Products and versions | DAL4 RS A3.1 |

Tableau is not just one product. The different products of the Tableau ecosystem, as well as their interconnections are summarised in the below diagram (Figure 1). This course focuses on creating Tableau visualisations; however, you will also learn about the other products in the ecosystem and choose how you will share the visualisations you have created.   

The Tableau Public app and portal are free for anyone to use but there is the limitation that any data and vizzes shared via Tableau Public will ultimately be shared with the world, therefore this is not a good option for businesses that handle secure data. In these cases, the paid for versions (Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server or Tableau Online) are the preferred methods to create and share vizzes with both data and viz under full access control, augmented by scheduled data source refreshes, push notifications and release management features.  


 A diagram of the tableau ecosystem showing icons of Tableau products and their interconnections: Tableau Prep conductor, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Reader, Tableau Public app, Tableau Public, Tableau Server, Tableau Cloud, Tableau Mobile

Figure 1: Tableau ecosystem  



Key Features / Capabilities 

Tableau Desktop 

Locally installed application. It is used to create and publish workbooks containing vizzes. This software can also be used to interact with and edit existing tableau workbooks. 

Tableau Reader 

Lightweight free product installed locally. It allows the end user to interact with a tableau workbook (doesn’t save changes). 

Tableau Public 

Free, public version of the product. An extensive online community portal of open-source data, dashboards, infographics and plots. 

Tableau Prep + Conductor 

It creates flows from multiple data sources including transformation steps and runs flows on schedules (ETL). 

Tableau Server/ Cloud 

Dedicated company portal for sharing visualisations, dashboards, data sources within the organisation, including access control (on premise or hosted). 

Tableau Mobile 

It is used to view or interact with reports and dashboards on any connected mobile device. 

This course will use ‘Tableau’ generically to refer to the installed Tableau Public or desktop application on your local machine.  

Next, let’s look at some of the key features in Tableau.  


Welcome to an overview of Tableau. Here, you'll learn about the different Tableau products, the types of data sources it can be connected to and how visualisations in Tableau function. 

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