12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2018 4:12 AM by Nabil Majoul

    Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?

    Nabil Majoul

      Hello,

       

      Sorry for this blunt question.

      Reason is that I started to use Tableau Data Prep in a project and I fnd it frustrating.

      I have to admit that I was able to get some results very quickly and then my flow go complicated and my problems started...

      Whenever I try to modify my flow I seem to get stuck..Data Prep runs the Flow and hangs there..I have to kill the application and startover. hoping it will move forward...

       

      The running flow state is really a black box without knowing what it is really doing or having any idea on progress... you do not have the possibility to start the flow ....

      The whole experience is really frustrating and I was wondering if I was the only one experiencing this

      Thank you

      Nabil

        • 1. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
          Peter Fakan

          Hi Nabil,

           

          I think you may have answered your question with your post. It seems clear to me by reading your description of your experiences with TP that its not ready for your production environment.

           

          HTH

           

          Peter

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
            Nabil Majoul

            Thank you for your feedback.

            I guess I was looking for someone to prove me wrong

            • 3. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
              ArseneXie

              Hi Nabil,

               

              You are not the only one experiencing this.

               

              And there are some workaround.

              If your flow is complex and always be hang there.

              Try to split it into some flows with simpler algorithm, and you could check the output easily.

               

              For example, to split a complex flow A into A1,A2,A3...

              To use the output of A1 as the input of A2, the output of A3 as the input of A3....

              and run these flows in sequence.

               

               

              Arsene

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                Nabil Majoul

                Hello Arsene,

                Thats what I am doing and it is reassuring to know that I am not the only one experimenting  this

                thank you for the feedback

                Nabil

                • 5. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                  Anushka A

                  Hi Nabil,

                   

                  We are sorry to hear you are running into issues with Prep. I've a couple of questions for you to understand your problem:

                  1. What version of Prep are you using? We released Prep 2018.2.3 last week: Tableau Prep Upgrade Page | Tableau Software

                  2. What are your machine specs? The min. tech specs for Prep are described here: All Technical Specifications | Tableau Software

                  3. What datasources are you connecting to? Sometimes when connecting to DBs across a network, Prep can appear to be hung if the network connection is slow or it is processing a lot of data on your source DBs - this is true when you "Run the flow" or try to produce the output datasource.

                   

                  A lot of customers are using Prep for their data prep use cases in production. We'd like to help you figure out how to do so as well and understand if you are encountering a bug we should investigate further via a Support case.

                  Best,

                  Anushka

                  Senior Product Manager, Tableau Prep

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                    Nabil Majoul

                    Hello Anushka,

                     

                    Thank you for your reply. to answer your questions:

                     

                    1. I did upgrade to 2018.2.3 upon availability as a result my  2018.2.2 flows stopped running and I had to go thru workarounds to mitigate naming issues. This was quiet stressfull.

                    2. My computer exceeds the specs requirements.

                    3. My datasources is CSV and the size is around 6 million rows. the files are sitting on my local hard disk.

                     

                    My main issue is, at least at my perception, a lack of visibility and predictability on the flows.

                    I do not know what is happening when a flow start. some of them will run overnight without any result.

                    I have to kill the process to stop them..sometimes they will throw errors...

                     

                    The same flow might run in few minutes after it was restarting  and produce results.

                     

                    This has been really frustrating and I pushed thru to finish this particular project because I recommended Data prep to my client but I'am regretting it.

                     

                    Best regards

                    Nabil

                    • 7. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                      Praveen Ettam

                      I think we are in the same boat.  Now I have to go back and create in custom query. 

                       

                      I understand Prep is still in initial phase and I see lot of version coming,  may be one day we will be able to create flow without any issue.

                       

                      Is there a limit how many Unions we can use?  because as soon as I hit 10 unions it will hang up on me.  If I have 9 unions it will work fine.

                       

                      As I mentioned in my post before, if you look at the java process it will exceed 2GB ram,  that is something Dev team needs to look.  Schedule Publish to Server need to able to adopt this flow.  If I cannot publish there is no point creating in Prep.   For now I am using Command Line.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                        Zahra Badaroudine

                        I've got the same issue. I'd really like to see a "Best Practices for Tableau Prep" article sometime soon.

                         

                        Is there an order of operations that makes Prep faster ?

                        Is it better to merge 3 successive data cleaning "steps" into 1? (I've got 3 because I created a generic flow that my colleagues can re-use: "Rename-Remove fields", "Add calculated fields", "Filter Data")

                        Is it better to use a custom query vs using the table?

                        At which steps does limiting the number of columns make a difference in performance?

                        • 9. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                          Anushka A

                          Hi Zahra,
                          That's a great suggestion! We will certainly take it on.

                          Thanks,

                          Anushka

                          Senior Product Manager, Tableau Prep

                          • 10. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                            Anushka A

                            Hi Nabil,

                             

                            The unpredictability with reliable runs of a Prep flow seems highly unexpected. Also given you machine specs and data size, you shouldn't be having any of those issues. We would love to follow up with you - could you file a Support case please?

                            Also bring up the issue with upgrade to 2018.2.3 not being seamless - we intend to not break flows with upgrades so I'd like to get details on what broke when you upgraded - what naming issues you had to fix and what other workarounds you had to do - and will follow up with you directly.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Anushka

                            Senior Product Manager, Tableau Prep

                             

                            • 11. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                              Anushka A

                              Hi Praveen,

                               

                              There is a limit of 10 input files to a Union step but your flow or the app shouldn't hang - if that persists, please file a support case as it would be a bug and we'd need info. on your data and log files to investigate.

                              Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 10.37.18 AM.png

                               

                              You can have multiple Union steps in a flow. Or you can use a wildcard union if possible - see blog post.

                               

                              Also, Tableau Prep is an in-memory process and the 2GB RAM usage is expected for the responsive UX given that we apply transforms immediately on a data sample of about 1M rows in the Hyper cache supporting the app.

                               

                              Best,

                              Anushka

                              Senior Product Manager, Tableau Prep

                              • 12. Re: Is Tableau Data Prep Production Ready?
                                Nabil Majoul

                                Hello Anushka,

                                I am off this week I will intiitate this next week.

                                regards,

                                Nabil