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README.md

A Sith's Tableau Cache Warmer

A completely unsupported app which will warm your Tableau VizQL Server processes.

  • Exercises 1-X different reports on your server
  • Repeats report execution on a user-defined interval
  • Executes multiple requests for the same report in an attempt to populate caches across all processes

A Sith's Cache Warmer simply calls reports you specify on a regular basis. Doing so over time (generally) will populate the cache of each VizQL on your Tableau Server, increasing the perceived performance of Tableau Server for your users. It is a Node.JS module that utilizes PhantomJS as a headless browser to hit your pages:

Reasons Not To Use This Tool

(They are legion)

  • It is not supported. By anyone. Under any circumstances. Ever.
  • There's a good chance the author will never update it again. I'm off slaying Jedi, after all.
  • You need to be somewhat technical to get it installed and running
  • For reasons that won't be explained here, it is very difficult to dependably pre-populate the cache of all VizQL Server processes on your server. This tool uses brute force and generally does a "good enough" job. Not perfect, not even great...not meant to be.

Version

1.0

Installation

  • To begin, you must download and install Node.Js for your operating system
  • Then, head to PhantomJS to download and install the the distribution for the OS you're running
  • Next, download the code using the Download button to your right
  • Unzip to the folder of your choice, and navigate there on the command-line
  • Execute these commands to prepare the app
npm install 
Windows Only
  • You may see a build error related to phantom and installing Microsoft build tools or Visual Studio. Ignore it. Stupid Windows.
  • phantomjs.exe was unzipped and copied to your folder\node_modules\phantom\lib\phantom. Ensure it is there, and/or read the npm install output to determine where it landed.
  • Add the full path to the exe into your computer's PATH statement. Example D:\SithCacher\node_modules\phantom\lib\phantom
  • Your current command-line window won't register this change. Close it and launch a new one.

To run the app on Mac \ Windows \ Linux:

node app

Script Configuration

Modify these settings in \config\default.json:

host: The location to your Tableau Server. Include http:// or https:// on the URL

username: The username which will be used to connect to Tableau Server and request reports. Make sure this username has permissions on all sites which contain workbooks you'll be exercising.

reload: The interval, in milliseconds that the script waits to re-request reports.

Examples:

  • 2700000: 45 minutes
  • 10800000: 3 hours

Do NOT do something foolish and set this to a low value like 10 minutes.

executions: The number of times each report will get executed in a single time interval. Default is 1

Reports section

Use this area to define each report you wish to execute. Example:

    {
        "reportName": "Growth of Walmart",
        "reportURL": "/views/Sales/GrowthofWalmart?:refresh=yes",
        "reportSite": ""
    },

Launch the report named "Growth of Walmart" in the default site. The report is found at /views/Sales/GrowthofWalmart on the Tableau Server. Use the :refresh=yes parameter to force "latest and greatest" data to be acquired.

    {
       "reportName": "The Hello Viz",
        "reportURL": "/views/Foo/Hello2?:Region=West",
        "reportSite": ""
    },

Execute "The Hello Viz" found at /views/Foo/Hello. Filter down to the West region.

    {
       "reportName": "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down",
        "reportURL": "/t/Site3/views/Songs/ILuvKaren?:refresh=yes",
        "reportSite": "Site3"
    },

Execute a dashboard named after the best song ever and refresh data. This report lives in a Tableau multi-tenant site with an ID of "Site3". Does the username you specified in username have access to this site? It needs to.

Tableau Server Configuration

This application leverages Tableau Trusted Authentication to enable the user specified in the config file to connect to and execute reports. Please review the documentation on same, and configure Tableau to trust the IP address or Machine Name of the box which runs this application.

License

MIT

Free Software, Hell Yeah!

FAQ

####Reports come back "out of order" in the display. Why? The order in which reports are executed against Tableau is irrelevant in terms of the order they'll return - each report takes a different amount of time to complete, after all. ####Explain why using :refresh=yes on my URL could be a bad idea, please? :refresh=yes expires the cache on the vizqlserver process it is executed against. This means each time it is used, it wipes out whatever was already cached. If you cache 3 reports and use :refresh=yes on the third, you are most likely de-caching the first two vizzes you just STUCK in cache a second ago. You just wasted your time. ####When I run the app, one (or more) of my reports finishes with: ' ' load complete. Closing page. Why? Generally, this means one of two things:

  • The report that you're asking for lives in a non-default site, and you forgot to set the reportSite attribute in the config file
  • The user you are logging in with does not have permissions on the report you are trying to run or doesn't have permissions to get into the site.

####Please explain why it is useless to execute the same viz a bunch of times in a row during a single "execution round"? There is no real reason to request the same viz multiple times in a row since you’ll just end up in a shared session anyway – you WON’T actually be exercising multiple VizQLs by asking for the same viz two/three/four times in a row. Be patient, acolyte. Instead, execute each report ONCE every x minutes with x being a number above the timeout period for wgserver.session_idle_limit and vizqlserver.session.expiry.timeout. That way, the session (and vizql it is bound to) you hit last time will already be dead and buried. Therefore, a NEW vizql session will get bootstrapped - and this new session willl (hopefully) get created on a different vizql than the last time. ####Can I use this thing as a poor man's load generation tool? Yeah, probably...but barely. Make multiple copies of the folder that the app lives in, and lower the reload interval value in default.json for each instance.

Thanks, Darth FlashyPants

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