CData Connect for business users, thoughts?

  • 27 April 2023
  • 2 replies


I’m curious to hear how folks are using CData Connect, in particular on-prem in a business setting.  It seems one need we keep running across is that non-technical folks want to be able to download their data to Excel.  So often what they’ll do is have someone create a Tableau Dashboard and publish it to Tableau Server, but then they ignore the dashboard and go straight to the “Download” button to send the data to Excel.  But then because Tableau is inflexible they rarely like what Tableau gives them so they end up having to do a lot of manual work to get to what they really need.  I’m imagining that CData Connect could eliminate the middle man, so that if someone with enough SQL knowledge could define the SQL query, then it could be made available on CData Connect for anyone that has rights to access it and they could download the data that they need in the format they desire.  Other more technical folks might have the alternative of doing the same sort of thing using Toad or similar query tools, but they wouldn’t have the ability to distribute the query definition to a larger user base.

Data virtualization seems to be the buzzword, but from what I’m reading products like Dremio or Denodo require more up-front setup of the data, and it would be limited to that data which is pre-defined within the tool and built into their repository so you’d lose flexibility.  I’m thinking CData Connect is closer to the source data, so as long as you have access to the database there would be a connector in CData Connect that you could use to connect to it directly.  And I believe I’ve read that there’s some level of governance within CData Connect, so only certain people are authorized to see certain data.

Am I close in my thinking?  This is the kind of thing we’ve talked about needing for years, every time we hear of someone wanting to download data from their Tableau dashboards.

2 replies

Hi Rick,

Yes, you are correct in your thinking!  With Connect Cloud, we wanted to make it very easy for users to centrally manage data in all the different applications they use with very little effort.  Our vision for CData Connect Cloud is a centralized data marketplace where business users can explore data and access it from any tool of their choice, whether that is Excel, Tableau, Google Sheets, or any other tool they choose to use.  

And yes, there are features around governing data so that IT can manage and monitor data access for their organization.  There are also features that allow IT to build data models that can be shared with business users to make it easier to view the data they need.

You mentioned on-premise and while the Connect Cloud Excel add-in does work in Excel Desktop, if you are wanting to connect to on-premise data sources you will need to use either our Connect Server product or our Excel Add-In editions for our drivers.  I do recommend exploring Connect Cloud if you haven't already, though. It's a great tool to give you the usability and flexibility you're looking for.

Also, I want to elaborate on your mention of data virtualization.  Yes, Connect Cloud has a lot of similarities to some of the data virtualization vendors you mentioned, though there are some important differences as well in how we approach data virtualization (which you already touched on):

  • Connect Cloud is a SaaS application that is very easy to get connected.  Most traditional data virtualization products are much heavier installations that require more resources to manage.
  • We connect to many different SaaS applications so there is no need to ingest the data or modify it from its original data source.  Many data virtualization vendors specialize in optimizing connectivity to databases, data warehouses, and data lakes.

Send me a DM if you'd like to chat more about this as I would be interested to hear more details about your project.


Hi Rick, where is the source data currently?