Tableau 8 introduced:
- web and mobile authoring,
- added access to new data sources: Google Analytics, Salesforce.com, Cloudera Impala, DataStax Enterprise, Hadapt, Hortonworks Hadoop Hive, SAP HANA, and Amazon Redshift.
- New Data Extract API that allows programmers to load data from anywhere into Tableau and make certain parts of Tableau Licensing ridiculous, because consuming part of licensing (for example core licensing) for background tasks should be set free now.
- Local Rendering: leveraging the graphics hardware acceleration available on ordinary computers. Tableau 8 Server dynamically determines where rendering will complete faster – on the server or in the browser. Also – and acts accordingly. Also Dashboards now render views in parallel when possible.
Tableau Software plans to add in next versions (after 8.0) some very interesting and competitive features, like:
- Direct query of large databases, quick and easy ETL and data integration.
- Tableau on a Mac and Tableau as a pure Cloud offering.
- Make statistical & analytical techniques accessible (I wonder if it means integration with R?).
- Tableau founder Pat Hanrahan recently talked about "Showing is Not Explaining", so Tableau planned to add features that support storytelling by constructing visual narratives and effective communication of ideas.
I did not see on Tableau's roadmap some very long overdue features like 64-bit implementation (currently even all Tableau Server processes, except one, are 32-bit!), Server implementation on Linux (we do not want to pay Windows 2012 Server CAL taxes to Bill Gates) and direct mentioning of integration with R like Spotfire does - I how those planning and strategic mistakes will not impact upcoming IPO.
I personally think that Tableau has to stop using its ridiculous practice when 1 core license used per each 1 Backgrounder server process and since Tableau Data Extract API is free so all Tableau Backgrounder Processes should be free and have to be able to run on any hardware and even any OS.
Tableau 8 managed to get the negative feedback from famous Stephen Few, who questioned Tableau's ability to stay on course. His unusually long blog-post "Tableau Veers from the Path" attracted enormous amount of comments from all kind of Tableau experts. I will be cynical here and notice that there is no such thing as negative publicity and more publicity is better for upcoming Tableau IPO.