Teaching Tableau Server - Part Five

In this instalment of Teaching Tableau Server we're going to start looking at the configuration options of Tableau Server as we completed the installation in Part Three.

We'll start this by looking at sites; their purpose, how to create them and what configuration options a server administrator; then move on to the ways on which Projects can be utilised.


A site is the highest level of organisation on Tableau Server.  Server administrators can create independent sites for various organisations or groups who will be accessing Tableau Server.  Each site is separate on the server, and permissions can be set per user or group on a project, workbook, view, or data source.

All server content is published, accessed, managed, and controlled on a per-site basis. Each site’s workbooks, data, and user lists are isolated from those of other sites, and users can only access one site at a time.

Users can belong to multiple sites, with different site roles and permissions on each site. Users signing in to the server will see their allowed content in the sites they belong to.  Users who have permission to access multiple sites use the same user credentials for each site.


Site Configuration Options

There are two types of administrators in Tableau Server, server administrators and site administrators. For each site, server administrators can control whether site administrators can add and remove users for the sites they manage (select Site <name> > Settings).

Users can belong to multiple sites, with different site roles and permissions on each site. A user who belongs to several sites, however, does not need a license for each site. Each server user only needs one license. 

Server administrators can use the Limit number of users setting (select Site <name> > Settings) to specify a user limit for the site. Only licensed users are counted; server administrators are excluded.

Server administrators can also restrict the amount of content (workbooks, views and data sources) that gets published to the site and server.

If you set a server limit or site limit publishers will be prevented from uploading new content until the server/site is under the limit again.

Finally, server administrators can enable or disable, at a site-by-site level, whether users can subscribe to workbooks and views. [Note: subscriptions must be enabled at server set-up to allow server administers to configure at a site-by-site level]


Workbooks and data sources are always published to projects in Tableau Server. Projects are used to:

  • Keep related content together. You might create projects based on audience (e.g. finance, marketing), role (e.g. administrators), or function (e.g. production versus sandbox).

  • Control access to project content for different groups of users. This could mean granting different permissions to different groups for the same project. Or it could mean creating multiple projects that some team members can access and others cannot.

  • Set default permissions for all content in a project. In every project, you can set the default permissions for its workbooks and data sources. That way, any workbooks and data sources published to a project start with those permissions.

Projects are useful because you can limit access to content by project. You might let one group publish to one project, but only view content in another. Another feature, is that you can set permissions for groups at the project level that become the default permissions for workbooks and data sources.

Next time...

In the next instalment we'll take a look at how to add users to sites, projects and groups.

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