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Build Google Spanner Visualizations in Tableau Cloud

Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live Google Spanner data and build visualizations in Tableau Cloud.

Tableau Cloud is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Google Spanner data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to connect to Google Spanner and build visualizations from Google Spanner data in Tableau Cloud.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for Google Spanner, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Google Spanner data in Tableau Cloud without installing connectors or publishing worksheets and data sources from Tableau Desktop. As you build visualizations, Tableau Cloud 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 Google Spanner, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Google Spanner data.

Configure Google Spanner Connectivity for Tableau Online

Connectivity to Google Spanner from Tableau Online is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Google Spanner data from Tableau Online, we start by creating and configuring a Google Spanner connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Google Spanner" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Google Spanner uses OAuth to authenticate. Click "Sign in" to authenticate with Google Spanner.
  4. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Google Spanner Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Google Spanner data from Tableau Cloud.

Visualize Live Google Spanner Data in Tableau Cloud

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Cloud based on the virtual Google Spanner database in Connect Cloud and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Tableau Cloud, select a account, 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.
    • Set Server to,14333
    • Set Database to the Google Spanner connection you created (e.g. GoogleSpanner1)
    • Set Username to your Connect Cloud username (e.g.
    • Set Password to a PAT for the above user
    • Check the Require SSL checkbox
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINad tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

Real-Time Access to Google Spanner Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Google Spanner data from your Tableau Cloud 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 live access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Cloud, refer to our Connect Cloud page.