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All Tableau Help > Tableau Help > 
Reference > Connector Examples > Web Data Connector
Applies to: Tableau Desktop

Web Data Connector

This article describes web data connectors, what to do before you use a connector, and how to connect Tableau to a web data connector.

In this article

Use a web data connector

Test and vet the web data connector

When to use an imported web data connector

Connect to the data source

Optional settings

Tableau support for Web Data Connector

Use a web data connector

You can use a web data connector to connect to data that is accessible over HTTP and that doesn't already have a connector. A web data connector is an HTML file that includes JavaScript code. You can create your own web data connector or use one that has been created by someone else. The web data connector must be hosted on a web server running locally on your computer, on a third-party web server, or on Tableau Server.

Test and vet the web data connector

You should use a web data connector that you trust. If you are unfamiliar with the web data connector, you or your Tableau Server administrator should test and vet the web data connector before you use it. For more information, see Testing and Vetting Web Data Connectors in the Tableau Server Help.

When to use an imported web data connector

When you use a web data connector, Tableau creates an extract of the data that the connector accesses. You can refresh the extract in Tableau Desktop.

When you publish the data source or workbook to Tableau Server, you cannot refresh the extract on Tableau Server unless the web data connector was imported to Tableau Server before you used it. For more information, see Web Data Connectors in Tableau Server in the Tableau Server Help.

The import process results in a URL where the web data connector is available on Tableau Server. The server administrator should give this URL to you and to anyone else who wants to use the connector in a workbook.

If you open a workbook on Tableau Server that was created using a web data connector, but the connector has not been imported to Tableau Server, and you want to be able to refresh the extract on Tableau Server, follow the process for testing, vetting, and importing the connector. Then, in your workbook, edit the connection and change the URL of the connector to the URL provided by Tableau Server. You can then refresh your data on Tableau Server.

When you publish to Tableau Online, as a security measure, Tableau Online can't connect to or refresh an extract created by a web data connector. To refresh some web data connector extracts, you can use Tableau Bridge. For more information, see When to use Tableau Bridge to keep data fresh in the Tableau Online Help.

When you publish to Tableau Public, because you can't import a web data connector to Tableau Public (as you can with Tableau Server), you can't refresh web data connector extracts directly on Tableau Public.

Connect to the data source

  1. Start Tableau and under Connect, select Web Data Connector. For a complete list of data connections, select More under To a Server.

  2. Enter the URL of the web data connector that you want to connect to, and then press Enter.

    Note: If you enter a URL to a website, rather than to a web data connector, an error message will appear.

  3. If the connector displays a webpage, enter any information that you're prompted for, and then submit the page.

  4. Wait while the connector retrieves your data and imports it into Tableau as an extract.

  5. Select the sheet tab to start your analysis.

Web data connector data source example

An example of a web data connector data source is shown below. The first time you connect to a web data connector, the connection page outlines how to connect to the web data connector.

After you connect to a web data connector, on the connection page, you can do the following:

Optional settings

After you connect, you can make the following configuration changes to the data source before you start your analysis.

Tableau support for Web Data Connector

Tableau provides limited customer support for connections using the Web Data Connector. Tableau does not provide support for connectors or for other programs written to interface with the WDC API. However, you can submit questions and ask for help on the Tableau developer community forums.

Tableau does provide support for the WDC library and SDK though. If you find an issue with the WDC library, the simulator, or any of the developer samples, submit an issue on Github.

 

See also

Set Up Data Sources – Add more data to this data source or prepare your data before you analyze it.

Design Views and Analyze Data – Begin your data analysis.