I just tested this and it works for me. I added a new SQL Server user to the public role of one of the sample databases. I then:
- Attempted to connect to that database in SQL Server: I was able to connect, but could see no tables: Expected - we haven't granted permissions to SELECT from anything yet.
- I then GRANTed permissions to select from two tables in the database. I re-connected from Tableau, and could see said tables.
...So it looks like there's something else in play here. I'd suggest opening up a support case if you haven't already...and make sure you're on a newer build of Tableau Desktop just in case there was a bug you are running into that I don't see since I'm non latest/greatest
It looks like our admin gave the users permission to see literally only those tables, which is why Tableau could not see the database. They were not in any database roles. I created a new role and gave that role select access to the tables I needed and then added the users to that role. After that, we tested and Tableau worked as expected. Thanks for your help Russell.