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I asked a very similar question here. PP will meet your storage limitations as there isn't a row count limit anymore, and you get half a gig of storage to play with. You can also choose whether or not to allow access to the underlying data.
The same functionality can be built in Desktop to PP, and we've made extensive use of coldfusion driven parameters to call the Tableau API.
The big questions are: latency, security & data extracts. If you are producing lots of visualizations that require a lot of extracts, say daily (ours are mostly semester or annual) then server is the obvious choice as it allows automatic extracts, PP doesn't. Also be aware that PP doesn't support HTTPS. If you can't hide the URL (we use a "cookie dropper") then at best security is by obscurity.
The next issue is latency. PP can be slow to repsond, depending on time of day/draw/demand - up to 10 seconds, and then if you are filtering, re-draw. We've yet to do a side-by-side test (coming soon)! with a (not local) hosted server, so we'll see, we even thought about deploying local desktops and reader. But PP has by and large worked out for us. Dustin Smith has worked very well with us as a kind of PP representative, and supported us well.
In the end, you'll have to work out if you'll get the ROI from going server, I hope I've covered off most of your requirements and maybe given you some more food for thought.
Thanks for your extensive reply, much appreciated!
Looks like it's leaning towards Public Premium then. When it comes to functionality, I'm specifically wondering about some of the geocoding and mapping capabilities. In Public some of them are not available, as they are in Desktop. Are they accessible in PP or will I need Desktop as well and then only publish my viz with PP?
Also, any ideas about the cost for PP?
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Here's a viz we use PP for showing off some of the mapping capabilities.
Here's my blog post about how we did it.
I use Desktop. It connects to a SQL server. I doubt it could be done in Excel, because of the rather extensive joins. I'd recommend Desktop.
I do have an idea about the pricing for PP, but because I work in Higher Ed, I think the rate is discounted, so I don't want to give you a false impression. Contact Dustin Smith at Tableau for pricing.
Once again - thanks for your kind help. Seems like PP and Desktop is what I'm looking for.
You are very welcome. Welcome to the community
Looks like Allan has done my job for me.
Your use case definitely sounds like Tableau Public Premium (more than 50MB of storage, ability to disable download of a workbook, etc.). You'll need a copy of Desktop Professional in order to publish up to Tableau Public Premium (Desktop is the authoring tool, Public Premium is the platform). Allan's geo-coding examples are awesome and hopefully addressed your questions about Desktop's abilities there.
Let me know if you'd like me to put you in touch with your Tableau representative who can probably outline more details for you and even arrange a demo.
Thanks for your reply. I think I have what I need now to make a decision. I've already been in contact with Dave Noreen at your London (I believe?) office.
I have additional questions.
1. Can we publish live DB connections to Tableau Public Premium ?
2. If Extracts, can we setup schedules.
Since above can be done in Private server, one of my client was enquiring about the above in PP
Any pointers in this direction will be helpful.
It is not possible to publish live database connections when using Tableau Public Premium. Tableau Public Premium is pretty much the same thing as Tableau Public, as they both allow for packaged workbooks to be published to the Tableau Public website. The difference is Tableau Public Premium allows you to restrict the ability to view the underlying data used in the workbook whereas Tableau Public does not.
In order to accomplish the task required (publishing live database connections and setting up extract refreshes on a schedule), Tableau Server must be used. Tableau Online can also perform the task required, but only when using web-based data sources, such as Salesforce or Google Analytics.
Additional information on the differences between Tableau Online and Tableau Server can be found in the following article: http://onlinehelp.tableausoftware.com/current/online/en-us/help.htm#compare_server_and_online.htm
Hope this helps!