1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 16, 2013 11:45 AM by Eric Munisteri

    How to use external excel files as data sources

    Alissa Volosin

      Hi -

      We are trying to use Excel files as a Tableau data source on a Windows shared drive.


      We took this approach to generate the data sources - http://community.tableau.com/thread/124373


      We created and uploaded the excel extract data source to Tableau Server successfully.  However when we set the extract to refresh on Tableau server the extract is in a constant state of refresh without finishing.  The extract only contains a few rows and columns so it should not take more than a few minutes.

      Our network drive does not require authentication.  We changed the Tableau Server Run as User to a user with network authentication. 

      Tableau support recommended trying a live connection and tried using as opposed to an extract and neither helped.  They also told us to specify full UNC path name which we have done.


      If you have recommendations for using excel files on shared drives, please help!

      We have been trying to get this to work unsuccessfully for weeks so looking for any suggestions.

      Thank you!


        • 1. Re: How to use external excel files as data sources
          Eric Munisteri

          Hi Alissa,


          After reading the response you received from support and knowing enough about Tableau Server to be dangerous, it is the Export of the excel spreadsheet that is causing problems.  You have to connect 'live' to the spreadsheet.

          • Leaving the export as the connected data source, connect to the spreadsheet.  Make it a live connection.
          • Replace your data source (from the extract to the live spreadsheet.  In the Data option on the menu).

          As long as the spreadsheet retains the same name and the location that the spreadsheet is stored is accessible to the Tableau workbook, you should be good to go.