For data sources or virtual connections data that Tableau Online can't reach directly, you can use Tableau Bridge to keep data fresh. For example, use Bridge when your data source connects to data hosted behind a firewall.
Note: If a data source connects to underlying data hosted in the cloud accessible from the public internet, live and extract connections run from Tableau Online directly.
Tableau Bridge is client software that runs on a machine in your network. The client works in conjunction with Tableau Online to keep data sources that connect to private network data, which Tableau Online can't reach directly, up to date. Private network data includes on-premises data and virtual cloud data.
Tableau Bridge functions like a conduit between private network data, such as Excel files and SQL Server data and Tableau Online. The client communicates with Tableau Online through an outbound encrypted connection to enable connectivity between data behind a firewall and your Tableau Online site.
For more information about how Bridge communicates with Tableau Online, see Tableau Bridge Security.
Who can use it
Although any authorised user of Tableau Online can use Bridge, Bridge is optimised for users that perform the following functions in an organisation: site admins and data source owners.
Site admins, or users who have the Site Administrator or Site Administrator Creator role on Tableau Online, install and manage Bridge clients. For more information, see Plan Your Bridge Deployment.
Content owners, or users who have the Creator or Explorer (can publish) role on Tableau Online, typically publish and manage their own content. Content owners use Bridge to facilitate the live and extract connections between Tableau Online and private network data.
For live connections, Bridge is detected automatically as part of the data source or virtual connection publishing process. Support for live connections are enabled through pooling.
More about data sources: Users see the option to publish the data source with a live connection during the publishing process. This option is available when live connections are supported for relational or cloud databases accessible only from inside the network.
After the user publishes the data source, an available client in the pool facilitates the live queries. That’s all there is to it.
To get started, users publish a data source to Tableau Online, and select the option to maintain a live connection. Or, publish a workbook, and select the option to publish the data source separately, and then specify a live connection. For more information about publishing data sources, see Publish a Bridge Data Source with a Live Connection.
Note: If publishing a data source that connects to a private cloud database, follow the steps described at Publish private cloud-based data sources(Link opens in a new window) to ensure Bridge is used to facilitate the data freshness tasks.
For extract connections, users can set up refresh schedules for data sources or virtual connections.
More about data sources: Users need to publish the data source separately, whether he or she goes through the publishing data source or workbook process. For more information, see Set Up a Bridge Refresh Schedule.
Note: If publishing a data source that connects to a private cloud database, follow the steps described at Set up schedules for private cloud-based data sources(Link opens in a new window) to use Bridge facilitated refresh schedules.