Debbie King - Jul 18, 2013

How to Configure Dashboard Subscriptions and Alerts on Tableau Server

One of the valuable features of a business intelligence platform is the ability to subscribe to updates of your association dashboards. We like the way this is handled with Tableau Server, and created this short guide to explain how it works.  In this case, the Tableau Server and the SMTP server are on the same machine.  You will need additional configuration if the two servers are on different hardware.

1. Setup the SMTP server on your Tableau Server

  • From the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  • Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  • From the left pane, click Turn Windows features on or off.
  • Select Features
  • Click Add Features
  • Install SMTP Server

2. Configure the SMTP Server

  • Type IIS in your start bar search, click Internet Information Services 6.0 Manager
  • Expand your local computer and you should see a SMTP Virtual Server
  • Right click on Virtual Server and select Properties
  • On General tab, select IP address of local machine (Google “what is my IP” if you can’t tell)
  • On Access tab, click Relay, add your IP to the Computer access list

ISS pic


3. Test SMTP Server

  • Create a text file containing the following:


                                      To: myname@

                                       Subject: testing

                                       This is the test message body.

  • Copy the text file in the server's pickup folder (default is here:   C:inetpubmailrootPickup)
  • The file should disappear and the test email will be sent to email if the server is working

4. Configure Tableau Server to Enable Subscriptions

  • Open Tableau Server Configuration
  • Click on the Email Alerts/Subscriptions tab
  • Select Enable email subscriptions checkbox
  • Input the IP for your SMTP server in the SMTP Server field (or the name if you know it)
  • Port 25
  • No Username or Password required if you used the default SMTP setup
  • Create Send email from (eg does not need to be a functioning address
  • Under Tableau Server URL, put the url to your Tableau server (eg
  • Click OK, Type the password for a Tableau Administrator in the General Tab, Click OK again
  • Note you will need to Stop the Server by running the “Stop Tableau Server” icon for the configuration to apply and then restart using the “Start Tableau Server” icon to apply the changes

5. Test the Subscription

  • Logon to Tableau Server
  • Find the dashboard for which you want to subscribe
  • You should see a envelope icon in the top right hand corner
  • Click it, and set the subscription
  • You should start receiving emails containing the dashboard on the intervals defined in the subscription!

Envelop Tableau

Written by Debbie King