I was working in the last few weeks getting a new driver to work with the recently released 64-bit edition of Tableau Desktop–version 8.1.

Those of us who’s gone thru the 32 to 64-bits transition (or even the 16 to 32-bits!) will know that migrating from one ‘generation’ to another is often fraught with issues of compatibility and availaiblity.

Here, I have to applaud Tableau for doing a great job because the new 8.1 supports both 32 and 64-bit drivers.

Here’s a trick I learned: if you have both bit-ness of the same driver installed, Tableau may get confused about which variant of the driver to use. You can use the command-line switch “-DPrefer32BitDrivers=false” to hint Tableau to use the 64-bit drivers preferentially.

On the subject of connectivity, Tableau also added a recent example showing ‘generic ODBC’ connectivity for IBM’s BigInsight.

The highlight here is that Tableau supports any data source as long the data source has an ODBC driver. If you have a database that is not listed among Tableau’s comprehensive list, you can nonetheless use Tableau with it if you have an ODBC driver for it. Alongside this, there is a capability model feature called ‘TDC’ that one can use to finetune how Tableau operates with the ODBC driver. For more detail, refer to their KB article.

Finally, if you are looking for an ODBC driver (or any other type of data connector), be sure to take a look at our selection of SDKs and ready-to-use drivers.