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Tableau Prep Conductor

Tableau Server on Windows now includes Tableau Services Manager (TSM), which replaces the Configuration Utility and the tabadmin command line tool. If you need help for an earlier version of Tableau Server, see the Tableau Help page.

Overview

If you build flows in Tableau Prep, you can automate running your flows to refresh flow input and output data on a schedule using Tableau Server, instead of opening Tableau Prep Builder to run individual flows manually.

Tableau Prep Conductor is one of the process on Tableau Server. It runs flows, checks connection credentials, and sends alerts if a flow fails. Tableau Prep Conductor leverages the scheduling and tracking functionality of Tableau Server so you can automate running flows to update the flow output instead of logging into Tableau Prep Builder to manually run individual flows as your data changes.

Tableau Prep Conductor is licensed through the Data Management Add-on. To use Tableau Prep Conductor, you must have the Data Management product key activated on your server. For more information, see Licensing Tableau Prep Conductor.

Tableau Prep Conductor uses the following components to run flows:

  • Backgrounder: Tableau Prep Conductor uses the Backgrounder process to run flows. Backgrounder is single threaded, so each instance of the Backgrounder process on a node can run one flow at a time. By adding more Backgrounders to a node, you can increase the number of flows that can be run in parallel on that node. The Backgrounder processes can be up to half the number of the physical cores of that node.

  • Connectors: Prep Conductor uses the supported Tableau Data connectors to connect to data. For a list of supported Connectors, see Supported Connectors.

  • Data Engine: Any changes to data or transformation steps in your flow that cannot be pushed to the underlying data source are processed using the Data Engine process. For example, SQL Server does not natively support regular expressions. When connecting to SQL Server, Tableau Prep lets you write regular expression calculations. Tableau Prep Conductor uses Data Engine to temporarily load the data and then perform the regular expression.

Performance and Scale Recommendations

  • Isolate flows to a separate node: Running Tableau Prep Conductor on a separate node will isolate flow workflows from other Tableau workloads. This is highly recommended since Prep flows are CPU and RAM intensive.

  • Manage flow schedules: You can control flow execution by creating flow schedules. These schedules let you determine when flows run, how frequently they run, the priority of that schedule, and whether to run items in that schedule serially or in parallel.

  • Add resources: When scaling your Tableau Prep Conductor environment, we recommend scaling up to an 8 physical cores box per node running as many as 4 backgrounders on each. As you need more resources, we recommend adding more nodes to your server environment.

You can monitor user activity and performance of flows using Administrative views. For more information, see Monitor Flow Health and Performance.

Topology and Configuration

By default, the installer enables Tableau Prep Conductor on all nodes that already have backgrounder enabled and where the following conditions are true:

  • The Tableau Server has a valid Data Management product key.

  • The node role is either set to allow all tasks or to allow only flows. For more information, on node roles, see the Node Roles in Server topic.

It is recommended that you enable Tableau Prep Conductor on a dedicated node to run flows. For more information, see the following topics:

Enabling Tableau Prep Conductor on Tableau Server

To enable Tableau Prep Conductor, use the Tableau Data Management product key. Tableau Prep Conductor is now licensed and enabled at the server level.

Before you can start publishing flows to your Tableau Server, there are server-level and site-level settings you must configure or verify to prepare your Tableau Server to allow publishing, scheduling and monitoring flows.

Review the following topics to understand Tableau Prep Conductor licensing, and learn how to enable Tableau Prep Conductor: