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Publish DB2-Connected Dashboards in Tableau Server



Use the CData Tableau Connector for DB2 and Tableau Server to visualize live DB2 data.

Tableau Server is a visual analytics platform transforming the way businesses use data to solve problems. When paired with the CData Tableau Connector for DB2, you get access to live DB2 data within Tableau Server. This article shows how to connect to DB2 in Tableau Desktop, publish a Data Source to Tableau Server, and build a simple chart from that data.

The CData Tableau Connectors enable high-speed access to live DB2 data in Tableau Server. Once you install the connector, you simply authenticate with DB2 and you can immediately start building responsive, dynamic visualizations and dashboards. By surfacing DB2 data using native Tableau data types and handling complex filters, aggregations, & other operations automatically, CData Tableau Connectors grant seamless access to DB2 data.

NOTE: The CData Tableau Connectors require Tableau 2020.3 or higher. If you are using an older version of Tableau, you will need to use the CData JDBC Driver for DB2. If you wish to connect to DB2 data in Tableau Cloud, you will need to use CData Connect.

Enable Connectivity to DB2 in Tableau Server

Start by installing the CData Tableau Connector on the machine hosting Tableau Server.

Installation on a Linux Machine:

  1. Unpack the setup.zip archive. Creating a directory for the connector like /opt/cdata/db2 is recommended, but the exact install location does not matter.
  2. Navigate to the lib subdirectory under the install directory. Generate a license file by running this command and following the prompts: java -jar cdata.tableau.db2.jar -l
  3. Copy cdata.tableau.db2.jar and cdata.tableau.db2.lic into the drivers directory, /opt/tableau/tableau_driver/jdbc.
  4. Copy cdata.db2.taco into the connectors directory, MyTableauServerRootDir/data/tabsvc/vizqlserver/Connectors. In most cases MyTableauServerRootDir is located at /var/opt/tableau/tableau_server.
  5. Restart Tableau Server.

If you cannot execute the java commmand from step 2, you will need to install a Java runtime environment. The name of this package differs on Red Hat-based and Debian-based systems:

OSJava Package
Ubuntuopenjdk-8-jre-headless
Debianopenjdk-8-jre-headless
RHELjava-1.8.0-openjdk
CentOSjava-1.8.0-openjdk
Fedorajava-1.8.0-openjdk
SUSEjava-1_8_0-openjdk

You can substitute Java 8 with a later Java release as needed.

Installation on a Windows Machine:

  1. Run the setup.exe installer. The driver JAR file will be automatically placed in the drivers directory, C:\Program Files\Tableau\Drivers.
  2. Navigate to the lib folder under the installation directory. By default the installation directory is a folder in C:\Program Files\CData.
  3. Copy cdata.tableau.db2.lic into the drivers directory.
  4. Copy cdata.tableau.db2.taco into the connectors directory, MyTableauServerRootDir/data/tabsvc/vizqlserver/Connectors. In most cases MyTableauServerRootDir is located under C:\ProgramData.
  5. Restart Tableau Server.

Connect to DB2 in Tableau Desktop

Once the connectors are installed on the Server machine, we can configure a connection to DB2 in Tableau Desktop and publish a DB2-based Data Source to Tableau Server.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop.
  2. Click More under Connect -> To a Server.
  3. Select "DB2 by CData".
  4. Configure the connection to the data.

    Set the following properties to connect to DB2:

    • Server: Set this to the name of the server running DB2.
    • Port: Set this to the port the DB2 server is listening on.
    • Database: Set this to the name of the DB2 database.
    • User: Set this to the username of a user allowed to access the database.
    • Password: Set this to the password of a user allowed to access the database.

    You will also need to install the corresponding DB2 driver:

    • Windows: Install the IBM Data Server Provider for .NET.

      On Windows, installing the IBM Data Server Provider is sufficient, as the installation registers it in the machine.config.

    • Java: Install the IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC.

      In the Java version, place the IBM Data Server Driver JAR in the www\WEB-INF\lib\ folder for this application.

  5. Click "Sign In".

Discover Schemas and Query Data

Once you establish the connection to DB2 data, you can configure which entities to visualize.

  1. Select CData from the Database pull-down menu.
  2. Select DB2 from the Schema pull-down menu.
  3. Drag the tables and views you wish to visualize onto the join area. You can include multiple tables.
  4. Select Update Now or Automatically Update. Update Now lets you preview the first 10,000 rows of the data source (or enter the number of rows you want to see in the Rows text box). Automatically Update auto-loads the changes in the preview area.

Publish Data to Tableau Server

After you configure the data you wish to visualize, you can publish the Data Source to a Tableau Server instance. In Tableau Desktop:

  1. Click Server -> Sign In.
  2. Enter the URL for your Tableau Server.
  3. Authenticate with Tableau Server credentials.
  4. Click Server -> Publish Data Source and select your data source.
  5. Click Publish.
  6. Select the Project, name the Data Source, and optionally add a description.
  7. Click Publish.

This creates a new entry under the server's data source list, from which you an change the data source's permissions, view its history, and perform other management tasks.

Note that workstation connected to the same server will be able to use the same source in Tableau Desktop, even if the connector isn't installed there. Also, workbooks created directly on Tableau Server (via the web interface) can use this source.

Visualize DB2 Data in Tableau Server

With the Data Source published to Tableau Server, you are ready to visualize DB2 data.

  1. Login to your Tableau Server instance.
  2. Connect to the remote source using the Search for Data -> Tableau Server in the Connect sidebar.
  3. Click the published Data Source.
  4. Click New Workbook.
  5. In the workbook, DB2 fields are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData Tableau Connector discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  6. Drag a field from the Dimensions or Measures area to Rows or Columns. Tableau creates column or row headers.
  7. Select one of the chart types from the Show Me tab. Tableau displays the chart type that you selected.

Using the CData Tableau Connector for DB2 with Tableau Server, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on DB2 data. Download a free, 30-day trial and get started today.