Refreshing Data Using the Tableau Online Sync Client

  • For data sources that Tableau Online cannot reach directly, you can publish data extracts and use the Tableau Online sync client to schedule automatic refreshes.
  • These extracts can be used for a CSV or plain-text file, an Excel spreadsheet, or a relational database such as SQL Server, Oracle.
  • A reason you might use the sync client is that the schedule options are more granular, enabling you to run refreshes every 15 minutes.
  • The Tableau Online sync client is a Windows program that runs on your computer. When you run the sync client, you sign in to it using the same credentials you use to sign in to Tableau Online.


Step 1:
Create your desired visualization in Tableau Desktop using the extracts from the relational database table.
Here we have considered the DEMO_BANK(BIA_DW) database table. Save the workbook as Demo Bank.

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Step 2: In the toolbar, go to Server and select Publish Workbook… For publishing the workbook online enter online.tableau.com then Connect.

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Step 3:
Sign in with your user credentials and it shows the status of the view being published.

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Step 4:
Next, the Publish workbook to Tableau Server dialog box appears. Select Authentication to see the details about the Data Source, Extract and User.
Click Publish.

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Step 5:
Here it tells you about the Sheet that has been published with its Preview.

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Step 6:
Below it shows how the Workbook looks like in Tableau Online.

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Step 7:
Get back to Tableau Desktop, Right Click on the datasource in the Data tab and select Publish to Server.

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Step 8:
In the below dialog box, you can switch to different Projects. Click Publish.

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Step 9:
Next, it says that your datasource has been published. Select Schedule using Sync Client.

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Step 10:
Change the time duration in which you want your extract to be refreshed. then click Set schedule.

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Step 11:
In Tableau Desktop, go to Server and select Start Tableau Online Sync Client.

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Step 12:
While you are signed in to the sync client, open it by selecting its icon in the system tray. Then select Go To Tableau online.
Sign In to Tableau Online providing your user credentials if you have not already signed in.

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Step 13:
In Tableau Online, under Refresh Schedule it shows the Schedule for the extract refresh is listed.

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Step 14: Open the sync client from the Windows system tray on your computer, select the one data source for which you want to view the refresh times. The sync client shows the last actual updated time and next scheduled update time.

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Step 15:
Open the sync client, and on the settings menu in the upper-right, select Exit to stop the Sync Client.
Then Sign Out from Tableau Desktop. Go to Server then Sign Out.

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Step 16:
To remove refresh schedules, after you stop the client, Sign in to Tableau Online, and go to the Data Sources page.
Click the link for the name of the data source you refreshed through the sync client.

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Step 17:
On the data source page, select Refresh Schedule, Select the box next to the schedule you created for the sync client, select Actions then Delete.

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