Monitor Flow Health and Performance

After you publish flows and schedule them to run periodically, you want to know that they are running as expected and resolve any issues as they occur. You will also want to monitor and understand the performance of your flows.

This topic describes the various methods that Tableau Server provides to help you monitor your flows.

Detect issues as they occur and resolve them

You can set up Tableau Server to send email notifications when flows fail, or find and review errors on Tableau Server using the Alerts menu or by reviewing the flow pages for the flows that you are interested in. This type of monitoring allows you to detect problems as they occur.

Who can do this?

  • Tableau Server Administrators:
    • Setup email notifications at the server level
    • Set up email notifications for a site
    • View errors
    • Resume suspended tasks
    • View alerts
    • view process status
  • Tableau Site Administrators:
    • Set up email notifications at the site level
    • View errors
    • Resume suspended tasks
    • View alerts
  • Flow owners, project leaders and any user who is granted permissions to view the flow:
    • View errors
    • Resume suspended tasks
    • View alerts (Flow owners)

Get email notifications when a flow fails:

You can configure Tableau Server to send email notifications to flow owners when a flow fails.

To set up email notifications for your Tableau Server and sites, follow the instructions in Step 2 - Configure Flow Settings for your Tableau Server.

View and resolve errors

The following errors can happen when running a flow:

  • Connection errors: Connection errors generally happen when Tableau Server is unable to connect to one or more data inputs or is unable to make a connection in one or more output steps.

    • For Input connection errors, use the Edit connections option on the Connections tab to make changes to connection details, then run the flow again.
    • For output connection errors, download the flow and check the output location for the flow output steps. If the flow output is going to a network share, make sure the output steps are pointing to a safe listed location. After you make any changes republish the flow and try running it again.
  • Errors in the flow: If there are errors in one or more steps in the flow, you will see an error message. In such cases, download the flow to Tableau Prep Builder, resolve the errors, republish the flow to the server and run the flow again.

  • Suspended flow tasks: When a scheduled flow task fails to run after a configured number of attempts, the flow task is suspended. A flow can have multiple scheduled tasks assigned to it, but only the failed tasks are suspended. All other flow tasks will continue to run unless they have errors. To resolve a suspended task, review and resolve the errors then run the flow on-demand or let the flow run automatically based on the assigned schedule.

    Note: By default, a flow task is suspended after 5 consecutive flow tasks failures. Server administrators can change this default by using the tsm configuration set option. For more details, see Step 5 - Optional Server Configurations.

You can view errors on the following pages:

Flow Overview page

On this page you can see the status of the most recent flow run and any errors. Hover on the error text to review the error details. If a scheduled task is suspended, a warning icon shows next to the schedule. Hover on the icon to view the status.

After you resolve the error that caused the flow to fail or the task to be suspended, you can run the flow manually or let the flow run based on the assigned schedule. For suspended flow tasks, click the Go to Scheduled Task link on the tooltip for the suspended task to navigate to the Scheduled Tasks page and click the Resume Scheduled Tasks button to resume the suspended tasks.

Connections page

The Connections page shows the most recent status and any related connectivity errors. To correct input errors, click the More actions menu for an input connection to edit the connection and change the server name, port, user name and password.

To fix output connection errors, download the flow in Tableau Prep Builder, correct the file path, then republish the flow to continue running it.

Scheduled Tasks page

View the scheduled tasks assigned to a flow. If a scheduled task is suspended, you can see the status of that tasks here and you can manually resume the flow tasks from this page. Before resuming a suspended task, resolve any errors in the flow. Errors are not shown on this page, but you can review them on the Overview or Run History pages.

A suspended scheduled task will automatically resume when the flow is republished, if you edit a connection for the flow or manually run the flow tasks. To manually resume a suspended tasks, on the Scheduled Tasks page, click Resume Scheduled Tasks. This resumes all suspended tasks for the flow.

To resume individual tasks, click the More actions menu for a scheduled task and select Resume. You can also click Run Now to run all tasks for the flow immediately.

Run History page

The Run History page shows the details of all the flow runs that have either completed or are in progress for each output. View any error details by hovering over the errors in the Errors column.

Alerts

When a flow fails, the alerts menu is populated with the error details with the option to re-run the flow, or download the flow to troubleshoot.

Note: Flow owners, Server or Site Administrators can see this menu.

Tableau Prep Conductor process status

  • The Tableau Services Manager (TSM) status page is accessible in TSM and can be viewed by TSM administrators. You must be able to log into TSM to see this page.

  • The Tableau Server status page appears in the Tableau Server web UI and is accessible by Tableau Server administrators. If you hover your mouse pointer over the status indicator for a process, a tooltip shows the node name and the port the process is running on. The Tableau Server status page does not show TSM processes.

    When Tableau Server is functioning properly, Tableau Prep Conductor will show as Active or Busy:

    • Active—The process is functioning as intended.

    • Busy—The process is completing some task.

    • Down—The process is down. The implications of this differ depending on the process.

    • Status unavailable—Tableau Server is unable to determine the status of the process.

Monitor flow activity and performance with Administrative Views

Administrative views can be used to monitor the activities related to flows, performance history, and the disk space used. The Status page contains an embedded Tableau workbook with various administrative views that can be used to monitor different types of server or site activity.

For Tableau Server installations, you must install PostgreSQL drivers before you can see Administrative views. For more information, see Database Drivers (Linux), Database Drivers (Windows). Server administrators can use these views to see activity both at the server level (aggregated for all sites) or for a specific site. Only server administrators can filter by site.

Who can do this?

  • Tableau Server: Tableau Server administrators and Tableau Site administrators can both view and work with Administrative Views. Only Server administrators can filter by site.

Action by all users

Use this view to gather insight into how flows are being used. This includes actions like publish, download, and flow runs. You can filter the view by actions, by site, and by time range. The Total Users count shows the number of users who have performed an action. This value is not affected by any filtering. The Active user count shows the number of users who have been active during the selected time period and performed one of the selected actions.

Action by Specific User

Use this view to gather insights about how an individual user is working with flows.

You can filter the view by user name, the type of action, time range, and by site.

Action by Recent Users

This view shows you which users have been active on Tableau Server over the past 24 hours.

This can be useful if you need to do some maintenance activity on the server and want to know how many and which users this will affect, and what they are doing.

The view Active, Recently Active, and Idle users that are currently signed in to Tableau Server.

For this view, an active user is one who took an action in the last 5 minutes, a recently active user is one who last took an action within 30 minutes, and an idle user is one who last took an action more than 30 minutes ago.

Select a user to see only the actions that user performed recently. Hover over an action to see details of the action.

Backgrounder Task Delays

The Background Task Delay view displays the delay for extract refresh tasks, subscription, and flow tasks—that is, the amount of time between when they are scheduled to run and when they actually run. You can use the view to help you identify places you can improve server performance by distributing your task schedules and by optimizing tasks.

Possible reasons for the delays and ways that you might reduce the delays include the following:

  • Many tasks are scheduled for the same time. In the example view, tasks that show long delays are clustered at the same time every day, which creates spikes in the wait time. Note that you can set the Timeline filter to a single day to view task delays by hour and identify the hours of the day which have many tasks scheduled at the same time. A solution to this issue can be to distribute the tasks to off-peak hours to reduce load on the server.

  • Other server processes are running at the same time and are consuming server resources and slowing down performance. Monitor the CPU and memory usage of server processes to see which processes are consuming the most resources and then adjust the configuration of processes on your server. For more information on monitoring processes, see Collect Data with Windows Performance Monitor.

Background Tasks for Non Extracts

Background Tasks are created to run flows (scheduled and ad hoc). You can use this view to see how many flow tasks succeeded or failed on this site. For details on a task, hover over its icon.

Performance of Flow Runs

Use this view to see the performance history for all the flows on a site. You can filter by Flow Name, the Output Step Name, Flow Owner, Run Type (Scheduled or Ad Hoc), and the time the flow runs were started.

Here are some questions you can answer using this view:

  • What flow tasks are currently scheduled? – To do this, use the Start Time filter and select the time frame you want to look at. For example, to see flow tasks that are scheduled in the next 3 hours, select Hours -> Next -> and enter 3.

  • What is the duration of flow tasks? - To answer this, click on a mark in the view and you should see details including the task duration.

How many flows were run ad hoc, and how many were scheduled runs? - To answer this, use the Run Type filter and select Ad hoc or Scheduled.

Note: This is not functional in this release and will not actually filter the data.

In addition to the questions described above, here are some examples of insights you might be able to gather:

  • The flows that are running most frequently will have the most marks.

  • To see how many flows are running at the same time currently, hover over a mark that shows “In Progress” or “Pending and selectKeep Only” to filter all flow runs that are currently running.

  • To see how many flows are running at the same time during a specific time range, select a range for the Start Time filter. For example, you can choose “Next three hours” to see which flows will be running in the next three hours.

Stats for Space Usage

The Stats for Space Usage view can help you identify which flow outputs are taking up the most disk space on the server. Disk space usage is displayed by user, project, and by the size of flow output and is rounded down to the nearest number.

Use the Min Size filter to control which flow outputs are displayed, based on the amount of space they take up. Use the object type filter for flows.

  • What Users Use the Most Space – This section shows the users who own flows (when filtered for flows) that are taking up the most space. Click a user name to filter the next two graphs for that user.

  • What Projects Use the Most Space – This section shows the projects with flows (when filtered for flows) that are using the most space.

  • What Workbooks, Data Source and Flows Use the Most Space – This section shows the flows (when filtered for flows) that take up the most space.

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