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Interesting question. Here are some notes from a support case for a user running into the same issue. Hope they help you!
After some additional investigation and input from our engineers, I believe that the main issue here is incorrect syntax when specifying the UNC path in the URL action. The URL action edit dialogue expects a valid web URL and, as such, UNC paths should be formatted as follows:
All slashes should be forward-slashes as used in typical web URLs. Even with the correct syntax, however, the URL action will only correctly open the external file when using Internet Explorer. The Tableau Server URL must also reside in the intranet zone or trusted sites in the Internet Explorer security settings. And for what it's worth, it appears that using the unmodified UNC path (technically incorrect syntax) also works in Internet Explorer as long as the Tableau Server resides in the intranet zone or trusted sites.
Google Chrome and Firefox will still not work as there is no similar intranet zone or trusted sites option and because Chrome and Firefox do not appear to fully support Windows Active Directory authentication with regards to access to network resources. Unfortunately, these issues are browser issues and not something we can fix from the Tableau side.
To workaround this issue, users will either need to use Internet Explorer or, as previously suggested, host the PDF file in an actual web server and use the web based URL in the URL action.
Thanks for the reply. I have tried using the file://188.8.131.52/....
Unfortunately, if i do
This does not open the excel file.
The current workaround I have is to let the path be 1 level above, meaning
And then let the user click into the file themselves.
I tested the technique I mentioned before posting and it worked fine for me with a PDF.
Perhaps your browser handles the MIME types xls / xlsx differently and doesn't allow it to be opened directly via the browser? Are you seeing the same behavior with other file types, like PDF or TXT?
I tried with a .txt file, but no luck. the browser opens with a blank page. I will just have to leave it 1 level above.
Do you know if it is possible to pass the parameters in the tableau dashboard into an excel file?
The situation for me is, the dashboard is showing someone's stats by selecting his/her name in a parameter, I want to be able to pass that name selected into excel. This sounds very unlikely to me, but is that possible?
Have you found any solution/workaround for this?
I have a similar situation. I need to display a text written in a file. And there will be a new file each month.
It works perfectly fine when I open it in the desktop tool, but the server always shows it as a blank page?
There still is no workaround for Firefox and Chrome. Both deem opening links that way as a security risk.
You noted that this does not work: file://184.108.40.206/test/abc.xls
Try this: e.g. file://///host/sharedFile
See this web site for other suggestions: How to open local file url link (locallink) from a webpage
You can accomplish opening files using urls. I am not sure what your exact problem is but try different file types and paste the desired path into windows explorer to make sure it works. If you can't put the path together and paste it into windows explorer Tableau won't make it work. Ultimately you will run into the following issue when trying to accomplish the action from a dashboard:
Can anyone comment on blocking url actions and whether there is currently an option in Tableau 9.2 to allow for such actions with in a trusted network?