What's new in Tableau Server 9.0

Firstly, for all those still on Windows Server 2003 (you know who you are), it’s time to finally upgrade as Tableau Server 9.0 won’t run on this OS.

New User Interface

The first thing that you will notice when connecting to the Tableau 9.0 server is the new user interface. The login screen now has a clean minimal new look

Login Screen

and the overall user experience has been completely redesigned with a new sleek black theme to it, at a glance looking like the InterWorks site ;)

. MainScreen

Instead of having to page through your Workbooks (or your Views, etc) they are now all on the same page, with infinite scrolling.

Also, searching has been improved with the facility to search all projects, workbooks, views or data sources in one filter.

 Search

All of these design changes are also reflected in the Administrator View.

Security Permissioning

User and Group Permissioning has been improved with a new layout which makes changing permissions easier to understand. You can now instantly see the effects of changing group permissions, and what rights the individual users have.

Permissions

Command Line

For all you scripters out there, Tabcmd is now more responsive for faster batch line programming. The REST API has also been expanded with a number of new functions.

High Availability

Cluster management has improved greatly, so that now you can manage and control fail-overs, and set preferred hosts. This is great news for all those who were frustrated with the rudimentary nature of the previous version. Also, the restrictions on the number of data engine nodes in a cluster and which were passive has been removed, with all data engine nodes now being active, resulting in the cluster being more scalable.

Performance Enhancements

All the above points are great, but let’s now dive into the most important improvements, and enhancements that I’m most excited about. These are all about performance. Having Dashboards that render quickly is key for Tableau Server.

The improvements break down into two main areas:

Getting more out of the Server processor cores by;

  • Running multiple queries in parallel on Dashboards, instead of sequentially.
  • Rewriting the underlying code to take advantage of modern CPU design and architecture.
  • Using multiple processor cores for tasks to return results more quickly.

Getting more out of the Server Cache by;

  • Saving and reusing query results for Tableau Extracts, instead of re-running each time a workbook is opened.
  • Recognising related queries in a Dashboard, and optimising the query execution order to increase the number of time cache is being used.
  • Creating ‘shadow’ extracts of Text and Excel Data sources, so that they are optimised.

So, all in all, a number of excellent improvements from Tableau with this new release. There is so much more to go into, but I’ll leave this for another blog. But, what are your thoughts on 9.0’s Server enhancements? Let us know in the comments section as we’d love to hear your views. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or, if you’re ready to download Tableau, click here to get started on a free 14 day trial.

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Glen Robinson

Principal Consultant