Application Server processes (wgserver.exe) handle browsing and permissions for the Tableau Server web and mobile interfaces. When a user opens a view in a client device, that user starts a session on Tableau Server. This means that an Application Server thread starts and checks the permissions for that user and that view.
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Once a view is opened, the client sends a request to the VizQL process (vizqlserver.exe). The VizQL process then sends queries directly to the data source, returning a result set that is rendered as images and presented to the user. Each VizQL Server has its own cache that can be shared across multiple users.
The Tableau Data Server lets you centrally manage and store Tableau data sources. It also maintains metadata from Tableau Desktop, such as calculations, definitions, and groups. The published data source can be based on:
Backgrounder: The backgrounder refreshes scheduled extracts and manages other background tasks.
Gateway/ Load Balancer: The Gateway is the primary Tableau Server that routes requests to other components. Requests that come in from the client first hit the gateway server and are routed to the appropriate process. If multiple processes are configured for any component, the Gateway will act as a load balancer and distribute the requests to the processes. In a single-server configuration, all processes sit on the Gateway, or primary server. When running in a distributed environment, one physical machine is designated as the primary server, and the others are designated as worker servers which can run any number of other processes. Tableau Server always uses only one machine as the primary server.
Tableau Desktop is the rapid-fire authoring environment used to create and publish views, reports, and dashboards to Tableau Server. Using Tableau Desktop, a report author can connect to multiple data sources, explore relationships, create dashboards, modify metadata, and finally publish a completed workbook or data source to Tableau Server. Tableau Desktop can also open any workbooks published on Tableau Server or connect to any published data sources, whether published as an extract or a live connection.
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