OUTLINE OF TABLEAU PRODUCTS


Desktop vs Server vs Online vs Reader?!?! What are the differences among all the Tableau products?  Tableau has two types of tools: developer tools and sharing tools.  

DISCLAIMER: This flow chart is not the end all be all!  It is important to plan ahead and think about the roll out plan of not just yourself but your organization.



Developer tools are the applications used to create visualizations and dashboards.  Sharing tools are applications that allow developers to share the visualizations and dashboards with other people (their audience) so they can interact and explore the data.


Tableau Desktop
data sources

Developer Tools (additional table below)

Tableau Desktop is the full developer software.  There are two versions (personal and professional).  The major difference between these two are the amount of data sources you can connect to.  In Tableau desktop professional you can connect to all the data sources listed to the left.  In Tableau Desktop Personal you can only connect to the "In a file" data sources.  Using this software you can save locally or publish to a tableau server (public or private).

Tableau Public is a free download from Tableau's website.  By "public" it means that anyone can find your visualization; there is no ability to save workbooks locally to your computer. Although they can view your visualization there an option to prevent anyone from downloading the workbook and having the raw data.  Tableau Public has all of the functionality of Tableau Desktop when creating visualizations and is a great option if your data can be shared.  Tableau public can be used for development and sharing.


Sharing Tools

Tableau Reader is a free application that can be downloaded from Tableau's website.  This application is used to view and interact with workbooks that have been saved as .twbx (packaged workbook).  A packaged workbook saves the workbook and a snapshot (static view) of the data and puts it into one file.  One thing to mention about using Tableau Reader is that there is essentially no security; anyone who receives the workbook can use Tableau Reader to open it.


Tableau Server is an application used to share and interact with visualizations securely across an organization.  To share workbooks in Tableau Server you must first use Tableau Desktop to published them.  Once your visualization has been published to your Tableau Server licensed users can access them online through a web browser.  Tableau Server has built in security and permissions that are at a "project" level (projects are like secured folders).    To implement Tableau Server business-wide every user that is going to view a visualization needs a license ($999/user).  Tableau Server can also be used to assist in sharing data sources.


Tableau Online has the same functionality of Tableau Server but is hosted by Tableau in their cloud.  One thing to note is that there are a few limitations when it comes to server data connections. The cost or Tableau Online is lowered to $500/user.



Tableau Public Tableau Personal Tableau Professional
Price Free $999/user $1999/user
Data Sources Excel and text files "In a File" data sources All listed data sources
Saving Tableau Public Tableau Public
Locally on computer
Tableau Public
Locally on computer
Sharing Tableau Public Tableau Public
Tableau Reader
Tableau Public
Tableau Reader
Tableau Server
Bottom Line Great option for users who don't care about sharing their data with everyone. Great for users who do not need to connect to a database server or publish to Tableau Server. All other users. Those who need to connect to database servers or publish to Tableau Server.

Additional Links/Downloads

Ryan Sleeper - Which Tableau Product is Best for Me?
Tableau Desktop
Tableau Public
Tableau Reader
Tableau Server
Tableau Online

5 comments:

  1. Very useful when comparing the different versions, thanks for the post

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  4. This is a great outline of the features for each product, but the pricing is out of date as Tableau has switched to a subscription pricing model. Please update!

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