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Author's profile photo Vivek Singh Bhoj

Tableau and HANA

Hi Everyone,

I got a chance to try Tableau for sometime and wanted to share my experience with it.


Tableau is an easy to use visualization tool that allows you to connect to various types of data sources, visualize and create interactive dashboards and story points.

Already couple of very good blogs on Tableau and HANA have been written by Ronald Konijnenburg

Tableau on HANA

Tableau on HANA, using the new native connector (UPDATED 14-10-2013)

Connecting HANA and Tableau

After reading Ronald’s blog, I thought connecting Tableau to HANA is very easy but when I tried to connect Tableau to HANA using Native Connector, I got the below error


I had both HANA Client and HANA Studio installed in the System.

Then I tried to connect Tableau to HANA using Generic ODBC Connection and was able to connect to HANA as shown below:


Then I tried to find the reason as to why Tableau was not able to connect to HANA via its native connector

The reason behind Tableau not getting connected was that my HANA ODBC Driver name was HDBODBC32_003.

I tried uninstalling HANA Client and installing it again – but the new ODBC driver also got installed with name HDBODBC32_003. The reason being that there was another ODBC driver entry with name HDBODBC32_002 and it was corrupted.

So I had to delete the HDBODBC32_002  entry from Windows registry


Once I deleted the HDBODBC32_002 entry from registry and uninstalled and installed HANA Client again, ODBC Driver got installed as HDBODBC32.

After that I was able to connect to HANA using Tableau Native Connector.

To connect to HANA, just enter Server Name and Username and Password as shown below:


Then select the Schema and then the table or view to which you want to connect.

If you want, you can even write the custom SQL Query to get the data from HANA.


Now drag your View/table to get the data from HANA.

If you are using Tableau 8.2 and your View has input parameters or variables then you will get a popup asking to enter values for input parameters or variables.

Note: If you are using Tableau Version below 8.2, the Input Parameters are not supported.


Then choose whether you want to connect to HANA using a Live connection or want to create a Data Extract and then preview the data.


After this, click on Go to Worksheet and create the Visualizations you want.


Then you can combine different visualizations into one dashboard or combine dashboards and worksheets to create a Story Point.

Once the dashboard is created there are multiple ways to share it. You can publish the Dashboard to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

There is also a free tool provided by Tableau called as Tableau Reader. It can be used to view and interact with Tableau Packaged Workbooks. But its drawback is that it can’t connect to Live Data Source and if you try to open a Workbook that has Live Data Source, it throws the below error.


To resolve this error, instead of creating a Live Connection to Database you will need to create a data extract that will save in your local Desktop.

Now lets discuss some advantages and limitations of Tableau

Advantages of Tableau

  • Shows beautiful data visualizations with lot of charts
  • Has very interactive analysis with simple drag and drop functionality
  • Very easy to customize the layout and information displayed
  • The visualizations can be integrated into a dashboard or story point and linked to each other
  • Can connect to HANA table, HANA View and also supports Custom SQL
  • Can publish the dashboards to a PDF
  • Has good training material for self-learning

Limitations of Tableau

  • HANA Input parameters not available for end user, they just filter out the data at Data Source level, so if we want to create interactive dashboard then we need to create additional parameters in Tableau on top of the data that we are getting from HANA View
  • High Cost for a Broad Adoption as Dashboards created in Tableau Desktop with Live connection to database can be opened only in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server or Tableau Online and it is very costly
  • Only 32 bit Support for HANA
  • Tableau Reader cannot be used to open dashboards which have Live Connection to HANA
  • Can not be used for huge amount of data

As Tableau has started supporting Input Parameters for Data Source in HANA, I hope that later we get an option to expose these parameters directly to end users and then it will become a great platform for even reporting purposes using the full processing power of HANA and great visualization capability of Tableau.

Links to Tableau Tutorials

Quick Start Guides | Tableau Software

If you want, you can try Tableau for free for 30 days

Answer Questions as Fast as You Can Think of Them | Tableau Software


Business Intelligence and Analytics | Tableau Software



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      Author's profile photo Ashok Babu Kumili
      Ashok Babu Kumili

      Hello Vivek.

      Thanks for your info.

      Author's profile photo Benedict Venmani Felix
      Benedict Venmani Felix

      Hi Vivek,

      Great blog. If you have used Lumira can you give us a PoV on how Lumira compares to Tableau. Especially on sharing and scheduling reports?



      Author's profile photo Mauricio Cubillos
      Mauricio Cubillos

      Hello Vivek,

      is there any improvement planned for Tableau integration in the roadmap? I can't see any specifics.

      Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim
      Ina Felsheim

      Hey, Vivek. SAP Lumira is in the same data discovery market as Tableau, and works really really well with SAP HANA. Check out Lumira here: SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

      Author's profile photo Rajasekar Gopalakrishnan
      Rajasekar Gopalakrishnan

      Came across this article recently. Very helpful as we take exploratory steps in making Tableau work with HANA.

      Author's profile photo Arun Das
      Arun Das

      Hello Vivek,

      Good explanation on Tableau and HANA. Great Work.



      Author's profile photo Manpreet Singh
      Manpreet Singh

      Hello Vivek,

      Can you tell me if the Native HANA connection allows us to use Calaculation views in Tableau?



      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Excellent blog Vivek,

      very useful, I am just involved in a PoC of HANA Views with Tableau as a client and this blog perfectly answers the questions I had.

      Let's see if Tableau have configured the connection screen for MDC 🙂


      Author's profile photo Vivek Singh Bhoj
      Vivek Singh Bhoj
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Andy 🙂

      Author's profile photo Rajaganapathi Rangdale Srinivasa Rao
      Rajaganapathi Rangdale Srinivasa Rao

      Hi All,


      I know its too late in the game but i just wanna know why do we get 2 hits when searching for a view?

      For example,  when I search for User_RV, I get 2 hits for the same view one from _SYS_BIC and other one doesn't have the schema name. I do see the same even in this blog.  Is there a way to filter the one coming from _SYS_BIC. (Note:  I already have selected the schema as _SYS_BIC). Is there a way to filter out just one.  Even though both the entries belong to the same view and give the same result its kind of confusing for the end user to choose which view.


      Author's profile photo Nagaraj G
      Nagaraj G

      Hi Ganapathi,


      One is run time object( that is present in _SYS_BIC), other one is design time object. You should use run time object in the front end. To restrict access to only run time objects, remove package access(where design time object present) from the user





      Author's profile photo Rajaganapathi Rangdale Srinivasa Rao
      Rajaganapathi Rangdale Srinivasa Rao

      Hi Nag,


      Thanks for the comment.  We have created a restricted User ID and this ID has just the View object from _SYS_BIC and the Analytical Privilege also 2 SAP delivered roles for JBDC and ODBC connection.  It doesn't have any package access.

      Author's profile photo Jorge Velásquez
      Jorge Velásquez



      Which Roles or Priviledges does this user should have?