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Schedule Refreshes on Tableau Online

You can schedule refresh tasks directly on Tableau Online for extracts of cloud-hosted data. This can include extracts of the following types of data:

  • Salesforce.com or Google Analytics.

  • Google BigQuery or Amazon Redshift, if you do not want to use a live connection.

  • SQL-based or other data hosted on cloud platforms, such as Amazon RDS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, if you do not want to use a live connection, or if live connection isn’t supported for that data source.

    For a list of supported data sources, see Allow Direct Connections to Data Hosted on a Cloud Platform.

Notes:

  • When an refresh is performed on extracts created in Tableau 10.4 and earlier (that is, a .tde extract), the extract is upgraded to .hyper extract automatically. While there are many benefits of upgrading to a .hyper extract, you won't be able open the extract with earlier versions of Tableau Desktop. For more information, see Extract Upgrade to .hyper Format.
  • For information about refreshing extracts of Microsoft Excel, SQL Server or other data Tableau Online cannot reach directly, see Expand Data Freshness Options by Using Tableau Bridge.

Create a refresh schedule

  1. When you’re signed in to Tableau Online, go to Content > Data Sources or Content > Workbooks, depending on the type of content you want to refresh.

  2. Select the check box for the data source or workbook you want to refresh, and then select ActionsExtract Refresh.

  3. In the Refresh Extracts dialog, select Schedule a Refresh, and complete the following steps:

    • Select the schedule you want.

    • If available, specify whether you want a full or incremental refresh.

      By default, and if this option is not shown, a full refresh is performed. Incremental refresh is available only if you configured it in Tableau Desktop before publishing the extract. For information, see Refreshing Extracts in the Tableau Help.

    • Click the Schedule Refresh button.

      Scheduled refreshes run on Tableau Online whether or not you are signed in to your site.

Time limit for extract refreshes

To ensure that long running refresh tasks don't take up all system resources and don't prevent refreshes of other extracts on your site, Tableau Online enforces a time limit, also known as a timeout limit, of 7200 seconds (120 minutes or two hours) for refresh tasks. The timeout limit is the longest allowable time for a single extract to complete a refresh before it's canceled. The timeout limit is not configurable.

Staying within the timeout limit

Although reaching the timeout limit is not common, if you're working in an extract-heavy environment, there are few modifications you can make to your extracts to help avoid reaching the timeout limit.

Upgrade extracts to the .hyper format

Beginning with Tableau 10.5, the format of new extracts changed from .tde to .hyper. Along with a number of optimizations, refreshing large extracts in the .hyper format can be faster. If you're working with .tde extracts, consider upgrading your .tde extracts to the .hyper format. For more information, see Extract Upgrade to .hyper Format.

Set up incremental refreshes

Consider configuring your extracts to be incrementally refreshed instead of fully refreshed each time a refresh task is performed.

By default, extracts are set up to fully refresh. Although a full refresh gives you an exact copy of the data, a full refresh can take a long time to complete. To reduce the time it takes to refresh an extract, consider setting up incremental refreshes of your extracts instead. For more information, see Configure an incremental extract refresh in the Tableau Help.

Note: You must set up the incremental refresh before publishing the extract to Tableau Online.

Decrease the size of extracts

You can help refresh tasks complete faster by decreasing the size of your extracts.

There are two common methods for decreasing the size of extracts: hide all unused fields and use data source filters to remove unused columns.

  • Hide all unused fields: Fields that you hide in your data source are excluded when the extract is created. To hide fields while creating the extract, see Create an extract in the Tableau Help.

  • Add data source filters: You can remove unused columns in your extract by adding a data source filter. For more information, see Filter Data from Data Sources in the Tableau Help.

Note: You must hide all unused fields or add data source filters before publishing the extract to Tableau Online.

Use an alternative method for refreshing extracts

If possible, consider refreshing your extracts outside of Tableau Online.

Schedule refreshes at a different time

Consider changing when the refresh tasks occur. For more information, see Manage Refresh Tasks.

Errors when refresh tasks reach timeout limit

If a refresh task reaches the timeout limit, you or others might see one of the errors listed below. If you published the extract or are the extract owner, you might see one of these errors in an email notification. If you're a site administrator, you might see one of these errors in the administrative view about Background Tasks for Extracts.

  • The query time resource limit (7200 seconds) was exceeded.
  • com.tableausoftware.nativeapi.dll.TableauCancelException: Operation cancelled.
  • The query time resource limit (8100 seconds) was exceeded.

To help resolve and avoid these errors in the future, see the section above, Staying within the timeout limit.