SCALING TABLEAU (9/10) – CONTROL DESKTOP UPGRADE

After your Tableau server is upgraded (let’s say from 10.0 to 10.2), you  want user’s Desktop to popup for 10.2 Desktop upgrade automatically. Read this blog.

Tableau Desktop can check for product updates and install them automatically. However, most large Tableau customers have to turn it off  (by modifying the setting for the AutoUpdateAllowed property value) since if Desktop is automatically updated to a newer version than Server, you can’t publish. For example, you can’t publish from 10.3 Desktop to 10.2 server.

What we really need is a controlled Desktop updates that Tableau team  can control when the Desktop users should be prompted for the upgrade after server upgrade.

In an attempt to achieve this, Tableau came up with control product updates for maintenance version only of Tableau Desktop. The problem is that out of box Tableau approaches works for maintenance updates only.

verssion

Tableau’s version is like this below: major.minor.maintenance.

Tableau control product updates only works for maintenance version updates, does not work for minor version updates.

I figured out  how to control your Desktop update for both minor & maintenance upgrade (i.e. from 10.0 to 10.2). It should work for major upgrade (from 9.* to 10.2) as well but I have not tested enough for it yet. This blog is a small deviation from Tableau’s out of box solution but is a big breakthrough on usability.

The  use case is that you already have control on your users’  Desktop configurations (for example,  you have built Mac installer package to update Mac plist or you have built Windows .bat to update registration of Windows), you plan to upgrade your Tableau server from 10.0 to 10.2, you want user’s Desktop to popup for 10.2 upgrade after your server is upgraded to 10.2.  It can be done by following the steps below:

  1. Create your own Tableau download server: Find an internal web server and create one Tableau download folder (let’s call it your own download server)  to host one TableauAutoUpdate.xml and the new installations packages. download folder

 

 

  • Make sure HTTPS is enabled
  • Validate download server by open browser @ https://xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/ to make sure that you are able to see the list of files. You will get error when click xml from browser, which is Ok.

2. Create your TableauAutoUpdate.xml from this example below:

<?xml version=”1.0″ ?>
<versions xmlns=”https://xxx.com/Tableau”>
<version hashAlg=”sha512″ latestVersion=”10200.17.0505.1445″ latestVersionPath=”” name=”10.0″ public_supported=”false” reader_supported=”false” releaseNotesVersion=”10.2.2″ showEula=”false”>
<installer hash=”86efa75ecbc40d6cf2ef4ffff18c3100f85381091e59e283f36b2d0a7a0d32e5243d62944e3ee7c8771ff39cc795099820661a49105d60e6270f682ded023669″ name=”TableauDesktop-10-2-2.pkg” size=”316511726″ type=”desktopMac”/>
<installer hash=”bb5f5ec1b52b3c3d799b42ec4f9aad39cc77b08916aba743b2bac90121215597300785152bafec5d754478e1de163eedfb33919457ad8c7ea93085f6deabff1e” name=”TableauDesktop-64bit-10-2-2.exe” size=”304921808″ type=”desktop64″/>
<version hashAlg=”sha512″ latestVersion=”10200.17.0505.1445″ latestVersionPath=”” name=”10.1″ public_supported=”false” reader_supported=”false” releaseNotesVersion=”10.2.2″ showEula=”false”>
<installer hash=”bb5f5ec1b52b3c3d799b42ec4f9aad39cc77b08916aba743b2bac90121215597300785152bafec5d754478e1de163eedfb33919457ad8c7ea93085f6deabff1e” name=”TableauDesktop-64bit-10-2-2.exe” size=”304921808″ type=”desktop64″/>
<installer hash=”86efa75ecbc40d6cf2ef4ffff18c3100f85381091e59e283f36b2d0a7a0d32e5243d62944e3ee7c8771ff39cc795099820661a49105d60e6270f682ded023669″ name=”TableauDesktop-10-2-2.pkg” size=”316511726″ type=”desktopMac”/>
<version hashAlg=”sha512″ latestVersion=”10200.17.0505.1445″ latestVersionPath=”” name=”10.2″ public_supported=”false” reader_supported=”false” releaseNotesVersion=”10.2.2″ showEula=”false”>
<installer hash=”bb5f5ec1b52b3c3d799b42ec4f9aad39cc77b08916aba743b2bac90121215597300785152bafec5d754478e1de163eedfb33919457ad8c7ea93085f6deabff1e” name=”TableauDesktop-64bit-10-2-2.exe” size=”304921808″ type=”desktop64″/>
<installer hash=”86efa75ecbc40d6cf2ef4ffff18c3100f85381091e59e283f36b2d0a7a0d32e5243d62944e3ee7c8771ff39cc795099820661a49105d60e6270f682ded023669″ name=”TableauDesktop-10-2-2.pkg” size=”316511726″ type=”desktopMac”/>
<installer hash=”bb5f5ec1b52b3c3d799b42ec4f9aad39cc77b08916aba743b2bac90121215597300785152bafec5d754478e1de163eedfb33919457ad8c7ea93085f6deabff1e” name=”TableauDesktop-64bit-10-2-2.exe” size=”304921808″ type=”desktop64″/>
</version>
</versions>

  • Notice latestVersionPath=””  This is the tricky setting so you do not have to create multiple directory within the above download folder to host download file.
  • How to create hash512? If you use Mac, open Terminal and run shasum -a 512 TableauDesktop-10-2-2.pkg  (you need to replace it with your package name)
  • Get the installer file size correctly. If you use Mac, open Terminal and run ls -l to get the file size in bytes
  • What is the LatestVersion? You need to install the target Desktop once, then you will find the  LatestVersion info from About Tableauversion
  • Name = “10.0” is the current Desktop version to be upgraded
  • public_supported=”false” or “true” – if support Tableau Public
  • reader_supported=”false” or “true” – if support Tableau Reader
  • showEula=”false” or “true” – if you want user to see & acknowledge Tableau’s standard End User License Agreement or not during installation
  • type=”desktop64″ means the installer is for Windows 64-bit
  • type=”desktopMac” means the installer is for Mac.

3. Create the installer packages (for Mac or Windows or both) and put them in the same folder as where TableauAutoUpdate.xml is.

  • Please do not put the package in any sub-directories.
  • Please make sure that the names of the installer packages are exactly the same used in TableauAutoUpdate.xml
  • If you change the name of the installer package, you will have to re-create the hash512

4. Configure user computers to point to your own Tableau download server

  • Windows: Make an entry for each product and operating system type (32-bit and 64-bit) in your environment. The following entry is for 64-bit Tableau Desktop:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tableau\Tableau <version>\AutoUpdate
    Server = "xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/"

    For example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tableau\Tableau 10.3\AutoUpdate
    Server = "xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/"
    • Mac: Change the settings file for each user to list the download server. Use the defaultscommand.defaults write com.tableau.Tableau-<version> AutoUpdate.Server "xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/"For example:
      defaults write com.tableau.Tableau-10.2 AutoUpdate.Server "xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/"
  • Note:  AutoUpdate.Server “xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/” it does not have https in front since Tableau automatically adds https. Pls do not forget the ‘/’ at the end

5. How it works after you have done all the setups correctly?  When Desktop users launch an old version of Desktop, they will be getting the following popup automatically: user reminder

 

 

 

  • If ‘Download and install when I quit’ is selected, users can continue use Desktop, nothing happens till user close the Desktop.
  • Soon as Desktop is closed, download of the right new version Desktop will happen
  • The best piece of this is that soon as download is completed, the installation starts immediately and automatically
  • What happens if user canceled in the middle of download? No problem. Next time when Desktop is launched, the above popup will show up again
  • What if user cancel the AutoUpdates installation in the middle of installation? No problem. Next time when Desktop is launched, the above popup will show up again. Since new package is downloaded already, when user click ‘Download and install when I quit’,  it will not download again but kicks off installation right away.
  • The new package is downloaded to /Download/TableauAutoUpdate/
  • Do you need to do anything about the Release notes link? Right now, the link is https://www.tableau.com/support/releases. I’d love to config it so it can point to your own internal upgrade project link – I have not figured it out yet.

6. How to trouble shoot? Check /My Tableau Repository/Logs/log.txt.  Search for ‘AUTOUPDATE’ or/and xxx.corp.xyz.com/tableau/ to get hints why popup did not happen.

7. With AutoUpdate.Server configuration, you still need to turn off AutoUpdate.AutoUpdateAllowed.

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