6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2016 1:02 PM by Steve Burger

    Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service

    Josh Gallegos

      I have an internet hosted MySQL database table to which I would like to analyze data in Tableau Desktop, and publish the workbook and data source to Tableau Online. The MySQL Db is not hosted on AWS (or the other Cloud solutions listed here.), but rather through a web hosting service provided by Media temple. I have published the workbook and the data source to Tableau Online, I have setup permissions within my hosting service to allow the Tableau whitelisted IP addresses to make data connections as well. The authentication is embedded in the workbook, and the data is connecting well on Tableau Desktop, but when I look on Tableau online for updated data, I only see the old view with no new data. I tested the connection in the Tableau Online data connections tab, and its telling me that it could not connect to the server. Rechecking the Tableau Desktop workbook, everything is connected and working well.

      Am I missing something, or does Tableau Online only allow live connections to MySQL Dbs with those maintained on cloud services listed here (AWS, Google Cloud etc)? If this is the case, how do I utilized my MySQL tables withing Tableau Online and keep the data refreshed?

        • 1. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without AWS (MediaTemple)
          Paul Mathewson

          Hey Josh,


          Have you tried using the Tableau Online Sync Client?  You will need access to the machine that your MySQL DB is on.  More on the Sync Client here:  Tableau Online Sync: Schedule Refreshes for On-Premises Data


          Hope this helps!



          • 2. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service
            Josh Gallegos

            Thanks for the reply Paul. So the MySQL Db is hosted online through a 3rd party, and I do not have direct access to their servers. I hadn't looked at Tableau's Online Sync, as I thought that was used for data that is only on-site, thus I'd have to leave my computer on and connected all day and setup automated command-line updates (or at least that's my understanding). Is there a technique to use the Sync client in which I can establish the connection to the hosted MySQL Db that would update without the need for a constantly running computer?

            • 3. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service
              Paul Mathewson

              The computer certainly needs to be on.  Perhaps, you could set up a vm and let that machine do the work.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service
                Josh Gallegos

                That's a good work around if I can't get my hosted MySQL connected to Tableau Online. Do you happen to know if I'm attempting something that isn't going to work? I'd like to stop banging my head against this wall if that's the case . Thanks

                • 5. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service
                  Paul Mathewson

                  I don't want to give you a definitive yes or no since I haven't tested this exact scenario.  However, I don't believe you will connect Tableau Online directly to a db that is not hosted on one of the cloud providers they mention.


                  I don't know how many interactors you have with Tableau Online but as your user base grows you may want to check out a Tableau Server solution.  Since you can access the machine the server sits on, you have much more flexibility in what you can do (programmatically) and the data sources you can connect to. 

                  • 6. Re: Connecting MySQL table to Tableau Online without Cloud Based Service
                    Steve Burger



                    What is your intent, for the data to be live from the hosted MySQL instance or to be a published Tableau Data Extract periodically refreshing from your MySQL instance?


                    Am I correct in understanding that you published the data-source from your Tableau Desktop Tableau Online first, _before_ publishing the workbook?


                    Did you make sure that published data-source is the primary data-source in the Tableau workbook _before_ you published the workbook to Tableau?


                    What I suspect happened is that you published the data source, but then when you published the workbook, an extract got embedded into the workbook.  That would explain why the workbook shows "old" data.


                    The next question would be to understand do you need a live pass through to that MySQL or are you using extracts to be published and refreshed from that source?  Honestly, only use the live if it's a mission critical issue to have as-real-time-data-as-possible from that MySQL instance.  Otherwise, publish an extract and schedule to refresh weekly, daily, or even hourly as needed. Trust me, the performance trade-offs are too great, unless you can spend a lot of time tuning the MySQL for query performance.


                    Regardless of the previous paragraph, try connecting to MySQL with a tool such as SQL Workbench. What is involved with that connection? If you can simply login in and issue a query and get a response, then it should be working the same for Tableau. If it works in that test and fails with Tableau, make sure your MySQL drivers are updated to the supported versions on your Tableau Desktop.


                    If you are required to access MySQL from SQL Workbench or similar through a VPN or SSH Tunnel, then that would be the problem with the Tableau Online connection. You'd need to speak to your hosting provider about resolving (DMZ, reverse proxies, et al..)


                    If you find this response helpful or if it's resolved your issue, please mark it as such so that others can find it quickly.


                    Best Regards,

                    Steve Burger

                    Tableau Online Deployment Advisor