Back in April, Tableau released version 9.0 of its flagship analytics software, and on Monday the company followed up with an update to the product's online edition that it says is up to 10 times faster than its predecessor. The new speed boost in Tableau Online 9.0 is the result of a complete redesign of the software-as-a-service product, Tableau says, including capabilities such as parallel queries, query fusion, vectorization and smarter query caches. Users of the new release can connect directly to popular databases like MySQL, Postgres and SQL Server on cloud-hosted platforms including Amazon RDS and Windows Azure. Support for Amazon Redshift and Google BigQuery, Google Analytics and Salesforce.com were already included. Also new is Tableau Online Sync, aimed at enterprises that still have some data stored on premises or behind a firewall. Specifically, the tool is designed to help keep that data fully updated in the cloud. Tableau Online 9.0 also has single sign-on support via SAML 2.0, allowing embedding and Active Directory synchronization through corporate identity providers. Finally, in the interests of playing nicely with other platforms companies may be using, Tableau Online 9.0 offers Force.com Canvas, a tool that let users embed Tableau dashboards in Salesforce software. Tableau Online, the cloud version of Tableau Server, is the company's fastest-growing product, it says. "One of the complaints power users had with Tableau Online was the speed and performance," said Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst with Constellation Research. With this new release, the online version gets closer to the on-premises product in terms of speed, he said. The newly improved security capabilities for SAML 2.0 and Active Directory sync are also significant, Wang added. "Overall, this is a major release and helps Tableau up the ante with Qlik, SAS and Microsoft Power BI," he said.