In my humble opinion, the FileMaker platform integration with Tableau is pretty amazing! Tableau greatly simplifies how you run reports, create dashboards, display geographic mapping and more using your FileMaker data. The new FileMaker Data API in FileMaker 16, the Tableau Web Data Connector, and the fact that both support REST APIs in JSON formats make this integration possible. Being able to connect to third-party applications, or have third party applications connect to your database is an exciting new development for the FileMaker platform as a product and for FileMaker users in general.
Though Tableau’s connections do not support live refreshes or synchronization of the data, there are very useful applications for the integration such as creating visualizations for static reports.
How it Works
The process is pretty straight-forward. You will need to import a “full extraction” of your FileMaker data into Tableau so that it can create its own tables and workbooks. Once your data is imported into Tableau, you will have the ability to change and manipulate the data and its schema directly in Tableau. From there you will create visualizations that will help you analyze and process your data efficiently.
You will have to refresh the data manually by importing any new records added to the FileMaker database since the full extraction into Tableau. And, Tableau will not make any modifications to existing records. Therefore, you will have to perform full or partial imports if your data changes frequently.
Currently, this connection, along with the FileMaker Data Connection is only offered as a trial in FileMaker 16. However don’t misinterpret “trial” as meaning that either the new Data API or the Tableau connector are in any type of beta mode, they are fully functional and should be error-free.
Take a look at Tableau to see all the ways it allows you to analyze and visualize your data, and imagine the data you will see straight out of your own FileMaker database!