You mention the Desktop version but not the Server version (though I don't think it will make a difference).
What method of authentication are you using? Active Directory or Local Authentication or ???
check the authentication method to the database. I think that Tableau desktop attempts to re-authenticate to the source tables as part of publishing. Does your user have rights to the database?
I am using Active Directory for authentication.
Server version is 8.2.2 64bit.
You said the user has Desktop v8.1
Try matching Desktop and Server versions. At least the first 2 numbers should match, if not all 3.
As you can have more than one Desktop version on your computer, you should be able to download 8.2 and try it.
If that doesn't fix it, then my money is on database authentication.
In any case, Desktop log files may tell you exactly what went wrong. Don't rely on Tableau Desktop error messages, as they're often misleading. Find the logs folder under "My Documents", "My Tableau Repository". Delete all files there with Desktop NOT running. Start Desktop, reproduce the problem, then stop Desktop and examine the logs carefully.
EDIT: another thing just came to mind: do all the servers in the Tableau Server cluster have the driver for this database, and have firewall access to the database port? Is it possible that Desktop can connect to the database but Server can't?
User has access to database.
I'm assuming that, in addition to the user having publishing rights to the project, their user license (as seen in the Users tab in Admin) is also set to be "interactor" with publish rights?
Please send screenshots of the two different authentication request screens the user is seeing. I'm not clear on what the auth is for (and there are some cases where the auth screen can be a less clear about it than it could be).
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Is the machine hosting Tableau Desktop a virtual machine? If so, the error message encountered could be a result of not meeting the minimum system requirements for Tableau Desktop.
You can find more information regarding this issue in the following Knowledge Base article: http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/issue/prompts-for-credentials-and-error-invalid-username-or-password-publishing
Hope this helps!
Eric, even if that's not the solution -- dang, nice find! I learned something new
Yes!! Hardware upgrade from 2 to 4GB RAM worked !!!