Tableau’s product ecosystem has evolved over the past ten years but remains simple. Desktop is for discovery, design, and interactive consumption. Server is for scaling your deployment to an audience for consumption. However, Tableau has started to blur the lines between Desktop and Server by adding design capabilities into Server. Tableau Online is a cloud-based deployment of Server. Tableau Mobile provides optimized apps for consuming Server reports on iOS and Android devices. Tableau Reader is a free desktop application that enables information consumers to interact with Tableau packaged workbooks. And Tableau Public is a free cloud publishing platform that anyone can use to analyze data and publish interactive dashboards.
Tableau Desktop comes in two flavors: Professional and Personal editions. The Personal edition only provides connections to files that exist on your desktop, and you can only share files that have been saved as packaged workbooks with people who are using Tableau Reader.
Professional provides the full suite of connectivity options and provides publishing options for Tableau Server, Tableau Online, or Tableau Public. See Appendix B for the current list of connection options.
If you produce a large number of workbooks that have to be updated regularly or you have a large number of people consuming your work, Tableau Server will save you time. It allows your audience to view and interact ...