Build Azure Data Lake Storage Visualizations in Tableau Online

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual SQL Server Database for Azure Data Lake Storage data and build visualizations in Tableau Online.

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

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for Azure Data Lake Storage, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Azure Data Lake Storage 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 Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Azure Data Lake Storage, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Azure Data Lake Storage data.

Create a Virtual SQL Server Database for Azure Data Lake Storage Data

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

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Azure Data Lake Storage" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Azure Data Lake Storage.

    Authenticating to a Gen 1 DataLakeStore Account

    Gen 1 uses OAuth 2.0 in Azure AD for authentication.

    For this, an Active Directory web application is required. You can create one as follows:

    1. Sign in to your Azure Account through the .
    2. Select "Azure Active Directory".
    3. Select "App registrations".
    4. Select "New application registration".
    5. Provide a name and URL for the application. Select Web app for the type of application you want to create.
    6. Select "Required permissions" and change the required permissions for this app. At a minimum, "Azure Data Lake" and "Windows Azure Service Management API" are required.
    7. Select "Key" and generate a new key. Add a description, a duration, and take note of the generated key. You won't be able to see it again.

    To authenticate against a Gen 1 DataLakeStore account, the following properties are required:

    • Schema: Set this to ADLSGen1.
    • Account: Set this to the name of the account.
    • OAuthClientId: Set this to the application Id of the app you created.
    • OAuthClientSecret: Set this to the key generated for the app you created.
    • TenantId: Set this to the tenant Id. See the property for more information on how to acquire this.
    • Directory: Set this to the path which will be used to store the replicated file. If not specified, the root directory will be used.

    Authenticating to a Gen 2 DataLakeStore Account

    To authenticate against a Gen 2 DataLakeStore account, the following properties are required:

    • Schema: Set this to ADLSGen2.
    • Account: Set this to the name of the account.
    • FileSystem: Set this to the file system which will be used for this account.
    • AccessKey: Set this to the access key which will be used to authenticate the calls to the API. See the property for more information on how to acquire this.
    • Directory: Set this to the path which will be used to store the replicated file. If not specified, the root directory will be used.
  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 Azure Data Lake Storage Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Online based on the virtual Azure Data Lake Storage database in Connect Cloud 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 Cloud 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 Azure Data Lake Storage Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Azure Data Lake Storage 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 Cloud page.