What’s new in Tableau Server 9.0 for the Administrator

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What’s new in Tableau Server 9.0 for the Administrator

Today I’m going to give you a quick run through of the updates and changes you will see in Tableau Server 9.0 from an administrator’s perspective, and what has changed since Tableau Server 8.3

Visual Differences

Firstly and most obviously are the visual changes. Tableau has completely redesigned the GUI, so we now have  the options across the bar at the top of the screen instead of down the right hand side… Overall the changes that have been made are a great improvement, which in general means you require fewer clicks to do what you want to do compared to the previous version. So, what looks like this in Tableau v8:

Tableau 8 Menu

Now looks like this in Tableau v9:

Tableau 9 Menu Bar

Windows Server 2003 is no longer supported, and the minimum hardware requirements for 64-bit Tableau Server are now set at 4 core, 8GB RAM and 15GB free disk space. Tableau server will not install if these requirements aren’t met.

Tableau Server Activity Analysis

The built in Analysis dashboards have been redesigned so that  they now answer direct questions like;

What Is the Total View Count by Day?

What Views Are Seen the Most?

Who Accesses Views Most Often?

  Tableau 9 Analysis Menu  

This makes finding out how your Tableau Server Environment a little bit easier as it’s now a little bit more intuitive.

Tableau Server Processes

There have been a number of redesigns to how Tableau works, which have increased the number of processes that are being run on the server which you will need to get your head around. Below is the list of new processes and their function

Process

File Name

Description

API Server wgserver.exe Handles REST API calls
Application Server vizportal.exe Handles the web application, supports browsing and searching.
Cache Server redis-server.exe Query cache which is distributed and shared across the cluster. Improvement in caching over v8 and reduces the number of query requests made.
Cluster Controller clustercontroller.exe Responsible for monitoring the various server components, detecting failures, and executing failover when needed.
Coordination Service zookeeper.exe In distributed installations it is responsible for ensuring there is a quorum for making decisions during failover.
File Store filestore.exe Replicates data extracts across nodes running Data Engine.
Search & Browse searchserver.exe Handles fast search, filtering, retrieval, and display of content metadata on the server.

 

Cluster Management

Tableau have improved the management of how clustering works within Server. Firstly, the concept of 2-node High Availability cluster has been changed. You can still run Tableau across 2 servers (and spread the load between these two servers), but the loss of one of the servers will bring your Tableau environment down. Therefore the minimum requirement for a true cluster is now 3 servers. You are now able to set the preferred server for the Active Repository, which for instance, is good in the case where the hardware specification is different for each of the servers in the cluster, and you want to ensure that the Active Repository runs on the most powerful server in your cluster. Tableau 9 Failover Options

You can also initiate a failover of the Active Repository to Standby Repository. This is done using a tabadmin command line interface (See later in the article). This is useful during server maintenance, if you have a requirement to take one of the servers in cluster offline, but want the cluster to remain available. Also, there is no longer the concept of an Active and Standby Data Engine. All Data Engines in the cluster are now active, and there is no longer the limitation of having a maximum of 2 servers running Data Engines. All servers in your cluster can now be Active Data Engine Servers if you require.

Tableau 9 Cluster 

Command line updates

A few additions have been made to the command line interfaces.

Tabadmin

tabadmin decommission

Used to prepare Tableau File Store nodes for removal from the distributed environment.

tabadmin failoverrepository –target | –preferred

Used to failover the active repository to the secondary repository.

tabadmin recommission

Used to revert a decommissioned file store into an active state.

tabadmin reindex

Rebuilds the search index for Tableau Server, if it becomes corrupt or shows incomplete results.

Tabcmd

tabcmd editdomain –id 2 –nickname “new-nickname”

Used to modify the nickname for any domain the server is using.

tabcmd listdomains

Used to display a list of domains used by the server.

REST API

There are 34 new REST API Commands to really fill out this functionality. New commands includes assigning and removing permissions, adding and removing membership, and the ability to publish & download workbooks and datasources. Below is the full list of commands

Tableau 8.3 REST API Commands

Tableau 9.0 REST API Commands

  Add Datasource Permissions
  Add Project Permissions
Add Tags to Workbook Add Tags to Workbook
  Add User to Group
Add User to Site Add User to Site
  Add View to Favorites
  Add Workbook Permissions
Add Workbook to Favorites Add Workbook to Favorites
  Append to File Upload
  Create Group
Create Project Create Project
Create Site Create Site
  Delete Datasource
  Delete Datasource Permissions
Delete Project Delete Project
  Delete Project Permission
Delete Site Delete Site
Delete Tag from Workbook Delete Tag from Workbook
  Delete View from Favorites
  Delete Workbook
Delete Workbook from Favorites Delete Workbook from Favorites
  Delete Workbook Permissions
  Download Datasource
  Download Workbook
  Get Users in Group
Get Users on Site Get Users on Site
  Initiate File Upload
  Publish Datasource
  Publish Workbook
Query Datasource Query Datasource
  Query Datasource Permissions
Query Datasources Query Datasources
  Query Groups
  Query Job
  Query Project Permissions
  Query Projects
Query Site Query Site
Query Sites Query Sites
  Query User On Site
Query View with a Preview Image Query View with a Preview Image
Query Views for Workbook Query Views for Workbook
Query Workbook Query Workbook
  Query Workbook Connections
  Query Workbook Permissions
Query Workbook Preview Image Query Workbook Preview Image
Query Workbooks for User Query Workbooks for User
  Remove User from Group
Remove User from Site Remove User from Site
Sign In Sign In
Sign Out Sign Out
  Update Datasource
  Update Datasource Connection
  Update Group
Update Project Update Project
Update Site Update Site
  Update User
  Update Workbook
  Update Workbook Connection

The Tableau Server Administrator Guide can be found here, and the REST API Documentation can be found here. I hope that you have enjoyed this brief walkthrough of the high level differences between Tableau Server 8 and 9. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any comments or suggestions.

More About the Author

Glen Robinson

Platforms Architect
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