7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2017 5:48 PM by Tyler Garrett

    Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac

    Alex Demchenko

      Hi everyone,

      Could you tell me how to get custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac? I saw video in this forum that when you open Excel you should choose "Open with legacy connector" but I don't have such option (I have trial version Tableau 9.1 for MacOS).

      Thabks, Alex

        • 1. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac

          Alex - I don't think this works with Mac. Legacy connection for excel files is for PC only.

          • 2. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
            Alex Demchenko

            Hi Pooja, thanks for answer. But what should I do to see custom SQL?

            • 3. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
              Hrvoje Gabelica

              Buy Windows OS I think that old version of Excel driver is working only for Windows OS.

              • 4. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
                Chris McClellan

                Although I have Tableau on both Windows & OS X, Custom SQL is a "Microsoft only" thing, so is only available in Windows.


                I haven't done it, but someone has told me to install XAMPP to get mySQL but I've just looked and it now comes with MariaDB instead so hopefully that will use a mySQL connection as well.

                • 5. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
                  Alex Demchenko

                  Hi Chris,

                  Yes, possibly I should to set Tableau for Windows as virtual system

                  Thanks, Alex

                  • 6. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
                    Jonathan Drummey

                    A clarification on this thread because it can be interpreted as "Custom SQL is not available for Tableau for Mac" which is not true.


                    What is true is that Custom SQL is available or many data sources on the Mac and Custom SQL is not (as of at least Tableau v10.4) available for Excel & text sources on Tableau for Mac. This is due to the fact that prior to Tableau v8.3 the "legacy connector" that Tableau was/is using is actually the Microsoft JET driver and that's only available on Windows. For Tableau for Mac the Tableau devs had to build a new connector and along the way they added a number of additional features/fixes (like support for more than 255 columns, more than 255 characters per column, improved data type detection, etc.) and that new (default) connector for text & Excel files does not expose a Custom SQL interface.



                    • 7. Re: Where is custom SQL in Tableau 9.1 for Mac
                      Tyler Garrett

                      Hey J Drum, personally I think your statement made me feel like there was some sort of version that gave me access to Custom SQL .


                      I read your message again and it seems like it has never been possible. *but i was hopeful...* And after testing two different versions, I realized it wasn't going to happen *sigh


                      But because I thought you were hinting at it being available - I'm sharing my testing. Luckily I have a bunch of versions, all the way back to v8.


                      My MAC OS Version = 10.12.6


                      Custom SQL for EXCEL on MAC is Unavailable

                      Tableau Desktop 8.2 on mac:

                      Custom SQL - None.

                      Tableau desktop = Broken, not possible to open.

                      Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 6.45.34 PM.png


                      Tableau Desktop 9.1 on mac:

                      Custom SQL - None.


                      Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 6.48.59 PM.png


                      10.0.1 on mac:

                      Custom SQL - None.


                      Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 6.51.18 PM.png

                      10.1 on mac:

                      Custom SQL - None.


                      Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 6.54.10 PM.png

                      10.4 on mac:

                      Custom SQL - None. Taking JD's word for it, not going to look.


                      Custom SQL Excel Tableau Unavailable - Concluding notes:

                      Before I explain the impacts;

                      I'm sure this is not easy: (to the product managers)

                      Fair from my perspective, I'm sure it's nothing easy to generate this in the product, and likely why it's not available, and has not been available.



                      1. Cutting out Mac users from ad-hoc generation

                           - excel is the quickest space to try, test, and formulate good ideas

                           - now everyone is forced to bounce SQL off of data architects or DBAs

                           - or forcing users to ask for a windows machine

                      2. This cuts Mac users out of learning SQL

                           - forcing them to work with IT, and that's not necessarily easy in most landscapes

                      3. Forcing Mac users to get access to the database

                           - bad for data governance

                           - generates more work for IT

                           - likely business users will spend HOURS manipulating before asking IT

                      4. Requiring Mac users to dig through learning how to install, download, and setup a database



                      For me this isn't bad but is a lot more work;

                      I can sit here and build a database, and I can come up with backend solutions... but I've got 5+ years of data experience before touching this product. What I can't do is offer a MAC user a solution to their excel based environment. I actually have to cater every solution around this extra product limitation, which makes my solutions generated on these forums feel a bit incomplete.


                      Outages generated due to OS limitation (opinion):

                      This particular gap is likely proliferating at least a few hundred thousand clicks per month of unnecessary support and remediation to EXCEL based environments.


                      My opinion:

                      This generates support and remediation or extra expenses to 'quickly visualize and understand data'...
                      The amount of time going into these solutions because of this limitation is likely big. Not everyone will Google, rather will grind and grind until they get it.


                      Future outlook?
                      The new ETL tool offers MAC end users the ability to do what others can do? I'm super excited for it, and signed up for beta
                      *crossing fingers


                      Here's the reason for my posting.
                      I google searched 'Custom SQL Mac' and this popped up, and there's not a single non-techy-business-user friendly solution or next step offered yet. I assume the future outlook is the ETL tool will help mac users. Which is a positive outlook indeed.