Connectors Built with the Tableau Connector SDK

Tableau has great connectivity that allows you to visualise data from virtually anywhere. In addition to its dozens of built-in connectors and additional partner-built connectors (available on Tableau Extension Gallery(Link opens in a new window)), Tableau gives you the tools to build a customised connector with the Tableau Connector SDK.

Note: Connectors built using the Tableau Connector SDK are sometimes called plugins because they “plug into” Tableau so you can connect to your data.

About Tableau Connector SDK and connector files

You can use the Tableau Connector SDK to build and custom a connector. Partner-built connectors (whether built by you or someone else) typically support most of the same features as built-in Tableau connectors. These include defining a data source(Link opens in a new window), visualising your data(Link opens in a new window), publishing to a server(Link opens in a new window) (if the server has the connector), and so on.

Each connector is made up of a set of XML and JavaScript files, zipped into a single packaged .jar file, and give a ".taco" file extension. ThisTACO file is signed by the developer using a trusted public certificate authority. The XML and JavaScript files are configuration files that describe:

  • UI elements needed to collect user input for creating a connection to a data source
  • Any dialect or customisations needed for the connection
  • How to connect using the ODBC or JDBC driver

A connector that is developed using the Tableau Connector SDK is appropriate for connecting to an ODBC or JDBC driver which interfaces using SQL. The underlying technology works well with relation databases.

Note: Partner-built connectors are not supported by Tableau. However, if you use a partner-built connector from the Extension Gallery, click the Support link on that connector's page for help.

Build your own connector

To build your own customised connector, use the tools and instructions in the Tableau Connector SDK(Link opens in a new window) repository on GitHub.

Note: If you find an issue with the SDK or any of the developer samples, submit an issue on GitHub(Link opens in a new window).

If you would like to submit your connector to the Tableau Extension Gallery, follow steps outlined in the Tableau Connector SDK (https://tableau.github.io/connector-plugin-sdk/docs/gallery-submission(Link opens in a new window)).

Use a connector built with Tableau Connector SDK

After you build a connector with the Tableau Connector SDK, follow these steps to use it with Tableau:

  1. Download the connector file, [connector name].taco.
  2. Place the .taco file in the following directory (default location):
    • Windows - C:\Users\[Windows User]\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Connectors
    • macOS - /Users/[user]/Documents/My Tableau Repository/Connectors

    Note: If you want to use a connector with Tableau Prep Builder (assuming the connector is compatible), place the .taco file here:
    - For Tableau Prep Builder:
    - Windows: C:\Users<Windows User>\Documents\My Tableau Prep Repository\Connectors
    - MacOS: /Users//Documents/My Tableau Prep Repository/Connectors
    - For Tableau Server (Flow web authoring): /data/tabsvc/flowqueryservice/Connectors
    - For Tableau Server (Tableau Prep Conductor): /data/tabsvc/flowprocessor/Connectors

  3. Before you connect, install the ODBC or JDBC driver. Follow the driver installation instructions provided by the source of your data.

Once you've installed the connector, it will appear in the list of connectors in Tableau.

Connect Tableau to the data

  1. Start Tableau, and under Connect, select the name of the connector you just installed. For a complete list of data connectors, select More under To a Server.
  2. Enter the information that you’re prompted for, and then select Sign In.
  3. Wait while the connector retrieves your data into Tableau.
  4. Select the sheet tab to start your analysis.

See also

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