4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2012 10:38 AM by Ed Egan

    Server - Concurrent Use of a License

    Ed Egan

      How long as Tableau allowed concurrent use of a single license?  I could have sworn it wasn’t always this way but I also switch from using AD to local authentication several months ago.


      I get that Tableau allows access to server by different means (I-pad, mobile, etc…).  But why concurrent usage?  Why does one license user need to log on from his/her laptop then walk-away and log on via a mobile device?


      We sell licenses to access our server.  It’s difficult to sell additional licenses to a client once they figure out they only need one of which they can share amongst several users.  My Tableau sales rep speaks with me frequently about the possibility of going to an enterprise server.  That can’t even be a consideration when users can share one license.


      Can someone convince me the upside of allowing concurrent usage?

        • 1. Re: Server - Concurrent Use of a License
          Russell Christopher
          Hi Ed! I see where you're coming from - we all want to sell more licenses! :) That being said, I think we've decided that if we're going to err, we're going to do so on the side of the customer. There's nothing that is more frustrating to a user than having their workflow disrupted by "licensing stuff". A few examples come to mind:
          • User views a viz, then closes their browser (doesn't logout). If we enforced "no concurrent license use", that user would essentially be locked out of the server until the login timeout expires and Server kills it.
          • I script TabCmd to do things for me on a schedule, and I generally use the same login for each scheduled task. Locking out concurrent license usage would mean I would have to have multiple logins if I want to do something like a refresh an extract AND add users at the same time.
          There probably is a group of people thay may take advantage of our approach, but it is small. And in my opinion it's more important that we focus on making the larger group of users successful and happy.
          • 2. Re: Server - Concurrent Use of a License
            Ed Egan

            Thank you for your reply Russell.  I understand your perspective.  That said, how about lowering the cost of individual licenses then?  $1000 is pretty steep.  Lowering licensing fees would remove the temptation of users sharing a license and then both of our volumes would increase.  It would be interesting to know the number of people that actually take advantage of the concurrent use approach, you'll never know for certain and speculation, well, is speculation.


            In my world, we deal with sensitive data.  Debit and Credit card account data.  So when users share one log-in, we have no way of knowing for certain what individual is doing what with one user ID.  We can only trace activity (via PostgreSQL views) based on the user ID.  So in that respect, we'll have to put the responsibility on the client to manager who has access and who doesn't as well as what they view and download. 

            • 3. Re: Server - Concurrent Use of a License
              Russell Christopher

              (Price cut!?! The sales guys in the room are clutching at their collective chests!)


              Revisiting the pricing model could be an avenue to explore.

              • 4. Re: Server - Concurrent Use of a License
                Ed Egan

                :-)  But of course.  Yes, revisiting our pricing model could, and probably should, be an avenue to explore.  But in doing so we're essentially telling our client that they can use one license among multiple users (at a higher cost then if buying individual licenses). It's something to consider on our end.  Thanks for your time Russell.