1 2 3 Previous Next 32 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2017 11:07 AM by Rondeau Mathieu

    SAS ODBC Driver

      I have installed Tableau 7.0 on my computer. I want to connect to a SAS Database but I am not finding any ODBC driver for SAS from the list. Please let me know if I am missing any Steps. Attached is the Screen Shot of the list of ODBC drivers I am able to see. Please let me know which driver should I use to connect to a SAS Database.

        • 1. Re: SAS ODBC Driver

          I am not a SAS expert, but, generally speaking, ODBC is a generic connection, i.e. databases have to add their drivers to the list of available drivers/connections so that third party software (e.g. Tableau) can use those drivers/connections to connect. This usually happens when database or its client are installed on the computer, otherwise, an ODBC driver must be procured, ether from database vendor or from somewhere else (e.g. http://www.datadirect.com/products/odbc/), and installed. This may not be at all possible with some data sources, or may cost money. Looks like there is either no SAS ODBC driver on your computer, or it is hidden. Your best bet is to check this with SAS.

          • 2. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
            Russell Christopher

            Ameet, Dimitri is spot on - Tableau doesn't provide you with an SAS ODBC driver, you need to get it from SAS.

            • 3. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
              Tim Latendress

              The SAS ODBC drivers should be part of the standard desktop install. If you are running an x64 machine, you might not see them because you are not using the proper admin tool. You must use the ODBC Administrator tool in %windir%\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe. I went ahead and made a new shortcut in my Control Panel labeling it "ODBC Administrator (x64)". If after you open this administration tool you still don't see the SAS drivers you will need to download and install them from the SAS Customer Support site.


              I recommend starting here: http://support.sas.com/documentation/onlinedoc/odbc/index.html. You need to download the proper SAS ODBC driver for the version you are running.  Be aware that in order to read a SAS dataset you will also need SAS Software installed locally or have access to a SAS/Share server. The other thing to note is that the SAS ODBC driver barely meets the minimum requirements to be considered compliant. So, Tableau will prompt you with a pop-up informing you of that and recommend you create an Extract.


              The good news is that we have tested Tableau 7 (and an earlier special release) with a variety of SAS datasets with great success. One dataset was narrow/deep with roughly 80 variables, 9 million observations and took roughly 10 minutes to create the Extract (on a machine running Windows 7, x64, 4 CPU, 64Gb RAM). Another dataset was wide/shallow had 1500 variables, 2 million obs and also took roughly 10 minutes. The Tableau Data Extract files are also significantly smaller than the original SAS datasets.


              Needless to say, we are very grateful to all of the Tableau developers who made this work. Thanks!

              • 4. Re: SAS ODBC Driver

                Dear All thanks for your expert advice. We downloaded and installed SAS driver 9.22. I am able to select the SAS Driver in the ODBC Selection list but I get an error message while clicking the Connect Button. Please refer to the document attached with this mail for some Screen Shot.

                • 5. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                  Tim Latendress

                  It appears that you have not setup the SAS ODBC driver properly. In the driver configuration window, you need to either A) Point to the SAS/SHARE server, or B) Setup a "localhost" session to start SAS locally.  Can you post screen shots of your SAS ODBC configuration tabs (General, Servers, Libraries)?

                  • 6. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                    Tim Latendress

                    You should also ensure you have followed each of the configuration steps found here:



                    • 7. Re: SAS ODBC Driver

                      Tim I am getting the error message before even entering the Configuration Screen. Please find attached the Steps I follow for the SAS connection

                      • 8. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                        Robert Morton

                        Hi Ameet,


                        It looks like you are using the 'Driver' connection mode in our generic ODBC connection dialog. I have heard reports from other SAS users that the only reliable way to connect is through a DSN. Below are the instructions on how to create a DSN for SAS to use in your Tableau connections.


                        First, launch the 32-bit version of the Windows ODBC Administrator tool. Paste the following into the 'Run...' command box depending on which OS version you have:

                        64-bit OS:  C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe

                        32-bit OS:  %windir%\system32\odbcad32.exe


                        Now create a new DSN or Edit an existing DSN for SAS ODBC to ensure that the following properties are set. These appear to be necessary for the SAS ODBC driver to maintain stable behavior, but I would love any feedback about other settings that improve stability or performance.


                        Records to Buffer = 1000

                        Support VARCHAR = checked

                        Disable _0 override parsing = checked

                        Infer type in min/max functions = checked


                        Finally, use Tableau to connect to the DSN you just created. I hope this helps!


                        • 9. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                          Tim Latendress

                          You will need to setup your DSN outside of Tableau following the instructions Robert just posted. Or, you can follow the link to the SAS ODBC instructions I posted yesterday.

                          • 10. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                            Rama Kunaparaju

                            Are you saying that we can connect to SAS Data Sets from Tableau? Is that newly added in Tableau 7?

                            • 11. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                              Robert Morton

                              Hi allaboutTableau,


                              Tableau 7.0 will introduce new functionality for ODBC connections which improves stability when working with brittle drivers such as SAS ODBC. We have verified with early testing that this approach allows users to connect to SAS via ODBC and create an extract for the full functionality and performance one expects of Tableau's first-class data connections. While some early testers have reported mixes success with using a live connection in Tableau instead of an extract, most users will likely find that there are too many limitations for this to be a reliable approach. All early testing has indicated that extracts provide a very good experience for working with data originated within SAS.


                              Since Tableau does not have an official partnership with SAS, we can neither develop a first-class connector nor can we fully endorse the experience of connecting to SAS from Tableau. Instead we will rely on the community to give us feedback on how to improve the stability and functionality of SAS connections through ODBC. It is thanks to folks like Tim -- who both test our product and foster a community on our forums -- that we are even having this discussion.


                              Finally, we may actually be able to release this technology improvement in our upcoming 6.1.4 maintenance release. I rarely mention roadmaps and release dates because nothing can be guaranteed, but since this is the Beta forum we expect you to use good judgment in planning around uncertainties in our roadmap. That said, we are currently evaluating whether or not the improvements will in fact work in Tableau 6.1.4, and we will hopefully be able to have some basic messaging around this news if it materializes. Stay tuned!



                              • 12. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                                Rama Kunaparaju

                                Thank you so much Robert. This could mean a lot to us. I am getting a 7 Beta license tomorrow and can't wait to test this. This feature will save us tons of time!

                                • 13. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                                  Rama Kunaparaju

                                  When creating extracts from SAS Datasets, i started with "Import part of the data" and i dont see the option where i can select like the top/bottom x % of rows from the SAS Dataset. The default is "All data" or i could filter on the dimensions or measures. But where did the top/bottom % option go?

                                  • 14. Re: SAS ODBC Driver
                                    Robert Morton

                                    The SAS SQL syntax is very unusual and does not follow common conventions for row-limiting clauses like TOP or LIMIT. For this reason Tableau is unable to offer the option to extract only a portion of the data.


                                    1 2 3 Previous Next