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Tableau Offers Development Partners A New API For Its Business Analytics Platform

The Tableau 2018.2 release provides and Extension API for developers, and a new server configuration and management tool.

Tableau Software unveiled Tuesday a new release of its flagship business analytics platform, offering new management tools for installing, configuring and managing Tableau Server on Windows and Linux.

The new release, Tableau 2018.2, also offers a new Extensions API that allows users to drag and drop functionality from third-party developers directly into a dashboard.

The new Extensions API makes it easier for members of the Tableau community, including customers, partners and developers, to add functionality right into the Tableau platform. "From custom visualizations and write-back, to advanced and predictive analytics, the possibilities are endless and only limited by a developer's creativity," said Francois Ajenstat, Tableau's chief product officer, in a statement.

Related: The Top 10 Big Data Tools And Technologies Of 2018 (So Far)

Tableau cites the example of a new extension built by DataRobot, a developer of machine learning tools for predictive modeling applications, which allows users to drag and drop advanced predictive models onto their existing dashboards.

"Many of our customers already use Tableau for their business intelligence and analytics needs, but have been looking to extend the power of Tableau to include the results of machine learning models to enhance visual analysis and gain deeper insights into their business operations," said Seann Gardiner, senior vice president of business development at DataRobot, in a statement.

"With extensions available in the new release, Oak Consulting can now provide our customers with written analytics directly in their dashboard enabling them to extract insights from their data in Tableau faster than before," said Victor Ng, Executive Director of Oak Consulting, a Singapore-based company that provides data management and data visualization consulting services. "Oak Consulting consistently looks at delivering a complete solution to serve our customers analytics needs and Tableau's extensions take us one step closer in this direction," Ng said in a statement.

The new Tableau Services manager tool allows managers to update multiple Tableau Server configurations without restarting the server, resulting in less downtime. It also offers multiple options for managing server deployments via a new web user interface, a command line interface and a public REST API, according to the company.

Tableau 2018.2, which is available now, also includes the ability to join data sources based on spatial data and new mobile dashboard formatting tools that improve mobile consumption of Tableau-generated content, the company said.

The new release comes on the heels of Tableau's acquisition of Empirical Systems, an artificial intelligence startup in Cambridge, Mass., last month. Empirical develops automated statistical analysis technology that Tableau is currently integrating into a future release of the Tableau platform, reducing the need to manually build complex underlying data models.

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