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All Tableau Help > Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring Help > 
Applies to: Tableau Desktop

Other Databases (ODBC)

When you start Tableau, under Connect, you can see the file and database types that are supported by Tableau Desktop . Select More to see the complete list. For supported files and databases, Tableau provides built-in connectors that are built for and optimized for those data sources. If your file or database type is listed here, use this named connector to connect to your data.

If your file or database type is not listed on under Connect, you might be able to connect to it using the Other Databases (ODBC) connector. ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) is a standard way to connect to a database. If the database driver you want to connect with implements the ODBC standard, you can connect Tableau to your data using the ODBC driver for your database and the Tableau Other Databases (ODBC) connector.

In this article

Make the connection

Configure for publishing and cross-platform portability

Tableau support for Other Databases (ODBC) connections

Make the connection

To connect to your data using the ODBC driver, do the following:

  1. Start Tableau and under Connect, select Other Databases (ODBC). For a complete list of data connections, select More under To a Server.

  2. Enter the information required to make the connection.

    If table or schema names are not listed, click the search icon or enter the name in the text box and click the search icon, and then select the name.

Important: When you use Other Databases (ODBC) to connect to a database, the outcome may vary and compatibility with Tableau Desktop features is not guaranteed.

If your connection works as you need it to, you can begin your analysis. If, however, you need to customize your ODBC connection to improve functionality and performance, refer to the articles under See also.

Configure for publishing and cross-platform portability

When you work with a generic ODBC connection, additional configuration is required to make sure that the workbooks and data sources you create can be used on different computers and platforms.

For publishing and for cross-platform portability:

As an example, Ashley Garcia creates an Other Databases (ODBC) data source that connects using a DSN for which she has the associated ODBC driver installed on her Windows computer. Here is an example of the data source configuration, including the data source name, that Ashley created:


Ashley can do a couple of things with this data source to make it available for others to use.

When you try to open a workbook or data source created using the Other Databases (ODBC) connector and your workstation isn't configured correctly (you don't have the workbook or data source's DSN configured, or you don't have the ODBC driver installed), you'll see an error message that begins Generic ODBC requires additional configuration. To resolve this error, contact the workbook or data source publisher or the Tableau Server administrator to get the DSN and ODBC driver information that matches the workbook or data source. Then install the driver and configure the DSN on your computer.

Create a DSN

The method you use to create a DSN depends on your operating system.

Review the documentation for your operating system for specific instructions on how to create a DSN.

Tableau support for Other Databases (ODBC) connections

Tableau provides limited customer support for connections using Other Databases (ODBC). Tableau supports the Other Databases (ODBC) connector functionality, for example, Support will help you with the sample code provided in Tableau documentation, or if your connection works in Tableau Desktop, but doesn't work in Tableau Server. However, Tableau does not support creating or debugging custom TDC files. For help, you can review the documentation listed under See also, and you can submit questions and ask for help on the Tableau Developer Community forums.

See also

Tableau and ODBC – Provides background information about ODBC, describes how Tableau determines the functionality of an ODBC driver, and lists frequently asked questions.

Customize and Tune ODBC Connections – Describes how to fine tune the ODBC connection information for improved functionality and performance.

Tableau Capability Customizations Reference – Lists customizations you can use to define which Tableau capabilities are supported by the data source.

ODBC/SQL Customizations Reference – Lists customizations that represent the parts of the ODBC and SQL standards that the ODBC driver reports supporting.