Simba Technologies
Simba Technologies

Simba ODBC Drivers
Quick Start Guide for Windows

Using Tableau

You can work with your data in Tableau through an ODBC connection.

The following procedures are written for Tableau 9. Simba ODBC drivers also support Tableau 8 and Tableau 7.


Make sure that the bitness of the driver that you are using matches the bitness of Tableau. If you are using the 32-bit version of Tableau, then you need to use the 32-bit version of the driver. If you are using the 64-bit version of Tableau, then you need to use the 64-bit version of the driver. For more information about diagnosing the issue, see Architecture Mismatch Problems.

Tableau provides native support for the Simba Spark ODBC Driver with SQL Connector. For information about using the Simba Spark ODBC Driver in Tableau, see Using the Simba Spark ODBC Driver.

For information about using any other Simba ODBC driver in Tableau, see Using Other Simba ODBC Drivers.

Using the Simba Spark ODBC Driver

You can work with Spark data in Tableau by using the Spark SQL data source option, which uses the Simba Spark ODBC Driver to connect to the data store.

To connect to your Spark data store using Tableau:

  1. In Tableau, in the left navigation pane, select More Servers > Spark SQL.
  2. In the Spark SQL Connection dialog box, provide your connection information:
    1. In the Server field, type the IP address or host name of your Spark server.
    2. In the Port field, type the number of the TCP port that the Spark server uses to listen for client requests.
    3. Note:

      By default, Spark uses port 10000.

    4. From the Type drop-down list, select the appropriate server type for the version of Spark that you are running:
      • For Shark 0.8.1 or earlier, select SharkServer.
      • Or, for Shark 0.9.*, select SharkServer2.
      • Or, for Spark 1.1 or later, select SparkThriftServer.
    5. If your Spark server is configured to use authentication, then select the appropriate authentication mechanism from the Authentication drop-down list and provide the necessary credentials and authentication settings in the fields below the list.
    6. Note:

      For detailed information about configuring authentication, see the Simba Spark ODBC Driver with SQL Connector Installation and Configuration Guide.

  3. To confirm your settings and connect to the Spark server, click OK.

The specified data store is loaded in Tableau. You can now use that data to create reports.

For more information about connecting to a Spark server through Tableau, see the "Spark SQL" reference topic in the Tableau online help system.

Using Other Simba ODBC Drivers

Some Simba ODBC drivers include a Tableau Datasource Connection (TDC) file for Windows that helps configure Tableau to operate more efficiently using the driver. If the installation directory of your driver contains a .tdc file, it is strongly recommended that you install the file before using the driver in Tableau.

To install the .tdc file:

  1. Copy the .tdc file from the driver installation directory to the Documents\My Tableau Repository\DataSources directory.
  2. If you are using the Simba Drill ODBC Driver with SQL Connector, the .tdc file can be found in the \Resources subfolder instead of the root level of the driver installation directory.

  3. Restart Tableau.

To connect to your data store using Tableau:

  1. In Tableau, in the left navigation pane, select More Servers > Other Databases (ODBC).
  2. In the Other Databases (ODBC) Connection dialog box, in the DSN drop-down list, select your DSN and then click Connect.
  3. If you are prompted to authenticate the connection, type your credentials for accessing the data store and then click OK.
  4. After Tableau connects to the data store, click OK.
  5. On the Data Source page, depending on the data store that you are connected to, do one of the following:
    • For Drill: from the Schema drop-down list, select the schema that you want to retrieve data from.
    • For all other data stores: from the Database drop-down list, select the database that you want to retrieve data from.
  6. In the Table field, specify the table that you want to retrieve by doing one of the following:
    • Type the name of the table in the field and then click Add New Table Add New Table.
    • Or, to search for a table, type a keyword in the field, then select the option under the field indicating how closely the search results must match the keyword, and then click Search Search. From the search results that display under the field, double-click a table to select it.


    When connected to a Drill data store, you can also select other data objects that are made available through your specified schema. For example, when using a DFS schema, you can select SQL views that have been created through the Drill Explorer.

  7. To retrieve data using a custom SQL query, drag the New Custom SQL item from the left pane to the upper-right pane, then type your query into the Edit Custom SQL dialog box that opens, and then click OK.

Tableau retrieves the specified data and loads it into a worksheet, listing columns as dimensions or measures depending on the data type.

If you did not install a .tdc file for the driver, then the following warning might display:

Tableau Error

Click OK to dismiss the warning. It displays because Tableau sees only a generic driver and attempts to determine the capabilities of the driver. The warning does not affect how the driver will operate in Tableau.

You can now use your data to create reports.