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Unlike the built-in features, Tabcmd is an older tool implemented in some of the earliest versions of the server, which, also unlike the main features, offers substantially more powerful functions that with the correct automation setup, can provide a much more powerful set of functions.

What is Tabcmd, Where Can I Get It, and How Do I Use It?

1. Tabcmd is a command-line tool

That provides a tel-net like interface to Tableau Server, allowing developers and administrators even greater flexibility over the control of Tableau Server, from:

  • User and user-group admin
  • Domain and site admin
  • Workbook control such as
    • Refresh Execution
    • Extract deletion
    • Workbook and/or specific page render to image (png) or pdf

2. Where can I get Tabcmd

The latest version of Tabcmd can be downloaded direct from Tableau: simply head on over to the server releases page: https://www.tableau.com/support/releases/server

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And finally, install to the server that shall be running your automation - this does not need to be the same server that Tableau Server has been installed to; I would also recommend that you either install to the root folder of your server or, follow these final steps:

After Default Install

As Tabcmd does not write any registry keys, once it has been installed (deployed) to your server, you can simply move the working directory to your system-root or, a safe working environment - I shall assume this to be C:\ for the rest of these steps:

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  1. Open a new command line instance and navigate to C:\tabcmd\tabcmd
  2. Enter this string: tabcmd login -s http://localhost -u me -p me
  3. Tabcmd should initalise initialise the login before throwing an error (as unless you are running Tableau Server on your local machine, Tabcmd will be unable to connect to the server instance)

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Tip

You can now re-deploy Tabcmd to any machine inside (or even outside) your network simply by copying your C:\tabcmd folder. Tabcmd is a self-contained utility, the only registry keys that are written during installation are only to aid the uninstaller, and are not required for the program.

3. How Do I Use Tabcmd

See the following pages for guidance, particularly the Tabcmd commands (https://help.tableau.com/current/server/en-us/tabcmd_cmd.htm) I have also provided this list on the Tabcmd Commands (below) in case the Tabcmds Tabcmd's list be moved or removed from Tableau.

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Note

The guidance provided on the following pages have been written for, and assume that your workbooks are connected to a database, although, the methods here can also be used with flat-files too.


The following pages, I

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shall be discussing using Tabcmd with the perpetually free Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition and

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Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services.

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