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Tableau administrators have control over automating the data refresh processes in Tableau Server. When we log in as an administrator on Tableau Server, we can see the following options:

  • Schedules
  • Jobs
  • Tasks
Tableau Administration – Schedules, Jobs and Tasks on Tableau Server
Tableau Server Home Page of a Tableau administrator

In this blog, we will be looking into the privileges that a Tableau administrator can exercise over schedules, tasks and jobs on Tableau Server.


To automate a data refresh task, we can create schedules. Schedules are created as placeholders for a task, to execute it periodically at a specific time. Under the ‘Schedules’ tab, the initial setup of a task is done.

Tableau Administration – Schedules, Jobs and Tasks on Tableau Server
Configuring a Schedule

There are four types of tasks:

  • Extract Refresh​- Data source refresh​
  • Flow Refresh​- Data Flow refresh​
  • Subscriptions​- Subscriptions are used to emails users an image or PDF snapshot of a view or workbook at regular intervals, without requiring the users to sign-in to Tableau Server or Tableau Online. ​
  • Alerts​- Data-driven Alerts – When a mark crosses a threshold value, users receive an automated email

A schedule can be run using either parallel processing or serial processing. If we choose parallel processing, then the schedule runs in all available background processes and is executed faster. If serial processing is selected, the schedule waits and runs on one background process.

To schedule a task, we must provide a name, task type, priority (1 – highest, 100 – lowest, 50 – default), execution type and frequency.


Tasks are nothing but scheduled items​. To run a task at the scheduled time, the background process initiates a unique instance of the task. Under the ‘Tasks’ tab, we can

  • See all the upcoming schedules for tasks
  • Change the priority of scheduled extract refreshes relative to other Tableau Server tasks
  • Manually refresh extracts
  • Delete the schedules
Tableau Administration – Schedules, Jobs and Tasks on Tableau Server
Tasks Tab of Tableau Server


Jobs are work items of a task carried out by Tableau Server All completed tasks and in-progress tasks are present under the ‘Jobs’ tab and each job has a status associated with it.

Tableau Administration – Schedules, Jobs and Tasks on Tableau Server

The sequence of Job execution on Tableau Server

Tableau Administration – Schedules, Jobs and Tasks on Tableau Server

Jobs in order of fastest execution time:

  1. Flow Runs​
  2. Data-Driven Alerts​
  3. System Jobs​
  4. Subscriptions​
  5. Extract Creation​
  6. Incremental Extracts​
  7. Full Extracts

Thus, in Tableau Server, we can schedule extract refreshes, subscriptions and flows to run periodically. It is the responsibility of the Tableau administrator to schedule, manage and automate data refresh in Tableau Server. Check out our other blogs on Tableau here.

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