8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2014 7:48 AM by Jonathan Drummey

    Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?

    Jonathan Drummey

      When we upgraded our Tableau Server to 8.1.0, one thing I'd missed in testing was the one workbook that uses a URL Action of the form file:///X:/Some%20Directory/Some%20File.xlsx.

       

      In Tableau Desktop and Server v8.0 this works fine, in Tableau 8.1 Desktop this works fine, but in Tableau Server 8.1 when clicking on the URL Action I get the following "URL Blocked" dialog:

       

      2014-01-20 08_57_37-Challenge.png

       

      Is there any way to turn this off? Is this something that was fixed in a later release? I can't find anything in the release notes that explicitly mentions this.

        • 1. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
          Joshua Milligan

          Jonathan,

           

          I don't know the answer, but I can reproduce the same issue with Server 8.1.3.

          -Joshua

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          • 2. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
            Matt Lutton

            You are probably aware of several workarounds, but I'll post this anyway for anyone else running into the issue.

             

            As a potential workaround, you could host the Excel file as a Google doc (or your preferred cloud based service) with whatever permissions you like.  I've used this practice when linking to PDFs or other files I want users to see, and it does not seem to be impacted.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
              Jonathan Drummey

              Thanks, that's good to know (so I don't have to rush upgrading to 8.1.3).

              • 4. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
                Jonathan Drummey

                Actually, I don't know of any workarounds for this, and hosting on a cloud-based service is not an option for us due to confidentiality issues w/patient data. I think I'm going to have to email support.

                 

                Jonathan

                • 5. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
                  Matt Lutton

                  Understood.  You can specify user permissions on Google docs, etc., but it might be a headache to set up.  I just use the option that only allows users with the specific link to access it--but I understand that isn't enough security if the document contains patient data.   Do let us know what you hear back from Support.

                  • 6. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
                    Joshua Milligan

                    Jonathan,

                     

                    I did a little more testing and the behavior is rather interesting.

                    • Using a file:// path results in the behavior you described, regardless of whether there was a WebPage object on the dashboard or not.
                    • When there was a web page object on the dashboard, using a UNC (network) path like \\servername\folder\resource.xlsx worked fine from Desktop and the Preview, but on Server the action did not seem to even fire (using either a menu or click trigger).  If the web object was initialized to a URL, it was not updated on the action.
                    • When there was no web page object on the dashboard, using a UNC path would open a new tab with an address of About::Blank.

                     

                    Depending on the answer you get from support, you might consider the following:

                    Is there any option for creating a small internal web app that would serve the files?  Then from Tableau you would have a URL action that referenced the URL of the web app with parameters (e.g. http://server/webapp.aspx?FileName=Some%20File.xlsx), which would return the requested file?

                     

                    Regards,

                    Joshua

                    • 7. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
                      Michael Perillo

                      Hello,

                       

                      We experienced the same issue and found a work-around. Kudos to Brian Openshaw

                      1. If you create a new dashboard and add in the web-page dashboard object with the UNC path of your destination in the URL field, it renders just fine.
                      2. Create a filter link instead of a URL link to point to the new UNC dashboard and there you go.

                       

                      I submitted a ticket to Technical Support and their response follows:

                       

                      After some research, I have determined the message encountered is related to security enhancements implemented in Tableau Server 8.1. Because of potential vulnerabilities, it is necessary to host local images and files on a web server. Currently the best workaround available is hosting the file on the Tableau web server. Please refer to the following steps for instructions:

                      http://localhost/errors/"example_image.jpg" .This directory is primarily used for error images. However, the location is an easily accessible location in which Tableau Server is already expecting to find files and images.

                      Note: "localhost" can be changed to the FQDN/servername hosting Tableau Server


                      For additional information regarding the web server, please refer to the following KB article:


                      Accessing the Web Server in Tableau Server http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/accessing-web-server-tableau-server


                      Thank you for bringing the documentation with non-current information to our attention. I will submit the page for correction as soon as possible. Additionally, I will also be submitting a feature request on your behalf which allows users to link to a local computer without sacrificing security. The request will be sent to our Product Management team to review for possible inclusion in a future release. Another option to provide suggestions for product features is to submit an idea through our community:
                      http://community.tableau.com/community/ideas


                      I don't think the proposed solution provided will work for the majority of customers:

                      1. Tableau should not be a file repository, especially if an enterprise has an existing infrastructure (DFS/NAS/SAN)
                      2. Additional security might have to be maintained to ensure auditing and proper access were available
                      3. In situations where you have a Tableau Server distributed environment, you'd have to replicate the files across servers

                       

                      Thanks,

                      Michael Perillo

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Tableau 8.1 new "URL Blocked" message for file:/// URL Actions?
                        Jonathan Drummey

                        Hi Michael,

                         

                        Thanks for your post, I'd also heard the same from Tableau tech support. The suggested workaround does not work for me for the reasons you described and another: the whole goal was to enable users to edit documents in place on shared folders, and an http:// URL doesn't work for that.

                         

                        I've created an Idea to allow file:/// URLs to be enabled at http://community.tableau.com/ideas/3014.

                         

                        As a workaround, I'm going to look into the suggestion of creating a web app that would take the filename as an argument to serve the files up, if/when I come up with something I'll post it to the Idea.

                         

                        Jonathan