When data sources or virtual connections connect to private network data that Tableau Online can't reach directly, Tableau Bridge is used to facilitate connectivity.
Bridge supports the connectivity scenarios described below.
Supported connection types
Bridge supports both connections types, extract and live.
Extract connection: When data sources or virtual connections use extracts, to connect to private network data Bridge can be used to perform scheduled refreshes of those extracts. Refreshes can be scheduled, in most cases, by the content owner as part of the publishing process. For additional requirements to support extracts, see Additional requirements for extract connections.
Live connection: Bridge supports data sources or virtual connections with live connections to private network data using a feature called live queries. If the content owner publishes a data source or virtual connection that uses a live connection to data that Tableau Online detects that it can't reach directly, live queries are automatically used to keep the content fresh. For additional requirements to support live queries, see Additional requirements for live connections.
Supported data types
The type of data that Bridge can support falls into one of the following categories:
File data, including Excel, text and statistical (.sas7bdat) files.
Private cloud data, including Amazon Redshift, Teradata and Snowflake. For more information, see Use Bridge for Private Cloud Data.
- Some ODBC data
Some web data connector (WDC) data if the data can be accessed by entering a standard username and password. Bridge can't be used to access a data provider's website using OAuth.
Data used in a multi-connection data source (i.e. data sources that contain a cross-database join), when all connectors are supported by Bridge. For more information, see Refreshing Cross-Database Joined Data Sources on Tableau Bridge(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Knowledge Base.
Similar to Tableau, Bridge provides limited support for data sources that use the connector plugins, Web Data Connector or a JDBC or ODBC driver to connect to data. For more information about the support provided, see the following topics in the Tableau Help:
- Web Data Connectors(Link opens in a new window)
- Other Databases (JDBC)(Link opens in a new window)
- Other Databases (ODBC)(Link opens in a new window)
If a Tableau Datasource Customisation (TDC) file(Link opens in a new window) is used to customise your generic JDBC or ODBC connections, you can use the steps described in Use .tdc files for generic JDBC or ODBC connections to ensure those customisations are used by Bridge as well.
If you want to connect to SAP HANA using live connections, parameters and variables must be disabled. Live connections to SAP HANA calculation views do not succeed with Bridge if parameters and variables are used.
There are a few connectivity scenarios that Bridge does not support. If any of these unsupported scenarios apply to you, consider When to use an alternative to Bridge below.
- Google Analytics
- Google Sheets (deprecated)
- Google Drive
- Microsoft Analysis Services
- Microsoft PowerPivot
- Oracle Essbase
- SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
- Connectors (.taco) built with the Tableau Connector SDK(Link opens in a new window) and connectors available through Tableau Exchange(Link opens in a new window)
Unsupported connection types
- Live connections to file-based data
- Live connections to Google Cloud SQL, OData, Progress OpenEdge and Tableau extracts
- All connections that use OAuth
- All connections to cube-based data
Connecting to cloud data that Tableau Online can reach directly
For cloud data, setting up refresh schedules directly with Tableau Online is almost always a better (or in some cases the only) choice. For a list of connectors supported by Tableau Online, see Allow Direct Connections to Data Hosted on a Cloud Platform.
Note: For some WDC data sources, scheduling refreshes is not an option because of OAuth. For more information, see Working with data accessed through OAuth below.
Refreshing extracts of other cloud data
For some cloud data, you can sign in to by providing a standard user name and password. For example, you might be able to connect to a MySQL database hosted on a cloud platform. In a scenario like this, you can set up a refresh schedule for extracts that connect to this type of data directly with Tableau Online. For more information, see Schedule Refreshes on Tableau Online.
Data accessed through the provider’s web authorisation page (OAuth) is not supported by Bridge. Popular providers that use OAuth include Salesforce.com, Google and WDC data sources created from QuickBooks Online, Facebook, Twitter and other websites.
To determine whether your data requires OAuth, when you sign in to your cloud data through Tableau Desktop, if you are redirected to the data provider’s sign-in page, that provider most likely uses OAuth or similar standard and therefore Bridge can't be used.
As an alternative to Bridge, to refresh data that connects through OAuth:
For extracts of Salesforce and Google data, you can set up a schedule directly on Tableau Online.
For extracts of WDC data sources you created from Facebook, Twitter or other website, you can refresh the extracts from Tableau Desktop, either by using the Refresh from Source option, or by republishing the data source. For more information, see Refresh Extracts from Tableau Desktop(Link opens in a new window).