5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2017 2:01 AM by Andrew Hills

    Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.

    Andrew Hills

      Hi all,


      I know this is probably a pretty n00b question, but I'm finding it difficult to find all the details in one place, as they refer to one another.


      Basically, our smallish company has 4 Desktop Licenses (for the analytics team) and everyone else has reader. The number of workbooks we are sharing now is growing fast and updating them is becoming a pain. In order to manage this, we're looking at server. The problem is, how server interacts with Reader doesn't seem particularly obvious. I know you need a packaged workbook for Reader, but can the extracts contained within it be refreshed automatically (daily, hourly, whatever) on Server?


      Or to put it another way - If I only have 1 server license, and 20 Workbooks on the server running from 5 extracts, can someone in the company with Reader access one of those workbooks?



        • 1. Re: Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.
          Donna Coles

          Hi Andrew


          The short answer is no, someone with Reader cannot access a workbook published on Server.  Reader only works with packaged workbooks (twbx files).  The workbooks would need to store 'extracts' of the extracts published on server, and then downloaded for someone with Reader to access. If you've only got 1 server user licence, then only that licensed individual wil be able to do any of the downloading, You really don't want to be going down this route and you're starting to get into a very grey area regarding the Tableau EULA.


          Server gives the facility to provide that central repository for all your workbooks and users to access without needing Reader.  But you'd need to have Server User licences for every named individual that currently develops via Desktop and everyone who consumes via Reader (in addition to the Tableau Desktop licences you already have).


          If your consumers are limited then this may not be the most expensive option, but if there is the potential for rapid expansion then the cost of per user licensing may ramp up considerably quite quickly. It will be worth considering at what point it becomes more cost effective to have a core server licence (unlimited user access) vs per named user licensing.


          On a separate note, on server you can set up refresh schedules that can run as often as every 15 mins.


          Hope that helps.



          • 2. Re: Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.
            Andrew Hills

            Thanks for the quick reply Donna,


            So in theory I could (as a single user) put all of my workbooks on the server and use the server to keep the extracts fully refreshed, but then at the end of the day I'd need to download each workbook individually as an extract for anyone else to use them via Reader (EULA issues aside).......correct?


            I presume then there's no easy way of automating this step, because Tableau really wants lots of server licenses. Which makes sense as a business model.

            • 3. Re: Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.
              Nick Bachofen

              I agree with Donna.


              Once you purchase Tableau Server it almost removes your need to use Reader.

              • 4. Re: Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.
                Donna Coles

                There are some people who have looked into automating this type of thing - see this thread Re: Automated sharing of twbx files which contains some detail from Tableau itself about the licensing issues.

                • 5. Re: Server, Reader, Desktop - Scoping What I need.
                  Andrew Hills

                  Great - thanks everyone for your Help