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Allow Your Publishers to Maintain Live Connections to On-Premises Data

The steps in this topic describe how you, as a site administrator, can configure your Tableau Online site to use Tableau Bridge to maintain data sources with live connections to on-premises data.

1. Modify site settings to allow support for live connections

By default Tableau Bridge is set to refresh extracts only. You can modify the site settings to allow support for live queries, which allows publish publishers to publish data sources that contain live connections to on-premises data.

  1. Open a browser window and sign in to your Tableau Online site as a site administrator.

  2. Go to the Settings page, click the Bridge tab, under Tableau Bridge, select Enable Tableau Bridge to maintain live connections to on-premises data.

2. Configure the client to support live connections

After you allow live query support on your site, you can start Tableau Bridge, link it to the Tableau Online site, and then designate it as the client that will support published data sources with live connections to on-premises data.

Note: If you’re a publisher, and your administrator has already enabled live connection support for Tableau Bridge, you see the option to maintain live connections when you publish a data source. The option is available for on-premises relational data. This option is not available for cube- or file-based data.

  1. On the computer on which you want to run Tableau Bridge, install Tableau Desktop.

  2. Open Tableau Desktop and select ServerStart Tableau Bridge.

  3. Sign in to Tableau Online through Tableau Bridge using the account you want to run the client. For live connections, the account must be a site administrator account.

  4. In the client window that appears, from the Mode drop-down menu, select Service.

    Run Tableau Bridge continuously as a Windows service.

    This runs Tableau Bridge as a Windows service, which continues running on the computer even after the user is logged out of Windows.

  5. Go back to the Bridge tab of the Settings page for your Tableau Online site to see the registered Tableau Bridge computer listed under Client Status.

  6. In the Type column for your client, select Extract and Live. For newly configured clients, "Extract and Live" type is selected by default.

    Select the Bridge client that supports live connections to on-premises data.

  7. In the Live Query Limit column, enter a number 1–200 to set the maximum number of queries you want to allow to run between Tableau Online and the client at the same time.

    The number you enter here depends on the number of simultaneous queries you want to allow a client to accept before the queries are queued up. A higher number means more queries are sent to the client at one time, and therefore might cause the client to be consistently busy for longer. A lower number means fewer queries are sent to the client at one time.

After you enable live connection support, publishers will see the option to maintain a live connection when they publish a data source that connects to on-premises, relational data. If they select the option, Tableau Online associates their data source with this Tableau Bridge client.

Note: Live connection support is available only for data sources published separately, and not for those embedded in published workbooks.

Publishers can still choose to publish extracts and schedule refreshes. In this case, they can use their own Tableau Online account to run Tableau Bridge. See also Tableau Bridge system and configuration requirements.

3. (Optional) Configure additional clients to load balance live connections

After you designate a client to support live queries, you can configure additional clients on different computers to load balance the live queries. In general, Tableau recommends that you consider configuring additional clients to support live queries based on one or both situations:

  • Tableau Bridge is used as a critical service. If your environment requires that live connections must be available even if a client becomes unavailable.
  • Client is at capacity. If your existing site traffic is exceeding current capacity of the client.

You can use the procedure below to configure additional clients to support live queries:

  1. Follow the procedure in 2. Configure the client to support live connections for each additional client.

  2. Ensure the status of the client you add shows a green or "Connected" state as described in 4. Monitor Tableau Bridge on Tableau Online.

Note: Do not configure a client to load balance live queries if it has already been designated as a centrally-managed client for extract refreshes. For more information, see Manage extract data sources using a central Tableau Bridge client.

4. Monitor Tableau Bridge on Tableau Online

As a site administrator, you can monitor Tableau Bridge in a couple of ways:

  • Monitor traffic to data sources with live connections using the built-in administrative view
  • Monitor client status on the site settings page

Traffic to data sources with live connections

Using a built-in administrative view in Tableau Online, you can see how often a data source with a live connection, through a specific client or all clients associated with a site, is used based on project and day, and by whom.

  1. Open a browser window and sign in to your Tableau Online site as a site administrator.

  2. Go to the Status page, and click Traffic to Bridge Connected Data Sources.

  3. Under Tableau Bridge Client name, select the client you want to monitor.

Client status

You can see the status of the clients that are managing extract and live connections. To see client status, sign in to your Tableau Online site as an administrator, go to the Settings page, and then click the Bridge tab. On that page, you'll find the following information:

Client summary

Under Client Summary, you'll see a few things:

  • The number of registered clients that support refreshes of published extract data sources

  • The number of registered clients that support published data sources with live connections to on-premises data

  • The total number of registered clients for your site

If you don't have two or more clients configured to support live connections, you see Not load balanced display in the Live Clients column. This indicates that you either have 1.) no clients managing live clients or 2.) only one client managing live connections.

Registered clients

Under Client Status, you'll see a list of registered clients. The clients you see in this list, along with the associated computer name and owner, are configured to support refreshes of published extract data sources, or refreshes of published extract data sources and published data sources that contain live connections.

Availability of clients that can support live connections 

In the list of registered clients, the colored circles or status labels indicate the availability of the clients that can support extract or live connections configured with the Service mode.

  • Green or "Connected": A green or Connected state means the service is connected and the client can support extract or live connections.

  • Yellow or "Throttled": A yellow or Throttled state indicates that the concurrent query limit set for the client has been exceeded within the last 15 minutes.

  • Red or "Disconnected": A red or Disconnected state can indicate one of several conditions that have put the client in a disconnected state. For example, the client is not responding to requests from Tableau Online; the client is not running as a service, which is required for maintaining live connections; or other conditions. You can hover the mouse over the status to see a tooltip that describes the condition.

    Note: When the client status shows a red or "Disconnected" state, there may be views that depend on the data sources with live connections that cannot until the issue is resolved.

Potential discrepancy in status you might see between Tableau Online and the client itself

If the Tableau Online site settings show a yellow or "Throttled" status next to a client, the client itself will show a green icon. The reason is that the Tableau Bridge queries are throttled on server. The yellow state is not shown on the client because the client is running as expected. The yellow indicator in the site settings serves only to provide information to the administrator monitoring query capacity.