9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2012 8:21 AM by phil.owen

    Emailing shell reports

      I have emailed the shell of a report to a colleague at another organisation (who also has a Tableau license), but they can't open the .twb file - I know they would have to map the data source to their local data, but it just says:


      Errors occured while trying to load the workbook "it gives the file location".  The load was not able to complete successfully. 

      If I click on show detail, its says: Error parsing XML at line 1 of the file: no element found 


      Is there a way round this?  We only have Tableau Desktop (not Server).





        • 1. Re: Emailing shell reports
          Russell Christopher

          Perhaps they have an older version of Tableau and therefore can't open your twb?

          • 2. Re: Emailing shell reports

            Thanks for the suggestion Christopher, but both computers have been upgraded to Tableau 7 using the free trial option on the website.  I know that the error message should tell me there is a problem connecting to the data source, but as it doesn't, I'm not sure what to do next.


            Any other suggestions gratefully received.  Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Emailing shell reports
              Russell Christopher

              What exactly is the data source? Can you create an extract of the data source and then create/send a "Packaged Workbook" instead? If your issue has to do with a problem connecting to the data source on your colleague's side, I wouldn't an expect a TWB (workbook) related error message....

              • 4. Re: Emailing shell reports

                The data source that I was working on is based on 4 spreadsheeets.  This contains patient data from another NHS Trust, so I can't really send an extract of this to them as a packaged workbook. 


                I have sent it to a Trust for them to create a live ODBC connection to their patient database, but they don't get to the point where they can change the data source, so I presume the problem must kick in at an earlier stage?

                • 5. Re: Emailing shell reports
                  Russell Christopher

                  Is your colleague only seeing this error in the single workbook you've sent thus far, or does anything you send him/her cause the same error message?


                  A couple of things to check:


                  • Per the musings above, are they able to open another workbook that you send, perhaps based on a different data source? (Maybe a dummy Excel workbook)
                  • Do they actually have the ODBC driver installed that your workbook needs in order to access the type of database your workbook is based on?


                  I'm also beginning to wonder if the workbook you're dealing with is somehow corrupt. Does it have lots worksheets in it? Do you recall any Tableau crashes as of late while this workbook was open?


                  It might be interesting to create a very simple version of your current workbook and have them test that. Using the article below you could "export" a single sheet and whatever data sources it needs from your current workbook into a brand-new workbook and send that one instead.



                  • 6. Re: Emailing shell reports

                    We've managed to transfer a simple table and they can open that now, which is progress.


                    I personally set up the ODBC connection last week, and I was able to pull data through from their live database, so I know the connection worked.  As the workbook I produced was based on an extract and not using an ODBC connection, would this make a difference?  I assumed that I would be able to change the connection from a regular excel spreadsheet to an ODBC connection.


                    There were actually 2 files that my colleague couldn't open (one of them came from me without any glitches in the set up process, the other more complicated one was created by someone else, who does have an ODBC connection at their own Trust, so I have asked them your questions and I'm awaiting a response). 

                    • 7. Re: Emailing shell reports

                      Sorry for the delay in picking this up again, but it would appear that this error is being caused by sending the .twb through NHS.net (the NHS' secure email system).  I can't open the attachment directly from NHS net, I have to save it first.  When I do this, I get the error message above, but when I send exactly the same twb through a regular email account, it opens fine.


                      Is there a way round this NHS net problem, because once I've done some development work, the intention is to distribute some twb files amongst my colleagues (some of whom only have NHS net accounts)?  Thanks.

                      • 8. Re: Emailing shell reports
                        Russell Christopher

                        So this email server is doing "something" to the workbook, but we can't really identify what that "something" is, correct? We just know it breaks the workbook.


                        Can you do something to detect and perhaps prevent the modification of the workbook? What if you WInZip/WinRar/7-Zip the workbook before sending it? Most of these archiving tools allow you to view a checksum value for the archive. You can view that value, send it to your colleague, and then see if he see's the same checksum. If you don't, then your best bet is to yell at the mail server's admins and ask them why your attachments are getting modified...


                        You could also use an entirely different file sharing mechanism than mail - maybe DropBox?

                        • 9. Re: Emailing shell reports

                          Zipping the files seems to work, so problem solved - thanks!