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Tableau Prep outputs data into three formats.
.tde (Tableau extract for versions below 10.5)
.hyper (Tableau extract for versions above/equal to 10.5)
.csv (comma separated value, a flat file format).
You cannot have a "live-query" to your datasource running through Prep.
1: The tde is a "dead" extract. Meaning it has no knowledge of the Prep flow that created it. It just contains an extract of the data outputted from prep.
I appreciate the reply. I was really excited to work with Prep right up until I read your reply. I connect to most of my data through Oracle databases, and real-time data is a big deal in my workplace... so the fact that anything I do in Tableau Prep can't be brought over to Tableau Desktop with live/real-time data is disheartening. It's a wonderful tool, but it lacks the functionality I require... Perhaps in the future. Thank you!