Comparing Tableau's native Subscriptions and Alerting and VizAlerts

Version 6

    This document describes the similarities and differences between Tableau's native subscriptions and conditional subscriptions functionality and VizAlerts. The goal of this document is to be as accurate as possible about the capabilities of each so users can chose what works best for them.

     

    Last updated: 20171020 Jonathan Drummey

     

     

    Area
    Tableau Subscriptions
    & Conditional Subscriptions (as of v10.1 if not otherwise specified)

    Tableau Data Driven Alerts (as of v10.3 if not otherwise specified)

    VizAlerts (as of v1.1 if not otherwise specified)
    Comes with Tableau installYesYesNo
    Email on ScheduleYesYes based on update time of data and chosen intervalYes
    Email suppression when condition is true (threshold-based alerts)Yes (conditional subscriptions)YesYes
    Threshold/condition selection methodFilter(s) that remove data from the view when nothing is to be sent.Visual in Tableau Server/Online, requires a visible continuous axis and a user-entered value.

    v2.1: A calculation on the worksheet/view that returns 1 when the view is to be sent and any other value when not to be sent. Does not need to be visible or displayed at all.

    Prior versions: Filter(s) that remove data from the view when nothing is to be sent

    Users (interactors) can subscribe themselvesYesYesYes, simple alerts (advanced alerts require some additional effort)
    Interactors can subscribe othersNoYesYes, simple alerts (advanced alerts require some additional effort)
    Admins can subscribe other usersYesYesYes
    Tableau-defined Groups can be recipientsNo (in 10.5 beta)NoNo, but with advanced alerts can define custom groups
    Non-licensed users (including external mailing lists) can be recipientsNoNoYes
    Automatically add new Tableau users to alertNo, workaround is to build scripting.NoNo, workarounds are to use mailing list as an address or to create an advanced alert based on a custom data source
    REST API for adding new subscriptions/alertsYes for regular subscriptions, No for conditional subscriptionsNoYes, can use Tableau's native REST API to subscribe users to Simple Alerts. Advanced Alerts require separate setup that can use any Tableau-accessible data source.
    User filters and Row Level SecurityYesYesYes (advanced alerts require some additional configuration)
    Alert on Extract FailureAdmin & OwnerYes using a connection to Tableau's database

    v2.1: Yes

    Prior versions: Yes using a connection to Tableau's database

    Run alert/subscription on extract refreshNoYes

    v2.1: Yes

    Prior Versions: No

    Runs on Tableau OnlineYesYesNo
    Runs on LinuxNo (in 10.5 beta)No (in 10.5 beta)Yes
    Runs on MacNoNoYes
    Custom email formatsNoNoYes
    Trigger alert on one view while sending anotherNoNo, there is a possible workaround of using a dashboard with a hidden alert worksheetYes
    Custom content references (URL parameters for filtering & setting Tableau parameters)NoNoYes
    Multiple views in same alertNoNoYes via custom content references
    Custom viewsYes, when view is saved it can be subscribedYes, when view is saved it can have a data driven alert addedNo, can replicate custom views with custom content references
    Multiple alerts thresholds for same viewNoYesYes
    Can send dashboard as threshold-based alert/conditional subscriptionYes using conditional subscriptions when any view in the dashboard has dataYesYes, via Advanced Alert
    Can send entire story as threshold-based alert/conditional subscriptionNoNoNo
    Multiple views in same alertNoNoYes
    CSV outputNoNoYes
    PDF outputNoNoYes
    Merged multiple views into one PDFNoNoYes
    Excel outputNoNoNo
    Send alerts to SMSNoNo

    v2.0: Yes

    Prior versions: No

    Export CSV, PDF, PNG to fileNoNoComing soon
    Load balancingUses Tableau Backgrounder processes, admins can manage schedule & task prioritiesUses Tableau Backgrounder Processes, admins can manage how often schedule is checked

    v2.1: Can control multi-threading at an individual alert level

    v2.0: Multi-threading for all alerts

    Prior versions: multiple installs of VizAlerts and additional configuration

    Run multiple schedules in parallelYesYes

    v2.0: Yes

    Prior versions: requires multiple installs of VizAlerts and additional configuration

    Disable or enable at site levelYesYesYes via additional configuration (will not prevent users from adding alerts but the alerts won't run)
    Disable or enable at workbook or view levelYesYesYes via additional configuration (will not prevent users from adding alerts but the alerts won't be delivered)
    Disable or enable at user levelYesYesYes via additional configuration (will not prevent users from adding alerts but the alerts won't be delivered)
    Permissions control over what schedules are available for particular projects/workbooks/usersNoNoYes via additional configuration (will not prevent users from adding alerts but the alerts won't delivered)
    Control how often server checks for conditionsSubscription schedule (site level)Server-level tabadmin set dataAlerts.CheckIntervalInMinutes, default is hourlyYes
    Monitor alert failureServer alerts, additionally through a connection to Tableau Server's databaseServer alerts, additionally through a connection to Tableau Server's databaseYes, sends emails to admin on failures
    Logging on subscriptions/alerts sent for analysisYes through a connection to Tableau Server's databaseYes through a connection to Tableau Server's databaseLogging is mostly for debug purposes, analysis is more difficult