Use Bridge to Keep Data Fresh
For data sources 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 on-premises data, which Tableau Online can't reach directly, up to date.
Tableau Bridge functions like a conduit between on-premises 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 authorized user of Tableau Online can use Bridge, Bridge is optimized for users that perform the following functions in an organization: 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.
Data source owners, or users who have the Creator or Explorer (can publish) role on Tableau Online, typically publish and manage their own data sources. Data source owners use Bridge to facilitate the live and extract connections between Tableau Online and on-premises data.
For live connections, Bridge is detected automatically as part of the data source publishing process.
After the site admin enables support for maintaining live connections (through pooling), 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 Data Source in the Tableau Help.
Note: If publishing a data source that connects to a private cloud database, after publishing, the user must follow steps 1-5 from Set Up a Refresh Schedule Using Bridge to ensure Bridge is used to facilitate the data freshness tasks.
For extract connections, users can set up refresh schedules. 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 Refresh Schedule Using Bridge.