Build Amazon S3 Visualizations in Tableau Online

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CData Connect Server


Use CData Connect Server to create a virtual SQL Server Database for Amazon S3 data and build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Did You Know?

Amazon S3 is supported in CData Connect Cloud! Our Data Connectivity as a Service provides a richer, cloud-to-cloud integration with your Amazon S3 data.

Check out the updated integration guide here: Build Amazon S3 Visualizations in Tableau Online


Tableau Online is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. When paired with CData Connect Server, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Amazon S3 data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for Amazon S3 and build visualizations from Amazon S3 data in Tableau Online.

CData Connect Server provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for Amazon S3, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Amazon S3 data in Tableau Online without installing connectors or publishing worksheets and data sources from Tableau Desktop. As you build visualizations, Tableau Online generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Server pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Amazon S3, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Amazon S3 data.

Create a Virtual SQL Server Database for Amazon S3 Data

CData Connect Server uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Server and click Databases.
  2. Select "Amazon S3" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Amazon S3.

    To authorize Amazon S3 requests, provide the credentials for an administrator account or for an IAM user with custom permissions. Set AccessKey to the access key Id. Set SecretKey to the secret access key.

    Note: You can connect as the AWS account administrator, but it is recommended to use IAM user credentials to access AWS services.

    For information on obtaining the credentials and other authentication methods, refer to the Getting Started section of the Help documentation.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Visualize Live Amazon S3 Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Online based on the virtual Amazon S3 database in Connect Server and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Tableau Online, select a project, and create a new workbook.
  2. In the new workbook, choose the Microsoft SQL Server Connector from the data wizard and fill in the values for your Connect Server instance.
    NOTE: Be sure to check the "Require SSL" checkbox.
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINed tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

SQL Access to Amazon S3 Data from Applications

At this point, you have a direct connection to live Amazon S3 data from your Tableau Online workbook. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more, with no need to publish data sources and workbooks from Tableau Desktop. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Online, refer to our Connect Server page.