Visualize Azure Synapse Data in Tableau

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Azure Synapse ODBC Driver

The Azure Synapse ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Azure Synapse, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Azure Synapse data like you would a database - read, write, and update Azure Synapse. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



The CData ODBC driver for Azure Synapse enables you integrate Azure Synapse data into Tableau dashboards.

The CData ODBC Driver for Azure Synapse enables you to access live Azure Synapse data in business intelligence tools like Tableau. In this article, you will integrate Azure Synapse data into a dashboard that reflects changes to Azure Synapse data in real time.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Azure Synapse data in Tableau due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Tableau to Azure Synapse, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Azure Synapse and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Azure Synapse data using native Tableau data types.

Connect to Azure Synapse as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Connecting to Azure Synapse

In addition to providing authentication (see below), set the following properties to connect to a Azure Synapse database:

  • Server: The server running Azure. You can find this by logging into the Azure portal and navigating to Azure Synapse Analytics -> Select your database -> Overview -> Server name.
  • Database: The name of the database, as seen in the Azure portal on the Azure Synapse Analytics page.

Authenticating to Azure Synapse

Connect to Azure Synapse using the following properties:

  • User: The username provided for authentication with Azure.
  • Password: The password associated with the authenticating user.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Add Azure Synapse Data to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData AzureSynapse Source).
  2. In the Database menu, select CData.
  3. In the Table box, enter a table name or click New Custom SQL to enter an SQL query. This article retrieves the Products table.
  4. Drag the table onto the join area. At this point, you can include multiple tables, leveraging the built-in SQL engine to process complex data requests.
  5. In the Connection menu, select the Live option, so that you skip loading a copy of the data into Tableau and instead work on real-time data. The optimized data processing native to CData ODBC drivers enables unmatched performance in live connectivity.
  6. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData driver discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  7. Drop the Id column in the Dimensions pane onto the dashboard. When you select dimensions, Tableau builds a query to the driver. The results are grouped based on that dimension. In Tableau, the raw query is automatically modified as you select dimensions and measures.
  8. Drag the ProductName column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT Id, SUM(ProductName) FROM Products GROUP BY Id

    When you select a measure, Tableau executes a command to the driver to calculate a summary function, such as SUM, AVG, etc., on the grouped values. The SQL engine (embedded within the driver) is leveraged to process the aggregation of the data, where needed, providing a seamless experience in Tableau, regardless of the data source.

    To change the summary function, open the ProductName menu and select the summary you want in the Measure command.

  9. You can create other charts using dimensions and measures to build SQL queries visually:

With the CData ODBC Driver for Azure Synapse, you get live connectivity to your Azure Synapse data, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.