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What is Tableau Bridge | Connect Tableau Cloud to On-Premise Data

What is Tableau Bridge | Connect Tableau Cloud to On-Premise Data

Seamlessly connect and manage your on-premise data into Tableau Cloud using Tableau Bridge!  Tableau, the industry-leading data visualization tool, offers Tableau Bridge as part of Tableau Cloud deployments to tackle the tasks of connecting to and querying data located on on-premise data sources for organizations.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the features, advantages, and functionalities of Tableau Bridge. Our aim is to help you become proficient in understanding the role of Tableau Bridge, configuring access to local data sources, and optimizing your data management processes for a successful Tableau deployment.

Understanding Tableau Bridge

Tableau Bridge is a client software designed to create a seamless connection between Tableau Cloud (fka Tableau Online) and your on-premises data sources. By enabling real-time data synchronization and refreshes, it ensures that your cloud-based visualizations and analyses have access to the most up-to-date information. This is particularly useful for organizations that need to maintain their data within their own network while still benefiting from the flexibility and accessibility of Tableau Cloud.

Cost and Availability of Tableau Bridge

Tableau Bridge is available to Tableau Cloud users at no additional cost.  The inclusion of Tableau Bridge as part of the Tableau Cloud package provides a cost-effective solution for organizations looking to manage and connect their on-premises data sources.

Key Features of Tableau Bridge

Tableau Bridge offers several key features for managing your data connectivity needs:

  • Secure data connectivity: Tableau Bridge establishes a secure connection between your on-premises data sources and Tableau Cloud, ensuring your data remains protected throughout the synchronization process.
  • Real-time and scheduled data refreshes: You can configure Tableau Bridge to refresh your data either in real-time or on a scheduled basis, depending on your specific requirements.
  • Seamless integration with Tableau Cloud: Tableau Bridge is designed to work seamlessly with Tableau Cloud, providing a smooth experience when working with your data.
  • Support for various data connectors and systems: Tableau Bridge supports a wide range of data connectors, making it possible to connect to a variety of data sources and systems.
  • Robust error logging and troubleshooting capabilities: With its extensive error logging and troubleshooting features, Tableau Bridge allows you to quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise during the data synchronization process.

Installation and Setup

When installing Tableau Bridge, it's essential to choose a dedicated machine or server within your organization's network. This ensures a stable connection to your on-premises data sources and allows for uninterrupted data synchronization. Additionally, selecting a machine with a reliable network connection and sufficient processing power will contribute to the overall performance of Tableau Bridge.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Tableau Bridge

Installing Tableau Bridge is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Sign in to Tableau Online using your account credentials.
  2. Click on your profile icon, located in the top right corner of the screen, and then select "My Account Settings."
  3. Scroll down to the "Tableau Bridge" section, and click on the "Download" button.
  4. Run the installer on your selected machine and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Connecting a data source to Tableau Bridge involves several steps:

  1. Open Tableau Desktop and connect to your on-premises data source
  2. Create an extract or live connection, depending on your needs and data source capabilities
  3. Publish the data source to Tableau Cloud
  4. In Tableau Cloud, navigate to the data source, click "..." (More Options), and select "Schedule Refresh."
  5. Choose Tableau Bridge as the refresh source and configure the refresh schedule according to your requirements

System Requirements and Compatibility

Tableau Bridge is only compatible with the Windows operating systems and requires a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or later. For optimal performance, we recommend having at least 8 GB of RAM and a stable network connection for connecting and uploading to Tableau Cloud. It's also a good idea to check for any software updates or patches that might improve compatibility and performance.

Tableau Bridge supports an extensive range of data connectors, enabling you to connect to various data sources and systems that are only accessible on a private network. Some of the common use cases include:

  • On-Premise relational databases (e.g., SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL)
  • Cloud databases on private network (e.g., Amazon Redshift, Teradata, Snowflake)
  • On-premises file-based data sources (e.g., Excel, CSV, JSON)

Tableau Bridge is capable of connecting to any on-premises data source that is supported by Tableau.

Optimizing Connector Performance

To ensure that your data connections run smoothly and efficiently, consider the following tips for optimizing connector performance:

  • Use extracts for large data sets to improve performance and reduce the load on your data source.
  • Schedule refreshes during off-peak hours to minimize network congestion and potential disruptions to other users.
  • Optimize your data source by removing unnecessary columns and rows, and applying filters to focus on the most relevant data.

When connecting data sources to Tableau Bridge, it's essential to follow best practices to ensure the stability and performance of your connections:

  • Use dedicated machines or servers with a reliable network connection for Tableau Bridge to minimize disruptions and maintain data integrity.
  • Regularly monitor and review the performance of your data connections, adjusting configurations as needed to optimize performance.
  • Ensure that your data sources are well-structured and optimized to reduce the processing load on Tableau Bridge.

Accessing Tableau Bridge Logs


Tableau Bridge logs can be instrumental in troubleshooting issues and monitoring the performance of your data connections. To access the logs: Open the Tableau Bridge client on the machine where it's installed.

  • Click the "Settings" icon in the top right corner
  • Select "Show Logs" from the dropdown menu to open the log folder in File Explorer
  • Review the log files to identify any issues, errors, or performance bottlenecks

There may be instances when you need to restart Tableau Bridge to apply updates, resolve issues, or refresh its configuration. To restart Tableau Bridge:

  • Right-click the Tableau Bridge icon in the system tray (located in the bottom right corner of your screen).
  • Select "Exit" from the context menu to close the Tableau Bridge client.
  • Relaunch Tableau Bridge by clicking its icon in the Start menu or locating its executable file in the installation folder.
  1. Troubleshooting Common Issues

Why is Tableau Bridge disconnected?

If Tableau Bridge appears disconnected, several factors could be responsible, such as network disruptions, incorrect account credentials, or issues with the Tableau Cloud service. To resolve the disconnection:

  1. Verify that your machine has a stable network connection
  2. Ensure that you're using the correct, current Tableau Cloud account credentials
  3. Check the Tableau Cloud status page for any known service issues

Conclusion

Tableau Bridge is a powerful and versatile tool that enables organizations to connect their on-premises data sources to Tableau Cloud seamlessly. By understanding its features, installation process, supported connectors, and best practices, you can optimize your data management and unlock the full potential of Tableau Bridge. 

 

Tableau Bridge Over Troubled Data?

Looking for support in deploying Tableau Bridge on messy, internal data sources?  DataDrive has helped over 150 organizations unlock the full potential of their data with Tableau deployments - incorporating Tableau Bridge to access protected data sources.  Reach out to learn how our DataDrive team manages Tableau Cloud deployments.

Let's Talk Tableau

 

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