Downloads the bootstrap file to register Agents.
  • rmtadmin cleanup: Deletes the log files that are older than a certain number of days.
  • rmtadmin delete-env: Deletes a specific environment and all data that has been collected for that environment.
  • rmtadmin delete-server: Deletes the configuration information of the Tableau Server node from the environment, deregisters the Agent on that node, and deletes all monitoring data collected specific to that node.
  • rmtadmin delete-server-data: Deletes the data collected from one or more Tableau Server nodes.
  • rmtadmin deregister-agent: Deregisters the Agent from the environment.
  • rmtadmin environments: Lists all the environments.
  • rmtadmin servers : Lists all the Tableau Server nodes across all environments or a specific environment.
  • rmtadmin test-env: Tests the various connection points between and Tableau Server.
  • rmtadmin update-env: Updates the environment settings.

For more information, see rmtadmin Command Line Utility .

Node Selector

If you have more than 5 Tableau Server nodes, you will now be able to navigate and filter by nodes. Previously on the Tableau Processes chart only showed information for 5 nodes.

Agent Compatibility

Resource Monitoring Tool Agent should be on the same version as the Master Server or or a compatible version. If you have one or more Agent on a non compatible version, an incident will be logged and reported. For more information, see Agent Incidents.

External Repository - part of the Server Management Add-on

You can now configure a stand-alone PosgreSQL database instance as the External Repository for Tableau Server. For more information, see Create a PostgreSQL Database as a Stand-alone Installation

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

Content Migration Tool now supports personal access tokens as an authentication method for your source and destination servers. For more information, see Migration Plans: Servers.

Changed in 2021.2

Version 2021.2 includes the following changes you should know about before upgrading.

Encrypted communication channel with Active Directory is required

Beginning with Tableau version 2021.2, Tableau Server no longer allows insecure connections with Active Directory. If your current instance of Tableau Server is communicating with Active Directory over a non-encrypted channel, upgrade will fail.

Run the following command to allow an insecure connection on your current version of Tableau Server before you upgrade:

tsm configuration set -k wgserver.domain.allow_insecure_connection -v true --force-key

After upgrade completes, we recommend securing the channel and then setting this option to false.

Note: By default (when wgserver.domain.allow_insecure_connection is set to true), Active Directory group synchronization will fail if the communication channel with Active Directory is not encrypted.

Secure SAML configuration is enforced

Beginning with version 2021.2, Tableau Server enforces secure SAML configuration for Server-wide and Site SAML.

Signature algorithm The certificate that you configure for SAML must use a secure signature algorithm, for example SHA-256. If you attempt to upgrade Tableau Server with a SAML certificate that uses SHA-1 signature hash, upgrade will fail.

We recommend that you upload a new certificate with SHA-256. See Update SAML Certificate.

Alternatively, you can configure Tableau Server to accept the less-secure SHA-1 hash by setting the tsm wgserver.saml.blocklisted_digest_algorithms configuration key.

RSA key and ECDSA curve sizes The certificate used for SAML must either have an RSA key strength of 2048, or ECDSA curve size of 256. If you attempt to upgrade Tableau Server with a SAML certificate that uses less-secure key or curve sizes, upgrade will fail.

We recommend that you upload a new certificate with more secure key or curve size. See Update SAML Certificate.

Alternatively you can configure Tableau Server to accept the less-secure sizes by setting the respective configuration keys, wgserver.saml.min.allowed.rsa_key_size and wgserver.saml.min.allowed.elliptic_curve_size.

Site SAML secure configuration verification

This release includes an updated tabcmd utility with the validateidpmetadata command. The validateidpmetadata command will scan your existing SAML sites and identify the signature algorithms and key sizes that are configured for each site. See validateidpmetadata.

Tableau Server on Windows installer logging changes

Beginning with Tableau Server 2021.2, due to internal changes to the installer, the logging behavior by the Tableau Server installer program has changed if you use the /log switch on the command line.

Prior to version 2021.2 you could use the /log switch to specify a log file name without a path, and the file was written to the current working directory. Starting in 2021.2, if you do not also specify a path, the file will be written to a temporary location that is deleted when the installation is done. If you use the /log switch, you must also specify both the path and the log file name in <name>.<ext> format if you want to preserve the log. If you do not include a file name, the installer will ignore the switch and save the log to %TEMP%.

The behavior is unchanged if you do not use the /log switch: the installer log is created in the logged in user's temp directory, %TEMP% using a naming convention of Tableau_Server_<version_code>.log.

For more information on command line switches for the installer, see Install Switches and Properties for Tableau Server

Tableau Prep Flow Service has been renamed to Tableau Prep Minerva Service

Beginning with version 2021.2, the Tableau Prep Flow Service (flowqueryservice) has been renamed to the Tableau Prep Minerva Service (flowminerva). This process appears on the TSM Status page and in the output of the TSM command tsm status -v. For more information, see Tableau Server Processes.

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