In order to build engaging visual analytics that help people understand their data, Tableau BI software relies on an ODBC driver to provide a broad set of capabilities. Simba ODBC drivers have been bundled and shipped with Tableau BI software since Tableau version 8.2. Simba engineers know that seamless connectivity is key to an efficient and problem-free user experience.

However, it is not necessarily easy to create a custom ODBC driver which will support required set of capabilities. Tableau discovers installed ODBC drivers and classifies them as fully functional, functional with limitations or non-functional. In particular, Tableau checks available data types; scalar, aggregate and date/time manipulation functions; and support for subqueries, joins, limits and temporary tables. Based on discovered capabilities Tableau may reduce its functionality or change the way it generates queries for connections using a specific custom driver.

In order to help driver developers develop fully functional drivers for Tableau, Simba launched the Certified-for-Tableau program. The Certifed-for-Tableau program helps developers validate their custom ODBC drivers built using the SimbaEngine SDK against a Tableau-specific test suite. The test suite allows developers to shorten driver development and quality assurance times and ensures that their custom ODBC drivers will be recognized by Tableau as fully functional.

Simba built the Tableau test suite based on detailed analysis of ODBC function calls and SQL queries generated by Tableau when working with ODBC drivers. Simba’s computer scientists traced and analyzed each of the hundreds of Tableau-generated ODBC function calls for common patterns, such as establishing a connection, setting connection attributes, retrieving the data, converting the data types, etc. Query patterns may be shared by various UI functions, but may also depend on the data types involved. Based on this call-level analysis Simba built a test suite with thousands of test cases for all collected query patterns and data type combinations.

Talk to us at to find out how you can take advantage of the Certified-for-Tableau program and test suite to shorten your development cycle and improve the quality of your ODBC driver.

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