Tableau Server uses the same driver as Tableau Desktop. Have you installed the SQL Server driver on Tableau Server?
Have you setup a Windows Active Directory account for the Tableau Server run as account?
Let me know if I am not understanding everything fully.
Tableau Server has the ODBC driver. I tried to get the Tableau Server run as account added as a user of the MS SQL Server database, but the DBA said no - only actual user accounts are allowed (some IT policy). That's the easy and obvious solution as you point out, but not with our policies.
I have to embed my DB credentials into the connection and push that to the Tableau Server. My current problem though, is that I can't even get Tableau Desktop to connect via ODBC using SQL authentication. Windows Authentication works fine with ODBC from Tableau Desktop, but not SQL authentication. I'm suspecting it's something to do with my account and how it's configured to access MS SQL Server, but our DBA says no it's either my PC or Tableau that is causing the problem. so I'm wondering if there is something tricky I'm missing with setting up Tableau to connect to MS SQL Server via ODBC using SQL Authentication.
I would explain to your DBA that the policy is causing you to embed your credentials and that causes another user to connect to the database with your credentials. From what it sounds like, the policy needs to be reconsidered, having service accounts granted access to databases is pretty standard practice across many organizations.
But, there might be an even better solution. Have you investigated SQL Server impersonation?
Do you think your DBA/Org/policy would be game for that? It gives them the power and control that they seek , and delivers query results for each user from the database side.
I want to stress to you to avoid the ODBC driver if at all possible, especially for the reason you cite.