For years, Tableau has integrated with a number of Microsoft technologies including SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services, Excel, Access, Sharepoint Server, PowerPivot, and Microsoft Azure Marketplace DataMarket to help people visualize their data. With more data moving to the cloud, we’ve worked with Microsoft to provide deeper integration with Azure.

We are excited to announce new integrations with Spark on Azure HDInsight, a cloud-hosted Apache Spark service, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a fully-managed elastic data warehouse as a service, and Azure SQL Database, a relational database as a service. These services are a perfect companion to Tableau Online, our secure and scalable cloud analytics solution.

The integration supports both live connectivity and in-memory extracts. This means that you can take full advantage of the power of Azure which provides you with real-time access to your data directly in the cloud, no extracts or snapshots required. Our connectivity to these cloud-hosted services not only reflects a change in user preference for storing data, but also enables customers to both store and analyze data completely in the cloud.

Spark on Azure HDInsight is Microsoft’s new big data service powered by the cloud. We are seeing tremendous adoption of Spark in the marketplace and it's exciting to see Microsoft provide another option for customers. Our connector to Azure's hosted Spark cluster enables business analysts, developers, and data scientists to interactively explore large data sets and data models.

Tableau is the perfect visual analytics solution for Spark providing an easy to use, fast, and interactive analytics platform for everyone. Users do not need to write Spark SQL or code to start answering questions of the data. Simply connect and go, and your data comes to life. (See interactive data analysis in action with Tableau & Spark on HDInsight in this video by Asad Khan, principal program manager for Big Data at Microsoft.)

Additionally, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an enterprise-class cloud data warehouse that was first announced at Microsoft’s Build developer conference on April 29. This service compliments Azure SQL Database, Microsoft's database as a service. Tableau makes it easy to connect to SQL Data Warehouse and SQL Database with our new optimized connector. Combined with Tableau Online, you can now deploy a complete enterprise-scale BI, DW, & database solution completely in the cloud in minutes.

“Increasingly, organizations are both hosting and analyzing data in the cloud because of the cost efficiency, elasticity and agility the solution offers,” said Tiffany Wissner, senior director of data platform marketing at Microsoft. “We are delighted to work with Tableau to provide direct connectivity from Tableau to Spark on HDInsight, SQL Data Warehouse and SQL Database because their tool empowers all users within organizations to visualize and ask deeper questions of their data.”

Connectivity to Spark on HDInsight and SQL Data Warehouse is now generally available in Tableau 9.0.3 or later for Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online. Connectivity to SQL Database will be available in the coming weeks.

Test Drive: To try out Tableau Online and experience rapid-fire cloud BI against your own data today, take a test drive here.

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Respond: Do you have an interesting cloud data or big data use case? We’d love to hear about it. Please reach out and let us know.

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