1 2 3 Previous Next 39 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2018 5:30 PM by Jonathan Drummey Branched to a new discussion.

    Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want

    Matt Coles

      At this point in our development, we have about 12 distinct alerts that we've created for ourselves. I thought I'd provide a few examples in case anyone here has wanted the same, or needs some detail around how to implement them. These are roughly in order of popularity:

       

       

      Some Alerts We've Built:

       

       

      Extract Refresh Failures

      This is currently implemented as a Simple Alert that I've allowed individual Tableau Server users opt into by subscribing on an hourly Alerts schedule. The data is user-filtered so that they will only ever see their own extract refresh failures. I use a customized view for Admins to subscribe to that filters out some of the noisier extracts that frequently fail intermittently.

       

      My Nirvana for this alert is one that requires no opt-in on the users's side and just emails them the failure. The only thing stopping us from building it is that we have failures for lots of reasons--server restarts, databases going down, or again, internal issues that resolve themselves the next time around and never get noticed.

       

       

      Extract Refresh Delays

      Another alert focused on extracts, this one looks at all extracts associated with a high-priority Schedule and alerts if any of them become more than 120 minutes stale (the schedule is expected to run every 15 minutes). This is for us Admins only and guards against human error if the schedule should be accidentally left disabled for any reason.

       

       

      "Critical Viz" Alert

      We have a process that runs through and renders our most critical vizzes, and pushes data to a PostgreSQL database. This alert fires if more than 5% of our attempts fail within an hour, which would likely indicate a stability issue with Tableau Server.

       

       

      Change Management Approval

      Our security guy built a daily alert that emails him should someone inappropriately close a Change Management ticket without it having been through the proper approval process. Several others have subscribed to this one as well.

       

       

      ETL Latency

      A user reported to me that they had noticed stale data in one of the data sources we use monitor Support Cases. After looking into it with the ETL team, we couldn't pinpoint the issue--everything looked fine and the issue disappeared. I built an alert that triggered based on the published data source being stale, but embedded it into a dashboard that pulled dates from all the upstream ETL systems for comparison. Next time it occurred, we were able to determine that it was an upstream issue between two of the SQL servers.

       

       

       

      There are still a lot of alerts we want and need to build! And this is just from my own head, forget about the rest of our enterprise...

       

       

      Alerts We Still Want:

       

      These are all still just stuff I want....

       

      Stale Content

      I want to inform people when they have Workbooks or Datasources that haven't been looked at or touched in a long time, and bug them to ditch 'em. Probably on a quarterly basis. For users who are unlicensed, but still own content, I want it to send the email to their Project Leader and let them decide on what to do with it. Will need some usage stats embedded in the email to aid decision-making.

       

      Late Subscriptions

      Subscriptions on Tableau Server have a tendency to go out late when lots of people subscribe to long-running views or worse, entire workbooks. Rather than check our viz for this every day, we want to simply be told that some subscriptions are going out too late so we can investigate.

       

      Best Publishing Practices

      I'd love a way to email users who publish workbooks that have one or more implementation details that don't conform to Server best practices. We'd need to obtain that data somewhere, of course, but that's the trickiest part.

       

      Welcome Email for New Tableau Users

      When a user logs in to Tableau Server for the first time at our company, send them a welcome email with some basic resources. When they first publish to Tableau Server, send another email with tips, tricks, and best practices. When one of their views gets over N views per day, send them (and the Admins) another email with a congrats and some resources on scaling.

       

       

       

      What kind of alerts do you want to set up?

        • 1. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
          Toby Erkson

          AlertsAlerter 2.0

          Attached is a conversion of a notification process I created that sends an email when there is a new Alert present on the Tableau Server.  The notification goes to the Tableau Administrator and the Owner of the offending object.  Here is the original -- you can think of it as version one:  Tableau Server Alerts Alerter

           

          Now with VizAlerts the process is easy to maintain, work with, and keeps your teeth white all day (okay, maybe not that last item)!  Here's how easy it is now:

          1. Open the attached .twb
          2. Change the connection info to your Tableau Server
          3. Change the Email CC ~ email address to that of the Tableau Administrator
          4. Publish to your Tableau Server
          5. View the "AlertList_Report" and subscribe to it with a VizAlert.
          6. Done!

           

          Notes

          • Do not subscribe to the "AlertList_csv".  That was originally for the old method of this report.  I left it because it doesn't have a time limit filter so you can see previous alerts.
          • I recommend having a VizAlert schedule of once an hour.
          • Have your Server alerts moved to their own email folder.  Here is what my folder structure is for Tableau Server:

               

                   All AlertsAlerter emails are put into the Alerts! email folder by a rule I have set up in Outlook.

          • The Email Subject * looks like this:

                   'PROD Tableau Server Alert! - ' + [object_name]

                  You will want to change the first bit of text to reflect what you call the Server it's running on

           

          Updates

          03Mar2016 - Inspired by Matt's very cool rendition (Example: Email users whose extracts fail to refresh ) I updated this alert workbook (version is 9.2).  Mine didn't always capture all alerts even though all the data was being properly captured.  It turns out it was the way my Row pills were set up that caused this.  By re-arranging their order, namely the Email Subject * as the first VizAlert item since it will be unique for each row, I was successful in getting the same data back as Matt's.  One difference with mine is that it filters out crashed jobs.  If you wish to see these errors then simply remove the Notes pill from the Filters pane.

          I really liked how Matt set his VizAlert workbook up by using parameters, thus making it more user-friendly-adjustable than mine.  I also like how he uses the Email Consolidate ~ field so only one message is sent per owner.  However, I specifically want an individual email for each and every Server alert which is why mine is the way it is -- one email per alert even if multiple alerts are sent to the same person.

          6 of 6 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
            Matt Coles

            Nice Toby! Could we see an example of the email it sends?

            • 3. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
              Toby Erkson

              Here ya go:

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                Matt Coles

                Ah, very cool. Thank you!

                • 5. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                  Toby Erkson

                  Workbook Aging

                  This VizAlert report is meant to let Workbook Owners know that their content hasn't been viewed for a certain length of time and that they should delete it if it is no longer needed.

                   

                  As usual you will need to Edit Connection when you open it so it points to your Tableau Server.

                  On the "Forgotten Workbook Alerts" tab is where the filter is for the number of months you want to trigger on:

                  I have mine set to 7 months, that way when something is over 6 months (roughly) then the workbook Owner will get an email alerting them to the fact that no one has viewed their workbook for quite a while.  Naturally this is where you would change the criteria to fit your needs.  This is also the tab that you will subscribe your VizAlert to.  I use my 6AM every day schedule so it fires off only once a day, every day.

                   

                  There is another calculated field that is the number of days since the object was last viewed.  You can use that instead of the current months calculation if you want more precise alerting.

                   

                  The first tab, "Workbook Aging Dashboard", is for your viewing pleasure and should not be subscribed to.  It is powered by the hidden sheet, "Forgotten Workbooks".  From there you can adjust your Color and Filters.

                   

                  Notes

                  Be sure to change the title for each page and the Email Subject * text to fit your particular Tableau Server naming convention.

                  Change the Email CC ~ email address to that of the Tableau Administrator.

                  The sliding filter:  A value of zero means reports that have been recently viewed, within the last month.  By moving the slider to zero you will see all reports...and have an almost unreadable X-axis.

                  Remember to adjust the number in the "Black Wkbk Name" and "Red Wkbk Name" to your value.  The "Red Wkbk Name" simply changes the text in the Tooltip to red if the age is over the value you assign (it is independent of the filter).

                   

                  Email Example

                  stalecleanupaging_content

                  1Feb2016 - Will now create workbook URL with appropriate Site as necessary.  Previous workbook didn't do this

                  5 of 5 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                    Toby Erkson

                    I discovered that Tableau changed one of its field values somewhere along the software updating process because data source error alerts were not showing up in my emails even though I saw them on the Servers.  A tweak to the Custom SQL code fixed it.  Go from this:

                    LEFT JOIN public._datasources ds ON (proper_bj.object_id = ds.id AND proper_bj.subtitle='Data Source')  -- Include data source info. The AND is required!
                    

                    to this:

                    LEFT JOIN public._datasources ds ON (proper_bj.object_id = ds.id AND proper_bj.subtitle='Datasource')  -- Include datasource info. The AND is required!
                    

                     

                    The workbook was updated in the original attachment location.

                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                      Leigh Fonseca

                      This is great!  Thank you, Matt, for this incredible tool and Toby for sharing this workbook and the examples.  These alerts are exactly what I've been looking to implement.

                      • 8. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                        Matt Coles

                        Thanks--I hope it's helpful for you, Leigh!

                        • 9. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                          Tracy Mixa

                          Thanks for providing this awesome workbook!  I'm running into an issue that I'm hoping you can help me with.  When I test this out by running the vizalerts.py script, it tells me that the email addresses are invalid and proceeds to remove all periods and the @ symbol.

                           

                          Here is how it looks in Tableau Desktop:

                           

                          And here is what the script is doing:

                           

                          Any ideas?

                          • 10. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                            Toby Erkson

                            Is the email domain whitelisted in your config file?

                            • 12. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                              Matt Coles

                              The logs above are a bit misleading. The logger is putting the name for the function I call at the beginning of the line, for debugging purposes. But the level for those lines above is all "DEBUG", so they don't constitute a problem in and of themselves. The lines that say "ERROR" is what you want to look for.

                               

                              But, all this should be unnecessary because if the email address isn't valid, you should get an email saying that the alert failed, and what the problem with the email address was. Are you not seeing that?

                              • 13. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                                Toby Erkson

                                Agreed, would need to see the logs.

                                 

                                Just to make sure, when you restart your Tableau Server do you get an email from it letting your know services are up?  Thus the Tableau Server Configuration is set up so that your Server can send email.  I'm at home, not in front of my work computer, so I can't show you a picture of the Server Configuration window so I hope you know what I'm talking about.

                                • 14. Re: Alerts you've created, Alerts that you want
                                  Tracy Mixa

                                  Found the issue!  On the server where I am testing this, we had some Tableau Sample workbooks that listed the owner as Tableau Software.  I changed the owner to myself and now it's working just fine.  Thanks!

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