Tableau is a powerful analytics and visualization platform that offers a range of licensing options to cater to the diverse needs of organizations. In this article, we explore Tableau’s licensing policy, outlining the different licensing options available, their features, and considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop is the authoring and development tool used to create interactive visualizations and dashboards. It offers three types of licenses:

  • Tableau Creator: This license includes Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Server or Tableau Online. It provides full access to the entire Tableau platform for end-to-end analytics workflows.
  • Tableau Explorer: This license allows users to connect to published data sources and explore them using Tableau Desktop. However, it does not provide authoring capabilities.
  • Tableau Viewer: This license enables users to view and interact with visualizations and dashboards published on Tableau Server or Tableau Online but does not offer data exploration or authoring capabilities.

Tableau Server

Tableau Server is the enterprise-grade self-hosted analytics platform that allows organizations to share, collaborate, and manage Tableau content within their own infrastructure. Tableau Server offers various licensing models:

  • User-Based License: This license is based on the number of named users who have access to Tableau Server. It provides flexibility for organizations with a fixed number of users who need to create, publish, and interact with content.
  • Core-Based License: This license is based on the number of processor cores on the server running Tableau Server. It is suitable for organizations with a high number of users or concurrent sessions, as it allows unlimited users to access the platform.

Tableau Online

Tableau Online is the cloud-based version of Tableau Server, hosted and managed by Tableau. It offers similar functionality to Tableau Server but eliminates the need for on-premises infrastructure. Tableau Online offers user-based licensing, allowing organizations to pay for the number of named users who need access to the platform.

Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep is a data preparation tool that allows users to clean, shape, and combine data for analysis. It offers two types of licenses:

  • Tableau Prep Conductor: This license is designed for organizations that require centralized management and scheduling of data preparation workflows. It allows administrators to publish and manage Tableau Prep flows on Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  • Tableau Prep Builder: This license is for individual users who need to prepare data for analysis but do not require centralized management or scheduling capabilities.

Considerations for Licensing

When choosing a Tableau licensing plan, consider the following factors:

  • User Roles and Needs: Evaluate the roles and responsibilities of your users to determine the appropriate licensing type for each user category. For example, creators require Tableau Desktop licenses, while viewers may only need Tableau Viewer licenses.
  • Deployment Model: Decide whether you want to host Tableau on-premises using Tableau Server or leverage the cloud-based Tableau Online. Consider factors such as infrastructure requirements, scalability, and maintenance preferences.
  • Scalability and Growth: Assess your organization’s current and future analytics needs. Choose a licensing model that can accommodate the number of users and data volumes you anticipate in the long term.
  • Budget and Cost Considerations: Compare the pricing structures of different licensing options and evaluate their cost-effectiveness based on your organization’s budget and ROI expectations.
  • Integration Requirements: Consider whether you need to integrate Tableau with other systems or data sources. Ensure that your chosen licensing plan supports the necessary integrations.

Tableau offers a flexible licensing policy that caters to the diverse needs of organizations. Whether you require authoring capabilities, data exploration access, or just viewing dashboards, Tableau has a licensing option for you. By carefully evaluating your organization’s requirements, user roles, deployment preferences, and growth plans, you can choose the most suitable Tableau licensing plan and empower your users with powerful analytics and visualization capabilities.