Legacy Connection Alternatives

Version 2

    Starting in Tableau 2019.1, you will no longer be able to create legacy connections to Microsoft Excel or Text files. You can still open and work with existing workbooks and data sources that use legacy connections until 2019.4. In 2019.4, all support for legacy connections will be removed. Because Microsoft no longer supports the underlying technology that legacy connections are based on, Tableau must discontinue support for legacy connections.


    There are, however, alternatives to using the legacy connection that are outlined in this article. You can use:

    • Tableau Prep to reshape data
    • Microsoft Access to link to data in Excel
    • Other Databases (ODBC) connector


    Note: Legacy connections have never been supported on macOS.


    Use Tableau Prep to reshape data

    Connect to your Excel sheet or Text file using Tableau Prep to reshape your data or to connect to a custom SQL query. Note: Tableau Prep does not support legacy connections.

    For more information, see Connect to Data in the Tableau Prep Help.


    Link to Excel data from Access

    You can link to an Excel worksheet from Microsoft Access and use Access query features. For more information, see Import or link to data in an Excel workbook on the Microsoft website.


    Use Other Databases (ODBC) connector

    Select the Other Databases (ODBC) connector and then use the Excel or Access driver installed on your machine to connect to your Excel data source. If you don’t have a driver installed, you can download the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2016 Redistributable from Microsoft.


    Follow these general steps to connect:

    1. In Tableau Desktop, select the Other Databases (ODBC) connector.
    2. In Connect Using, select Driver, select your driver from the drop-down list, and then click Connect.
    3. Click Select Workbook, and then navigate to your Excel file and select it.
    4. In the Other Databases (ODBC) dialog box, click Sign In.
    5. In the Connections pane on the left, select your Excel file from the Select Database drop-down list.
    6. Double-click the table you want to use and preview the data in the data grid.
    7. Double-click New Custom SQL to open the Edit Custom SQL dialog box.