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Tableau Architecture & Server Components

Tableau Server is designed in an approach to connect various data layers. It is able to connect clients via desktops, mobiles, and web. Tableau Desktop is a robust tool for visualizing data. It is extremely reliable and safe.

It is able to run on physical and virtual devices. It is a multi-user multiple-threaded and multi-process system.

The ability to provide these features is dependent on an efficient architecture. Let's take a look at this Tableau Server Architecture in this tutorial.

In this tutorial, you'll be taught:

  • Tableau Server Architecture
  • Data Server
  • Data Connectors
  • Parts and components of Tableau Server
  • Gateway
  • Clients

Tableau Server Architecture

The various layers utilized within Tableau server are outlined in the following diagram. Tableau server are listed in the diagram below of the structure

Tableau Architecture Diagram

Let's look at the various components of Tableau Architecture

Data Server
The main element that makes up Tableau Architecture is the Data sources that it is able to connect to.

Tableau is able to connect to many data sources. The data sources are in-house or remotely accessible. Tableau is able to connect to a database, Excel file, or a web application simultaneously. Tableau is able to connect information from multiple environments. It is able to blend data from multiple sources. It also can establish connections between different types of sources.

Data Connectors
Data Connectors Data Connectors provide an interface to connect data sources from outside with Tableau Data Server.

Tableau includes an inbuilt ODBC/SQL connector. This ODBC Connector allows you to connect to any database connecting to their own connector. Tableau offers the option to select both extract and live data. Based on the use it is possible to be changed between live and extracted data. Taking a Tableau Training will help you enhance your knowledge.

Live Connection real Time Data:
Tableau is able to connect real-time data by connecting directly to the external database. It utilizes the infrastructure of the database system that is already in place by sending an incoming dynamic MDX (Multidimensional Expressions) and SQL statements. This feature allows you to connect live data via Tableau instead of importing the data. This makes sense of the investment of an organization in a speedy and efficient database system. In many organizations the database is enormous and it is regularly updated. In these instances, Tableau works as a visualization tool for the front-end, connecting to the current data.

Extracted or in-memory data:
Tableau has an option to extract data from other data sources. You can create an offline copy of the data in the form of a tableau extract files. It is able to extract millions of records within the Tableau data engine in one click. The data engine in Tableau uses storage like RAM, ROM, and cache memory to manage and store data. With filtering, Tableau will extract just a handful of data points from a massive data set. This can improve the performance particularly when working with large data sets. In-memory or extracted data permits users to see the data offline, and without having to connect to the source data.

The components of Tableau Server

The various components that make up Tableau server are: Tableau server include:

  • Application Server
  • VizQL Server
  • Data Server

Applications Server:

The application server is utilized to verify the identities and authorizations. It manages the administration and authorization to web as well as mobile-based interfaces. It provides security by recording every session's id in Tableau Server. Administrators can set the default timeout for the session on the server.

VizQL Server:

VizQL server helps transform queries coming that are generated by the source of data to visualizations. When a client request is passed to the VizQL method, VizQL forwards queries directly to the data source and retrieves the data that is in images. This visualization or image is displayed for the viewer. Tableau server makes an image cache to speed up loading time. The cache is shared with multiple users with right to access the visualization.

Data Server:

Data servers are used to manage and store information from data sources that are external to the system. It's a central data management system. It manages metadata as well as data security and data storage connectivity requirements for data and driver. It keeps the necessary information about the data set, like metadata calculated fields sets groupings, parameters, and sets. Data sources can collect data and also establish live connections with other data sources.


The gateway channels the requests made by clients for processing to Tableau components. When a client submits an request, it's transferred to an the load balancer externally for processing. The gateway functions as a distribution point for processes to different components. If there is no external load balancers, the gateway can also function as an load balancer. In the case of a single server configuration One principal server, or gateway handles all operations. In the case of multiple server configurations One physical system functions as the primary server, while other serve as workstations. One computer can be utilized as the primary server in the Tableau Server environment.


The dashboards and visuals of Tableau server are able to be edited and viewed with different client. The Clients include Tableau Desktop, web browser and mobile apps.


  • The structure that is the basis of Tableau Server is designed to connect various data sources in a secure way.
  • Data Server serves as the primary layer of the overall architecture. It aids Tableau join data across different heterogeneous environments.
  • The Data Connector is the next layer. It allows you to connect to different databases via the ODBC connector.
  • Tableau is able to connect live data in real time by directly connecting to the database. It also can make a local copy the data by using its in-memory storage for quicker processing.
  • The components like Application Server, VizQL Server and data server work like the third layer.
  • This server can be utilized for authorizations and authentications.
  • VizQL can be used to convert your SQL query into visualisations.
  • Data Server can be described as a central data management system that is used within the architectural framework.
  • Gateways are utilized to split the processes across various components.
  • Fourth layer in the architectural framework is the clients, such as Tableau Desktop, web and Mobile.

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