Tableau Desktop can easily connect to a file on SharePoint and use it as a data source. However, Tableau Server has a more difficult time making the same connection. After much research and even more testing I figured out how to allow a Tableau Server access to a SharePoint site in order for it to use an object on it (namely, Microsoft Excel) as a data source.
The steps in the documents are placed in order. Most likely the Tableau Administrator will need to work with the SharePoint Administrator to get the Run As User credentials of the Tableau Server on the SharePoint drive (the actual network hard drive) and also as a User in the SharePoint web site.
The two Word documents attached explain it all and include references to the sites that helped me for those who need more info:
- Using SharePoint objects as a data source-USER.docx = This is meant for end users and explains what they need to do from their end, particularly in setting up Tableau Desktop.
- Using SharePoint objects as a data source-ADMIN.docx = This is for Tableau Server admins and explains what the Tableau Administrator needs to do in allowing the Tableau Server access to the SharePoint objects. This also includes the information from the USER document so if you can only keep one document then make it this one.
03Feb2015 - When dealing with a secure connection please see Brad's solution below.