Should you upgrade your Tableau Server?

My last week’s Webinar about enterprise server upgrade (why upgrade, how to upgrade, and new feature demo) was well received with audience survey feedback  4.4  (1-5 scale & 5 being the awesome).

“Love & Hate” best describes each Tableau release. People love the new features and Tableau’s pace of innovation. But enterprise customers dislike the efforts, downtime, and risks associated with each upgrade.

Unfortunately choosing doing nothing is not a good option since Desktop users may have one-click Product Updates feature to upgrade their Desktop before server is upgrade (unless you have Microsoft CCM or something similar in your enterprise) – if it happens, users who have new version of Desktop (not at maintenance release level but major or minor release level, like 9.1 to 9.2) can’t publish workbooks to server, any workbooks opened and saved by 9.2 Desktop can’t be opened by 9.1 Desktop anymore. You will have a lot frustrated Desktop users. It is a lot of communication work of asking all Desktop users not to upgrade their Desktop till server is upgraded. The longer it takes for the server upgrade, the more communication work for enterprise server team……  Which means that doing nothing on server side is actually a lot of work as well.

NetApp’s approach is to upgrade the server ASAP – NetApp did 9.1 sever upgrade within 20 days of general release, and we did 9.2 server upgrade within 10 days of general release, which is win-win for Desktop users and server team.

It is impossible to have a bug-free version but Tableau’s releases are relative good. We did not find any major issues at all with our 9.0, 9.1 and 9.2 upgrades.