Keeping things regular: how to use schedules on Tableau Server

by Gwilym Lockwood

It’s Tableau Server week here at the Data School, and we’ve been learning about keeping things regular with schedules.


Schedules are pretty straightforward – the most difficulty we’ve had with them as a group is settling on how to pronounce it. You can use schedules to run particular actions on a regular basis, such as refreshing extracts or sending out email alerts on viz updates. Let’s create a schedule for refreshing an extract that a viz is based on.

First, we need to see what set schedules there are. Go on to the Tableau server site, and go to schedules; there will probably be a list of preset schedules already:


If you want to create a new schedule, click on New Schedule and set it to your particular requirements:


Now that we’ve made sure that the right schedule exists, we can use that when saving our workbook. In this case, I’m saving my workbook of the Premiership data I used in the vizzes in tooltips blog, and I’m using an extract rather than a live connection. In Tableau Desktop, go to Server, and select Publish Workbook. You’ll get this box:


All the possible extract schedules are listed in the drop down box under Refresh Schedule. I want the extract to refresh every day at 5AM, so I’ll select that. Publish the workbook, and there we are; it’ll be on Tableau Server, and it’ll refresh the extract every day at 5AM.

We can also change that from inside Tableau Server; go to your workbook, click the Refresh Schedules tab, find the schedule, click on the three dots, and choose Change Schedule:


One word of warning is that the time is set to the time zone of the server. So, if my The Information Lab colleagues in the Netherlands use the Daily 5AM extract refresh schedule, it’ll update at 6AM Dutch time. It’s good practice to refer to time zones in the schedule name to avoid possible issues like this.


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