What is the Difference Between Tableau Online and Tableau Server? with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

The main difference between them is that Tableau Online is similar to Tableau Server hosted on a cloud platform, while Tableau Server is a central repository for users, data sources, and visualizations.

Tableau is a data visualization and business intelligence tool. It’s easier for IT professionals and analysts to easily perform data analysis. There are multiple benefits to using Tableau products. They connect data very quickly and allow it to be shared quickly. The drag and drop interface helps to visualize any data and check different views and combine multiple databases easily. It doesn’t require a lot of programming skill. There are different versions of Tableau. Two of them are Tableau Online and Tableau Server. Both support various data sources.

Key areas covered

1. What is Tableau Online?
      – Definition, Functionality
2. What is Tableau Server?
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the difference between Tableau Online and Tableau Server?
     – Comparison of key differences

Key terms

Tableau, Tableau Online, Tableau Server

What is Tableau Online?

Tableau Online is a sharing tool that is hosted on the cloud version of Sass (software as a service). It stays outside the system’s firewall. Supports SQL-based sources hosted on a cloud platform, as well as live data connections to Amazon Redshift, Google Big Query, etc.

User can buy and maintain many sites, configure users and permissions. Tableau Online lets you schedule updates for published data. The user can schedule update tasks directly to extract data from cloud-based data sources. Provides user authentication through Tableau ID. Therefore, there is no access for unauthorized users. User must be authenticated to access published dashboards and views to Tableau online. On the other hand, workbook editing, visualization, and dashboards are limited to the number of rows. Also, it requires a server data connection.

What is Tableau Server?

Tableau Server is a sharing tool that helps you share and create visualizations that require secure data. It is available for mobile-based browsers and insights. The Tableau server makes it easy to share the created dashboard across the company. It allows creating and maintaining multiple sites at no additional cost, configuring users and permissions.

Tableau Server supports live connections to local data sources and to Google Big Query and Amazon Redshift. It can be configured for local authentication using Active Directory integration or single sign-on using SAML or Kerberos. Users may also schedule update tasks for published excerpts. The user can select a pre-configured schedule or create a custom schedule. The primary license option can be used to provide access to other users. On the other hand, the user must create the dashboards with Tableau Desktop and then use the Tableau server to share the data.

Difference between Tableau Online and Tableau Server


Tableau Online is the sharing tool used as high-performance data repositories. Tableau Server is a sharing tool used to share and create visualizations for organizations in complete security. This explains the basic difference between them.


In addition, Tableau Online has features for data management, cloud connections, reliable services, and automatic updates. Whereas, Tableau Server has a flexible architecture and automatic updates. It also provides scalability and security.


Tableau Online is a hosted version of Tableau Server that helps you make faster and easier business intelligence decisions. On the other hand, the Tableau server is more enterprise-level. Manage databases faster through live connections. Therefore, differences in usage are another important difference between Tableau Online and Tableau Server.


The online version of Tableau costs about $ 500. The cost of the Tableau server depends on the major licenses.


Tableau Online and Server are two versions of Tableau software products. The difference between them is that Tableau Online is similar to Tableau Server hosted on a cloud platform, while Tableau Server is a central repository for users, data sources, and visualizations.


1. “Tableau Online”. Tableau Software, Available here.
2. “Tableau Server”. Tableau Software, Available here.

Courtesy Image:

1. “924781” (CC0) via Pixabay

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