Chris Webb's BI Blog

Analysis Services, MDX, PowerPivot, DAX and anything BI-related

Tableau v1.5 released

with 2 comments

Version 1.5 of Tableau, in my opinion probably the best looking, easiest to use and most innovative (but unfortunately also rather expensive and fat-client only) AS client tool has just been released. You can see a list of all the new features here, chief of which is support for AS2005. If you’re looking for an AS client tool I strongly recommend you download a trial and take a look even if you don’t think it can meet all your requirements – it really shows up how poor the other client tools out there are in user interface terms.
 
I did a tiny bit of beta testing on this release and remained as impressed as I was when I first saw it. However the discovery that you can’t use Time Utility dimensions with the tool – a modelling technique which is going to be very common with AS2005 since that’s what the Time Intelligence Wizard builds to hang all your time calculations such as YTD and Previous Period Growth off – was a bit of a disappointment. I found the dev team very intelligent and responsive to feedback, though, and they’ve promised to look at this problem for the next release…

Written by Chris Webb

October 19, 2005 at 11:52 am

Posted in Client Tools

2 Responses

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  1. Chris, Tableau has great-looking visualization features; but the typical issue with OLAP business users is always whether they can be enticed to pony up the difference between their Swiss-army knife (ie. Excel) and the tool in question!On the new features, does the new Drill-Through support work equally well with both SQL 2000 and SQL 2005?Also wondering whether things like server-side formatting, display folders, KPI\’s and actions are supported.BTW, there\’s also an article on Tableau 1.5 today by Stephen Swoyer, at the TDWI web-site:http://www.tdwi.org/News/display.aspx?ID=7742 – Deepak

    Deepak

    October 19, 2005 at 10:24 pm

  2. Yes, that\’s the sad truth about all this. Excel is always going to win out in the end, which is why I think that if Microsoft get Excel 12 right (and it looks like it\’s on the right track – maybe Excel 13 will be the release the BI community has been waiting for for years) then I think they\’ll really clean up.Still it doesn\’t stop me from admiring Tableau as a piece of software. I guess they\’re chasing the niche, high-end analyst market and I wish them luck. Not sure about support for all the AS functionality that you mention – I\’m sure they don\’t do all of it – but that\’s not really the point. Their focus is visualisation and they do that well; part of the problem with lots of AS client tools is, in my opinion, that they try to implement too much functionality and the result is that the user-interface ends up being way to cluttered/complex. Keep it simple!

    Chris

    October 20, 2005 at 1:29 pm


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