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November 8, 2019

Rockset Expands SQL Links to Tableau

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Rockset, the serverless operational analytics vendor, is expanding its network of data connections through a partnership with data visualization specialist Tableau to develop real-time dashboards for NoSQL data. The partnership is the latest in a series of linkages designed to expand the Rockset’s “fast SQL” cloud service along with its serverless analytics engine.

Rockset said this week its real-time SQL capability could be combined with Tableau dashboards without any additional code, allowing users to access NoSQL data from Apache Kafka and DynamoDB. The startup based in San Mateo, Calif., previously announced SQL connections to the Kafka event-streaming platform and the Dynamo key-value and document database.

The partnership with Tableau would provide its customers with easier access to new data sources and formats, thereby boosting enterprise data analytics and operational monitoring, the partners said Thursday (Nov. 7). For example, the real-time Tableau dashboards can then access data in Amazon’s Simple Cloud Storage Service without the need for upfront ETL or schema definitions.

Rockset’s fast SQL approach is designed to eliminate data pipelines, replacing them with a cloud service designed to accelerate data access and application deployment. That approach is based on the premise that traditional SQL databases can’t handle the scale of streaming data. Meanwhile, NoSQL systems fall short in supporting complex queries. That has forced developers to use different tools for storage, processing and delivering data, the startup contends.

Rockset’s co-founders, Venkat Venkataramani and Dhruba Borthakur, helped build Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) online data and search infrastructure. “Typical data infrastructures have pipelines resembling Rube Goldberg machines, with a series of specialized tools and databases stitched together,” said Venkataramani, Rockset’s CEO.

Along with Tableau, Rocket’s database connector along with native support for SQL-based visualization tools also supports the Grafana analytics and monitoring platform.

In the case of Tableau visualization and dashboard, Rockset’s tools can be used as a “data sink” to ingest and index Kafka data, allowing users to query data sets using SQL and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) to link Tableau to Rockset’s platform.

The additional complexity of unstructured, fast data is creating new requirements for NoSQL databases and event-streaming platforms like Kafka. “Businesses need to make sense of their NoSQL data while moving from batch to real-time analytics, but legacy ETL pipelines are ill-suited to meet this need,” Venkataramani noted.

The partnership also allows Tableau users to stream event data from Kafka represented as a dynamic SQL table and made available for querying. The JDBC connector allows Tableau users to visualize real-time event streams that include NoSQL data.

Seeking to compete against Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) in the business intelligence visualization market, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the enterprise cloud giant, acquired Tableau in June for $15.7 billion.

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