Connector Plugins Built with the Tableau Connector SDK

When Tableau doesn't provide a built-in connector for your data, you can connect to ODBC- and JDBC-based data using connector plugins created with the Tableau Connector SDK. These connectors — also called TACO files, because of their .taco filename extensions — can be built by a third-party developer or by your own developer. This topic describes a connector plugin and how to use it.

Note: Connector plugins are supported in Tableau 2019.4 and later.

What is a connector plugin?

A connector plugin is a set of XML and JavaScript files zipped into a single packaged .jar file with the file extension ".taco" that is signed by the developer using a trusted public certificate authority. The XML and JavaScript files are configuration files that describe what fields to display and consume in the connection dialog box, how Tableau should customize queries for the data source, what capabilities to set or remove, and how to format the connection string parameters.

How to use a connector plugin

  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

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.

    Note: Some connectors require the installation of an additional driver. If prompted during the connection process, follow the prompts to download and install the required driver.

  3. Wait while the connector retrieves your data.
  4. Select the sheet tab to start your analysis.

Add the connector to Tableau Server

If you want to publish your data to Tableau Server, you must first install the same connector file on the computer running Tableau Server.

Note: If Tableau Server runs on multiple computers, follow the same steps for each computer.

There are two options:

Option 1

  1. Place a copy of the .taco file you use on Tableau Desktop in this location on the server:

    [Tableau_Server_Installation_Directory]/data/tabsvc/vizqlserver/Connectors

    In most cases, Tableau Server is installed in the ProgramData folder, so you would copy the .taco file to C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\vizqlserver\Connectors.

  2. Restart the server.

Option 2

  1. Create a directory for Tableau connectors. For example, C:\tableau_connectors.
  2. Copy the .taco file to the folder your created on each computer running Tableau Server.
  3. Set the native_api.connect_plugins_path option. For example:

    tsm configuration set -k native_api.connect_plugins_path -v C:/tableau_connectors

    If this causes a configuration error, try adding the --force-keys option to the end of the command.

  4. Apply the pending configuration changes. This restarts the server.

    tsm pending-changes apply

Tableau support for connector plugins

Tableau doesn't provide technical support for partner-distributed connector plugins. They are also not supported in Tableau Online. For technical support, contact the developer of the connector plugin.

Tableau does provide technical support the Connector SDK. 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).

Note: Connector plugins currently cannot be used with Tableau Online.

For more information about the Connector SDK, or to see samples, see the Tableau Connector SDK(Link opens in a new window) repository on GitHub.

Test and vet a connector plugin

For security purposes, Tableau only loads connectors that are packaged and signed with the Connector SDK using a trusted public certificate.  You can unzip a connector plugin to inspect its XML and JavaScript contents.

See also

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