How to Build Tableau reports on SQL Server Data using SQL Server ODBC Driver

Updated: 01 Feb 2023


Progress DataDirect SQL Server ODBC Driver offers a high-performing, secure and reliable connectivity solution, for ODBC applications to access SQL Server data. If you want to use our ODBC SQL Server Driver with the Tableau Desktop application, Progress DataDirect has you covered. In this tutorial, you will learn how to configure the DataDirect SQL Server driver within Tableau Desktop to create reports. These steps can also be used to configure any ODBC connection with Tableau.


This tutorial assumes that you have ODBC drivers installed and a data source configured. If you have not yet done these steps, please follow these instructions:

  1. Download and install the Progress DataDirect SQL Server ODBC driver using the 15-day trial software. In this tutorial, we are connecting to Microsoft SQL Server.
  2. Configure a data source for your database. See the DataDirect documentation for assistance with setting up your data source. You will learn how to configure a SQL Server Datasource in the following steps.

Configure Connection to SQL Server ODBC Driver Using the ODBC Administrator

  1. After the DataDirect SQL Server ODBC driver has been installed, open ODBC Administrator to configure the connection and click on Add.
    odbc data source administration window with user dsn tab open; a list of user data sources is visible and the add button is focused
  2. Choose the “DataDirect X.X SQL Server Wire Protocol” and click on “Finish.”
    create new data source window; datadirect 8.0 sql server wire protocol selected from a list of drivers
  3. The ODBC SQL Server Wire Protocol Driver Setup window will pop up.
    odbc sql server wire protocol driver setup window with general tab open; data source name is set to SQL22, description is empty, host name is set to hostname, portnumber is set to 1433, database is set to database and proxy mode is set to 0 - none

    Enter your credentials, click on “Apply” or “OK,” and then click on “Test Connect.”

  4. The SQL Server Logon screen will pop up. Provide logon credentials and click on “OK.”
    logon to sql server wire protocol window; port number is set to 1433, database is set to test; username is empty and focused
  5. A dialog box will confirm that the connection is established.
    test connect dialog saying connection established

Connect to an ODBC Data Source

  1. Start Tableau and select the “Other Databases (ODBC)” option.
    connect dialog; other databases (odbc) is highlighted under the to a server category
  2. In the pop-up window, select the “DSN” radial button and choose the data source previously configured to connect to SQL Server in the dropdown.
    other databases (odbc) window; dsn field is set to SQL22
  3. Click on “Connect” and another Logon Dialog popup screen will appear. Enter your credentials and click on “OK.”
    logon to sql server wire protocol window; host name field is set to hostname, port number is 1433, database is database, user name is user, password is filled and focused, authentication method is set to 1 - encrypt password
  4. Enter any additional parameters required to connect to your SQL Server Datasource, such as a username and password, and select “OK.” The original connection screen will now display the connection attributes.
    other databases odbc window; dsn is set to sql22, server is server, database is database, username is user, password is filled, string extras is set to DB=database;Host=hostname
  5. Select “Sign In” and the Tableau configuration screen should now appear.
    tableau empty view
  6. You can use Tableau's schema and table drop-down list to browse and select your data. Or you can execute SQL statements by clicking on the "New Custom SQL" option.
    tableau custom sql query view
  7. For example, you can execute a statement such as "Select * from schema_name.table_name" and then click on the "Sheet 1" option at the bottom of the Tableau screen. This screen will allow you to select data and create tables or charts, such as the sample below:
    tableau sample bar chart


Get started today with a free 15-day trial of Progress DataDirect SQL Server ODBC drivers, and connect Tableau to all your data!

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