Tableau Desktop and the Tableau Server are the two major visualization tools that are currently in vogue today. Using these tools one can connect to data in:
Commercial Business Products of Tableau
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Access
- Text files
- Windows Azure Marketplace Datamart
- Astar Data nCluster
- Microsoft SQL Server
- IBM DBZ
- Microsoft Analysis Services
- Oracle Essbase
- Microsoft PowerPivot
Thus, all sorts of data connectivity, everything from Microsoft Excel to SQL Server Database is possible. And then there is the Tableau data extract, which is Tableau’s own compressed data structure that allows to take very large amounts of data that may reside in another data source and compress them into a pseudo-in memory model and get very fast analytics with very large datasets.
So, where is Tableau positioned in the overall BI and data discovery market? It is a visualization tool that is provided to you and your audience for visualizing data in a myriad ways. It can be used personally on a desktop; that is what the Tableau Desktop tool will be doing. It is also useful for users who want to be able to design and analyze their own visualizations interactively for which one requires a copy of the Tableau Desktop on their desktop. It also allows the creation of visualizations and dashboards that can be placed on the web via the Tableau Server.
The Tableau Server audience is going to be those who will not actually design the visualizations themselves but will be viewing and interacting with visualizations that somebody else has designed with Tableau Desktop.
Thus, Tableau Desktop is a design tool and once a dashboard is finished it can be published to Tableau Server where then it may be viewed and interacted with on the web. Tableau Server can also be embedded in other web portals like, for example, Sharepoint or other custom web applications via URLs.
And then the Tableau Public and Tableau Digital that are public hosted sites from Tableau software that allow the limited publication of one’s workbooks and dashboards too to the public via the web.