What Is the Web Server for Tableau?


Heather Bennett

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool used by many organizations to explore, analyze, and present data in an interactive and meaningful way. To make Tableau visualizations accessible to users, it requires a web server to host and deliver the content. In this article, we will explore what the web server for Tableau is and how it works.

What Is a Web Server?

A web server is software that runs on a computer or server and delivers web content to users over the internet. It responds to requests from clients (web browsers) by sending back HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and other resources that make up a website or web application.

Web Servers for Tableau

Tableau provides two options for hosting its visualizations on the web: Tableau Server and Tableau Public.

1. Tableau Server

Tableau Server is an enterprise-level solution that allows organizations to deploy Tableau dashboards and reports securely within their own infrastructure. It provides features like user authentication, access control, scalability, performance optimization, and central administration of content.

This powerful web server enables organizations to share Tableau visualizations with internal teams or external users through a secure portal. It also allows users to interact with the visualizations using filters, parameters, and other controls defined in the original workbook.

2. Tableau Public

Tableau Public, on the other hand, is a free option designed for public sharing of Tableau visualizations. It hosts your visualizations on Tableau’s servers instead of your own infrastructure.

The main advantage of using Tableau Public is its simplicity – you can publish your visualizations with just a few clicks and share them with anyone. However, keep in mind that the visualizations will be publicly accessible, so sensitive or confidential data should not be used in Tableau Public.

How Does the Web Server for Tableau Work?

Both Tableau Server and Tableau Public use web servers to deliver interactive visualizations to users. When a user accesses a Tableau visualization through a web browser, the following steps occur:

  1. The user’s web browser sends a request to the Tableau web server.
  2. The web server processes the request and retrieves the necessary resources (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, data) from the Tableau workbook.
  3. The web server dynamically generates the HTML page that includes the interactive elements of the visualization.
  4. The HTML page is sent back to the user’s web browser.
  5. The user’s web browser renders the HTML page and displays it to the user.

Once loaded, users can interact with the visualization by applying filters, drilling down into data, or exploring various aspects of the underlying dataset.

In conclusion, a web server is an essential component for hosting and delivering Tableau visualizations on the internet. Whether you choose Tableau Server or Tableau Public depends on your requirements for security, access control, and scalability. Both options enable users to explore data visually and derive insights from it in an interactive manner.

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