Tableau Server vs Tableau Online: Which One Is Right For You?

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Tableau has dominated the BI industry, growing by 80% in the last year alone. Moving Big Data to the Cloud appears to be the way of the future. They are complimentary solutions that enable the publication, sharing, and distribution of Tableau workbooks and data sources. Tableau Online and Tableau Server are positive tools for publishing, sharing, and disseminating Tableau workbooks and data sources.

There are several benefits to adopting Tableau products. They link data instantly and enable rapid exchange. The drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to display any data, compare alternative views, and merge several datasets.

Tableau comes in several flavors. Tableau Online and Tableau Server are two of them. Both support a variety of data sources. This article analyzes some essential characteristics to help you determine which product is best for your company.

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Tableau Server vs Tableau Online: Which One Is Right For You
Tableau Server vs Tableau Online: Which One Is Right For You

Difference between Tableau Server and Tableau Online:

We’ll be comparing Tableau Online and Tableau Server in various aspects like price, data security, usability and many others. So let’s get into it.

1.    Hardware

Tableau online is collaboration tool that is hosted in the SaaS cloud. It is kept outside the system firewall; therefore, Tableau keeps hardware and systems outside your firewall. Tableau Online supports SQL-based sources and lives data connections on a cloud platform.

The most extraordinary thing about Tableau online is that there is no need for hardware acquisition, OS setups, capacity planning, or anything else.

Tableau Server is a collaboration tool for sharing and creating visuals that require protected data. It is accessible via browsers and mobile phones. There are no hardware costs until you install the software and manage the systems on your hardware, either within or outside your company’s firewall. It may be installed on-premises or in the Cloud and run on Linux or Windows.

Keep on Reading: Tableau Data Analyst Certification Questions »

2.    Cost and pricing

The initial fee for the Tableau Server environment is $14,000, with an additional $2,800 charged each year after that. You also have a fee associated with your arrangement. The overall cost of this solution over five years is $25,200. Tableau Server costs $800 per user license and $200 per year for maintenance.

Tableau Online costs $9,000 to start but then $5,800 yearly. This solution will cost $32,200 over five years. This amount is divided into $1600 for Tableau Desktop, $400 for maintenance, and $500 for the Tableau Online license.

Keep reading: Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification Questions »

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3.    Data storage

Tableau does not place any storage restrictions on the quantity of data you can publish to Tableau Online. The need for data sources to live online is perhaps the most significant barrier to transitioning from Tableau Server to Tableau Online. A maximum amount of data may be saved on Tableau Online, and fees are associated with exceeding that limit.

No data is kept on the server when a Tableau Workbook has a live connection to a data source and the visualization is published to Tableau Server. Because it maintains a live connection with the database, it serves as a metadata and operational data store for Tableau Server.

4.    Security

Using credentials authenticate users with TableauID or set up a site for single sign-on using SAML. Furthermore, no guest access is permitted; therefore, all users that visit Tableau Online views and dashboards must be authorized.

Tableau Online is housed in a SAS-70 certified datacenter, sign-in is protected by HTTPS, and all communication between your computers and those of your audience is encrypted using SSL.

However, Tableau Server may be configured to use SAML or Kerberos for local authentication, Active Directory integration, trusted authentication, or single sign-on.

5.    Compatibility

Tableau Server can connect to your local data sources and Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift in real time. All internet connections are supported. Furthermore, the Server provides additional front-end management flexibility with the deployment of many Tableau sites on a single Server installation and license.

Tableau Online’s ability to interface directly with other cloud-based analytics platforms is a significant selling factor. It is compatible with Salesforce as well as Google Analytics. Live connections to Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift are supported, as well as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server data housed on internet services like Amazon RDS or Microsoft SQL Azure.

6.    Transferring

The need for data sources to live online is perhaps the most significant barrier to transitioning from Tableau Server to Tableau Online. Tableau has committed considerable efforts to ensuring data security and good performance. They are regularly checking overall system performance and updating as needed.

Shifting to Tableau’s hosted data environment might be prohibitively expensive for firms with large, pre-existing data warehouses or information that must remain onsite for legal or security reasons. A maximum amount of data may be saved on Tableau Online, and fees are associated with exceeding that limit.

Advantages of Tableau Online

  • Tableau Online does not necessitate any internal time for maintenance or updates.
  • Provides system dependability and predictability.
  • It always has access to the most recent features and functionality.
  • There are no infrastructure expenses.
  • Because Cloud is continually upgraded to the most recent version, you will always have access to the most recent Tableau features.
  • If you intend to use Tableau Prep’s scheduling features, keep in mind your organization’s requirement for conducting concurrent prep flows.
  • It is not necessary to scale up hardware.
  • Scaling up requires fewer individuals to work with.
  • There is no requirement for back-end performance optimization.

Advantages of Tableau Server

  • Tableau server offers Flexible deployment for fine-tuning performance.
  • In some circumstances, more straightforward integration with on-premises sources.
  • With deploying numerous Tableau sites on a single instance and license of Server, you gain more front-end administrative freedom.
  • Access to the Postgres repository is provided for simple and configurable administrative views.
  • With administrative views in Tableau Server’s Postgres Repository, expert administrators may need to performance tune to the unique demands of their environment and keep a close check on their Server’s use and health.
  • Multiple sites can be licensed for the same fee.

Tableau Server vs Tableau Online: Which one is best for you?

Many significant enterprises use Tableau Server because of its ease of implementation and ability to interact with internal systems and on-premises sources. Unfortunately, greater flexibility might need greater caution. While Server licenses per seat are less expensive than Cloud, you must shoulder the burden of infrastructure hosting costs. Because you will need to deploy, upgrade, and maintain the Server, you will most likely need to hire someone to support it.

Tableau Cloud provides the capabilities of Tableau Server while also offloading any internal maintenance, updating, and hosting expenses. This isn’t to suggest that Cloud users will have no administrative load; you’ll still need some front-end administration to maintain the system neat and safe, but a large chunk of the back-end care will be out of sight and out of mind.

In the case of Tableau Online, the Cutting edge can come with certain dangers, such as problems being discovered and your firm no longer having the autonomy to do a rollback. Still, overall this would be regarded as a huge plus. While offboarding administrative labor is significant, you lose some flexibility because the program is located outside your network.

In the case of the Tableau server, because you bear the burden of managing both the infrastructure and the system, it is your responsibility to keep the system stable and troubleshoot if something goes wrong.

 Tableau ServerTableau Online
Hardware dependabilityRequired hardware outside the firewallTableau Online eliminates the need for hardware. Although it operates on hardware, you do not need to purchase any hardware, particularly for Tableau Online.
CostTableau Server is an expensive solution if you are running a small business.Tableau Online is cheaper regarding license and hardware cost.
Licenses and accountsTableau Server requires a minimum of ten licenses and accounts.None
Storage capacityEntirely depends on Your disk spaceTableau Online stores data online and it does not give you much disadvantage regarding cost
Security and authenticationThe security depends on your firewall security.Tableau Online data extraction while keeping a private data warehouse. So it is highly secure
User experienceTableau Server is unrivaled when it comes to producing simple, interactive dashboards for busy executives. The program also saves time for the busy analyst who is weary of using Excel all the time. Tableau Server outperforms Excel by a wide margin.Tableau Online is quite straightforward to use once you become acclimated to it from the standpoint of the end user. It takes some getting accustomed to as a builder, but the sheer level of customization makes it all worthwhile.
DiversityTableau Server can be used inside or outside of the company’s firewallCannot be used outside the firewall

Frequently asked questions

1.    How to choose between the Tableau server vs. Tableau online?

Tableau Online, Tableau Server, or a third-party vendor may provide data visualization capabilities. However, finding the perfect solution for you requires some thought about the specific needs of your data sources, end users, and business goals.

2.    What features distinguish Tableau online from Tableau server?

Tableau online includes data management tools, cloud connectivity, dependable service, and regular upgrades. Tableau Server, on the other hand, features a flexible design and automated upgrades. Scalability and security are also provided.

3.    In Tableau Server vs. Tableau Online, how does my data update?

Your workbooks are updated automatically with the most recent information from their source. In the case of Tableau Online, new data must be manually posted to Tableau Online, either using Tableau Desktop or through the Tableau command line application, which may be automated using a Windows scheduler or similar tools.

4.    What is the usage of Tableau Online and Tableau Server?

Tableau Online is a hosted version of the Tableau server that aids in the speed and ease of making business intelligence choices. Tableau server, on the other hand, is more enterprise-level. It handles databases more quickly thanks to live connections. As a result, another significant distinction between Tableau Online and Tableau Server is the variation in utilization.

In a nutshell

Tableau software is available in two versions: online and Server. The distinction between Tableau Online and Tableau Server is that Tableau Online is a cloud-based version of Tableau Server. In contrast, Tableau Server is a central repository for users, data sources, and visualizations. The differences between Tableau Online and Tableau Server that we discussed are

  1. Hardware
  2. Cost and pricing
  3. Data storage
  4. Security
  5. Compatibility
  6. Transferring

While Tableau Online is an excellent option for certain businesses, a cloud-based visualization solution is not for everyone. With Tableau Server, you can extend the value of your data throughout your whole enterprise.

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Published by Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a journalist with expertise in researching a variety of topics and writing engaging contents. He is also a data analyst and an expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy writing, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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