Tableau Desktop Requirements

Tableau Desktop Review & Rating | PCMag.com

You do not need Tableau Server for the use of Tableau Desktop!

The advantage of Tableau server comes in if you want to use collaborative features and distribute dashboards easily inside the organisation. You can upload workbooks to the server for colleagues to consume, you can restrict the access to make data only available to certain people. You can also store data extracts on Tableau server which is often quicker to access than using a standard connection to an SQL DB for example. Without server you are able to connect to these sources but obviously everybody who wants to use the data needs access to the database or system you are using. Which might not be wanted, think about giving all your 5000 employees access to an SAP warehouse versus just extracting one source to the server and making it available to everybody. Depending on your licensing model you might also be able to host your dashboards and embed them for example in your companies website or intranet for everybody to look at. You can also do modifications of workbooks on the server without needing to have Tableau desktop installed and you can access the dashboards on mobile devices (iOS for now Android in the near future) I you wish to.

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