How to use tabadmin for administrative task automation in tableau?

Using tabadmin for administrative task automation

Tabadmin can be used to automate administrative tasks such as backup and restore. It is also used to change the configuration settings that are not controllable through the Tableau Server User Interface, such as managing ports, or enabling access to the Repository database. It allows you to tasks from the command line on Tableau Server. It installs with Tableau Server by default and cannot be installed on other machines. 
The tabadmin toolset is proposed for the use by designated server administrators who are responsible for configuring and managing tableau server’s data and metadata. Tabadmin has its own set of commands that are exclusively used for this purpose. You can find a categorized list in appendix A.

Normally, a very limited number of technical staff members are tasked with the responsibility of developing, maintaining, and monitoring system performance.
The various tasks performed using tabadmin include:

  • Tabadmin help
  • Handling system backups and restores
  • Displaying information on system status
  • Cleaning service log files
  • Resetting the password for the tableau server account
  • Enabling or disabling access to tableau server’s postgres database
  • Constructing the zipped log files and
  • Starting and Stopping of tableau server

Starting tableau server

The tabadmin command tool is also useful for few additional tasks. The tabadmin command line tool has the following list of commands: activate, administrator, asset keys, autostart, backup, cleanup, configure, customize, etc. The recommendations in the list below should only be tackled under the direction of tableau software support or a qualified tableau server partner.

  • Altering default time-out provisions for queries
  • Modifying default time-out limits for idle users
  • Constructing a server log file
  • Configuring tableau server processes
  • Printing tableau server license information
  • Printing information on active users
  • Setting primary and secondary gateway hosts
  • Executing system changes via the configure command.

The tabadmin command line utility is the fundamental tool for maintaining the safety and performance of the server. Tableau software provides extensive documentation on their website.
The first step while using tabadmin is to open a command prompt as an administrator:

Next, navigate to Tableau Server’s bin directory by entering the following:

cd "C:Program FilesTableauTableau Server9.3bin"

You’re now ready to enter TABADMIN COMMANDS.
Change Tableau Server’s Configuration from the Command Line:
When you enter a command that changes the server’s configuration (a  tabadmin set command, for example), you need to follow a sequence of steps:

  1. STOP THE SERVER before issuing the command.
  2. Enter the appropriate command to make the configuration change.
  3. Run tabadmin config  to push the change out to all of the server’s configuration files.
  4. START Tableau Server again.

Change the server’s configuration using the tabadmin set command:

tabadmin stop

tabadmin set [option-name value]

tabadmin config

tabadmin start

Display Command Line Help

Use the tabadmin built-in help to get a quick description of a command.
To display help for all tabadmin commands enter:

tabadmin help commands

To see help for a specific command, enter tabadmin help. For example:

tabadmin help set

Certainly, tableau provides online reference material that covers all of the details with a deeper insight. You can find this by navigating through the admin view and selecting the help menu present on the upper right of the screen, then get necessary ‘help and support’.

This in turn takes you to the online ‘help screen’ where you will find the online administrator guide. Specific sections related to tabadmin activities include tabadmin, database maintenance and troubleshooting.

The first eleven posts of this text were all about about introducing you to tableau desktop, tableau’s server products (server, online, and public) and tableau server’s command line toolset. In the final post, short case studies will be presented that gives you an overview about how others generally use tableau to address their business needs.


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