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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2023-04-30
Explain Tableau Drivers? What are its Limitations?

It is possible to analyze and visualize data with Tableau. It enables the coding-free creation of incredible interactive visualization. Data cleansing, organization, and visualization features are offered. The reason Tableau is so well-known is that it can quickly process data input and provide the necessary data visualization output. In essence, it may transform your data into insights you can utilize to direct your future actions. Tableau can accomplish all of this while offering the highest level of security and a promise to deal with security vulnerabilities as soon as they happen or are discovered by users.

Because ODBC driver technology has been around for well over 20 years and will continue to grow, most of these vendors are confident enough to create their own ODBC drivers. The majority of Big Data vendors want to demonstrate that Tableau can connect to each of their distinct database engines, which is possible through a straightforward response. The only way to do this is to write an ODBC driver, which is not an easy task. The confidence that the majority of these suppliers exhibit in creating their own ODBC drivers is because ODBC driver technology has been in this business for significantly more than 20 years and will continue to stand tall. Let's now examine how these are accomplished and what alternatives are available to us for connecting to Tableau Desktop software.

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Today in this blog post, let's discuss tableau drivers, Initiate our discussion with

 What are Tableau Drivers?

The Tableau Desktop edition includes built-in connectivity to a variety of data sources, including Excel files, text files, comma-separated files, Access, and more. Tableau Server can help you out if you're willing to connect to a data source that is outside of this range. Compared to Tableau Desktop, which offers more than 40 different data source options, Tableau Server is a much more potent tool. The necessary drivers for Oracle and Oracle Essbase databases are automatically installed by the Tableau Server or Tableau Server Workers installers as part of the Tableau Server installation.

Tableau itself includes a list of all the supported drivers that one can use to connect with Tableau from the relevant data source, and Tableau Desktop already offers a smooth connection with many data providers. Although the support for each of these drivers and the associated data sources greatly depends on the Tableau product version. On Tableau Desktop, click Help, then select About Tableau. On Tableau Server, click the information symbol, then choose About Tableau Server.

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Because of the above, there is nothing to worry about if you attempt to connect to a data source that does not readily support any ODBC connector. An ODBC connection that uses and complies with all ODBC standards is offered by Tableau. You can connect to any data source that implements its own ODBC API and complies with the SQL standards using ODBC.

Tableau ODBC Types:

The file and database types that Tableau Desktop supports appear under Connect when you launch Tableau. To view the whole list, select More. Tableau offers built-in connectors for supported files and databases, which were created and optimized for those data sources.

You might be able to connect to your file or database using the Other Databases (ODBC) connector if it is not listed under Connect. A common method of connecting to a database is through ODBC (Open Database Connectivity). You can use the ODBC driver for your database and the Tableau Other Databases (ODBC) connector to connect Tableau to your data if the database driver you want to connect with implements the ODBC standard.

Make the connection

Using the ODBC driver, connect to your data as follows:

1. Launch Tableau and choose Other Databases (ODBC) under Connect. Choose/ Click on More under To a Server for a comprehensive list of data connections.

2. Fill out the necessary details to establish the connection.

If the names of a table or schema are not listed, you can either use the text field to add the name and then click the search icon to choose it.

You can start your analysis if your connection functions as you need it to. To increase functionality and performance, however, you might need to modify your ODBC connection.

Configure for publishing and cross-platform portability

The workbooks and data sources you create when using a generic ODBC connection need to be further configured to be usable on various devices and platforms.

For cross-platform portability and publishing:

• To support differing drivers and setups between systems, it is advisable to use data source names (DSNs).

• The workbook or data source connection must be compatible with the installation and configuration of the driver and DSN.

Tableau support for Other Databases (ODBC) connections

Customer assistance for connections made with Other Databases (ODBC) is limited at Tableau. Support will assist you, for instance, if you need support with the sample code included in the Tableau documentation or if your connection functions well in Tableau Desktop but not in Tableau Server. Custom TDC files cannot be created or are not supported by Tableau.

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Database Drivers

A driver is needed for Tableau connectors to communicate with databases. You must install drivers for the data sources you wish to connect to before you can connect to them from Tableau Server. On the Driver Download page, you can find download links and setup guides for all the supported connectors.

Install drivers in a cluster

On the first node in a Tableau Server cluster, you must install the drivers for your data sources. Any node that executes any of the following processes must also have drivers installed if you install Tableau Server across multiple nodes.

  • Backgrounder
  • Data Server
  • Application Server (Vizportal)
  • VizQL Server

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How do Tableau products determine the capabilities of an ODBC driver?

Since there are so many different kinds of data sources, it stands to reason that they would all implement their drivers in distinctly different ways. Tableau queries the database or the data source driver about the functions that each of these supports using the feature-discovery API in the ODBC APIs. By doing so, it should be clear that the ODBC driver can offer more operations and features in addition to Tableau and data sources the fewer restrictions there are on it. When you get to this point, it's crucial to remember that ODBC connectivity is exclusive to Windows environments.

Tableau will ask the driver and SQL discovery for information at the initial connection to ascertain the amount of functionality or capabilities that it will be able to support. Let's examine some of the capabilities discovery performed by Tableau, including:

  • Which sorts of data are supported?\
  • Which join types are supported in total? (complete, inner, and outer)
  • Can I use TOP and LIMIT queries?
  • Are subqueries supported in any way?
  • Can temporary tables be created, and if so, are selected into statements supported on such temporary tables?
  • What different date and time manipulation options are there?
  • Which scalar and aggregate functions are provided and function properly?

Tableau classifies the connections that are currently made into one of the following four groups as a result of the features and capabilities mentioned above.

Fully Functional:

A fully functional ODBC driver supports all the features and capabilities outlined above as well as those that Tableau employs.

Minor Limitations:

This section is for drivers that only support a small subset of non-critical functionalities not provided by the ODBC drivers. Tableau will automatically change the behavior to reduce these restrictions based on the functionalities that are not supported.

Major Limitations:

This section includes the drivers that don't support the main groups of features that are essential for using Tableau. These drivers might help with the initial extraction of the details into Tableau, but they might not be able to apply additional filters to the extracted data, etc.

Fatal Limitations:

These are the drivers that do not even offer the most basic features needed for Tableau to connect; as a result, Tableau will not be able to move further with the connection in such circumstances.

After establishing a successful connection, Tableau will inform us of any restrictions associated with the data source and the ODBC driver used to access it.

I have made an effort to explain the purposes of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server in this article. Additionally, I have made an effort to comprehend the role of an ODBC driver when integrating any of our data sources with Tableau Desktop or Tableau Server software. We have also made an effort to comprehend the steps that must be taken to connect to a data source without an easily accessible ODBC driver.

Despite this, Tableau solutions will give users a good amount of help or support when debugging connections with the ODBC drivers and the data sources. This makes no guarantees that connections will be adjusted or customized to function with a particular ODBC driver.


 By going through the above content, I hope you have enough information on the Tableau driver and its configuration in the real-world environment. You people can get more real information on Tableau drivers from real-time experts through Tableau Course offered by OnlineITGuru. Contact our support team today and register for the free demo session