Tableau basically has 2 kinds of products - Development Tools and Sharing Tools.
Among the development tools are - Tableau Desktop & Tableau Public
Among Sharing tools comes - Tableau Server, Tableau Reader & Tableau Online.
Let me tell you a bit more about them -
1. Tableau Desktop:
It is a self service business analytics and data visualization that anyone can use. It translates pictures of data into optimized queries. With tableau desktop, you can directly connect to data from your data warehouse for live upto date data analysis. You can also perform queries without writing a single line of code. Import all your data into Tableau’s data engine from multiple sources & integrate altogether by combining multiple views in a interactive dashboard.
2. Tableau Server:
It is more of a enterprise level Tableau software. You can publish dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them throughout the organization with web-based Tableau server. It leverages fast databases through live connections.
3. Tableau Online:
This is a hosted version of Tableau server which helps makes business intelligence faster and easier than before. You can publish Tableau dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them with colleagues.
4. Tableau Reader:
It’s a free desktop application that enables you to open and view visualizations that are built in Tableau Desktop. You can filter, drill down data but you cannot edit or perform any kind of interactions.
5. Tableau Public:
This is a free Tableau software which you can use to make visualizations with but you need to save your workbook or worksheets in the Tableau Server which can be viewed by anyone.