3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2017 6:42 AM by Tom W

    Tableau Bridge & Online with on premise SQL database set up

    Ed Yeldham



      I will start this thread by stating that I am not an IT professional but am trying to coordinate between Tableau and my 3rd party hardware support neither of who know anything about the other!


      I'll bullet out my infrastructure and then my question


      - Tableau desktop installed on my laptop which is operational during working hours usually on the network.

      - MS SQL server installed on premise small business server.  Updated overnight from ERP system.  SQL database only "switched on" at night as during office hours draws too much load on server resources

      - Tableau Online

      - Tableau bridge installed on laptop.

      - Have successfully published data source from desktop to cloud.




      - Want to set up regular extract/sync updates overnight to publish data up to online from SQL.

      - Tableau account manager helped set up but was working in Tableau Online and couldn't get connection back to database.  Assumption (after talking to HW support) is that SQL needs to be set to "allow" a 3rd party access.  This means that Firewall, router and ports need to be set to allow access = security risk.  Tableau Online is connecting in to pull data from database.

      - I thought Bridge was supposed to be solution to this as would "push" data up to online from behind firewall. - issue though possibly as bridge on laptop which is not on network or operational during timeframe of extract update.  Having installed bridge Tableau support just kept going back to Online not bridge?!



      - How do I configure my set up or is my understanding not correct of how it all works?

      - I don't expect anyone here to give me all the answer/set up but what do I need to be saying to Tableau and HW support to get this moving?


      Help appreciated and bear in mind I'm at limit of my IT knowledge here!



        • 1. Re: Tableau Bridge & Online with on premise SQL database set up
          Tom W

          Tableau Bridge needs to be running on a computer (or server) within the network continuously if you're trying to access your data live from Tableau Online.  As soon as you take your laptop outside of the network you're having the same problem Tableau Online is having in that you cannot make a direct connection to the SQL Server.


          My suggestions;

          • Look at installing Bridge on a server or computer which always stays within the network. Note, you should discuss this with your Account Manager as I'm not sure of the license implications here as I believe Bridge needs desktop to be installed as well.
          • Open up the ports on your firewall to the Microsoft SQL Server so Tableau Online can access it. A few things you can do here to minimize your security risk; change from the default port and also whitelist the Tableau Online IP addresses so only connections from those IP addreses would be allowed on the port. You can find those IP addresses here - Tableau Online: Keep Data Fresh
          • If neither of those are an option, you could look into a process whereby you publish extracts onto your server instead of a live connection.
          • 2. Re: Tableau Bridge & Online with on premise SQL database set up
            Ed Yeldham



            Thanks for this.  I had already queried with Tableau the licensing side and as i understand it with Desktop you can install on 2 machines effectively so should be OK from that perspective.


            Would desktop need to always be running on the server or could bridge only run as a service on the server continuously?


            In order to then get bridge working on the server do you still need to open the port and firewall up?  I thought the bridge was a push tool from internally so no need to open up ports etc as it would work in the same sort of way as desktop does when you push data from it to online?


            Appreciate any insight you can give as more knowledge helps me better understand/question relevant parties.





            • 3. Re: Tableau Bridge & Online with on premise SQL database set up
              Tom W


              Take a look at the documentation on Tableau Bridge, it answers most of your questions - Use Tableau Bridge to Expand Data Freshness Options

              This will be of interest as well - Allow Publishers to Maintain Live Connections to On-Premises Data


              In short;

              > You can run Tableau Bridge / Sync Client as a service on the server, no need for Desktop to be open (although you'll need to open desktop once to launch the sync lcient)

              > You may need to open up a firewall port in order to enable bridge, i'm not 100% certain on this though.