12 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2017 5:09 PM by Mads Manalo

    How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?

    Hiren Mehta

      Hello Tableau Community,

       

      I am working on one existing issue (at my work place) with Tableau dashboard which is not refreshing properly. This dashboard uses MS SQL Server DB and one Excel file as a data source. Excel file is located in network fileshare location. Extract for DB works well but extract for excel file does not refresh on Tableau server. (It just works well whenever I refresh the extract in Tableau Desktop)

       

      I tried to find the solution for this problem and referred other threads on this community. What I learnt from other threads is that I should use UNC path when I select the excel file as the data source (or, for the existing one, modify excel data connection to use UNC path). This will allow tableau server to locate the excel file when it tries to refresh the extract for excel.

       

      I am trying to understand how to modify the the existing data connection for the excel file to use UNC path? I am using mac book and I can only browse through the path to the excel file but I do not find any place where I can paste the entire path (along with remote machine name where the excel file is actually located).

       

      Please suggest if you know what I am missing or how do I fix this issue.

       

      Thanks

      Hiren

        • 1. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
          cor.bader

          Hi Hiren,

           

          The UNC path would need to be manually typed into the address bar starting with the '\\' followed by the path.

          unc.png

          Please note that the Tableau Server 'Run As' user account will need to have access to the UNC path where the Excel file is stored.

           

          Also please make sure "Include External Files" is unchecked before publishing otherwise it will not be a live connection.

           

          See step #9 in the following online help doc for more details:

           

          http://onlinehelp.tableau.com/current/pro/online/windows/en-us/help.htm#publish_workbooks_howto.html

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
            Hiren Mehta

            Thanks Cor Bader for taking time to read my question and your response.

             

             

            While using windows 7 machine:

            I followed your suggestion to manually type entire path in address bar to select excel file from remote machine and published the workbook using exclude external file option. It did pick up the exact location of the file (when I tried accessing that tableau dashboard from from tableau server web).

             

            I am still getting an error as:

            TableauException: Unable to connect to the file "\\remote_computer_name\path\Test_Tableau.xlsx". Check that the file exists and that you have sufficient access privileges for it. 2016-01-15 01:27:32.226 (VphLAwqkBGIAAAy8d0wAAAJN,0,0)

             

             

            To fix above problem, I am working with storage team at my workplace to get necessary permission for Tableau Server 'Run As' user account for the UNC path.

             

             

            Also:

            The tableau admin user (which I am using to access remote tableau server machine to perform manual refresh of extracts or other maintenance tasks on tableau server) has full control on UNC path but still I get above error. So, I am trying to find out what exactly is "Tableau Server 'Run As' user account".

             

             

            While using mac book:

            If the tableau workbook is published from tableau desktop on mac book then error message is different which is:

            TableauException: Unable to connect to the file "\Volumes\path\Test_Tableau.xlsx". Check that the file exists and that you have sufficient access privileges for it.

            2016-01-15 01:51:12.079 (VphQjwqkBGIAAAy8eLcAAAJU,0,0)

             

            It does not recognize the name of the remote computer and name of the remote computer is replaced with "\Volumes". Also there are no double back slash at the beginning of the UNC path (only one back slash) as observed in case of windows.

             

            If you have any suggestion for any of above issues then please share.

             

            Thanks

            Hiren

            • 3. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
              cor.bader

              Hi Hiren,

               

              Thanks for the additional information. 

               

              The above does indicate that the Run As user account cannot access the Excel file. 

              The Admin of the machine will need to sign into the Tableau Server windows machine as the 'Run As' user and try to navigate to the Excel file using the UNC path to confirm. 

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                Hiren Mehta

                Thanks Cor Bader.

                 

                I was able to find out what "Tableau Run As User" is setup on tableau server (I referred to "Tableau Server Configuration" on window on Tableau Server Windows m/c). I worked with storage team to get necessary access for this user on network file location. It works now.

                • 5. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                  cor.bader

                  Fantastic!  I'm glad to hear that!

                  • 6. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                    prasanth.avirnene

                    Hello cor Bader,

                    Hope you are doing well.

                    Can You explain the above process step by step ?

                    Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                      cor.bader

                      Hi Prasanth,

                       

                      Is there any specific part where you are stuck?  Maybe we can narrow it down.   I'll outline some steps below that should help:

                       

                      1. Make sure the error is the same as above.

                       

                      2. Find the Tableau Server 'Run As' user account.  (This is displayed in the TS configuration window)

                       

                      2. Sign into the Tableau Server Windows machine using the TS Run As user account.

                       

                      3. Use a copy of Tableau Desktop on the TS Windows machine

                       

                      4. Make sure you have the full UNC path to the Excel file and are not using a mapped Drive.

                       

                      5.  Try and connect to the Excel file with Tableau Desktop.

                       

                      Next steps:

                       

                      1. If you are able to connect then great! You should be able to publish a workbook using the Excel file with the full UNC path.  Be sure and uncheck  "Include External Files" when publishing so that TS uses a live connection to the Excel file.

                       

                      2. If Tableau Desktop is not able to connect to the Excel file from the Tableau Desktop machine than there is likely a issue with permissions.  The Tableau Desktop error dialog window will have a 'Show More' bottom to give more details on the error. 

                       

                      You may need to contact your Windows Admin regarding permissions for the Run As user account. 

                       

                       

                      I hope the above info helps.  Thanks!

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                        prasanth.avirnene

                        Thank you for your Information.

                        Actually I created a excel file in the shared drive.I published it to the Tableau server as extract and tried to refresh the extract.But it shows error as below:

                        We use Active Directory.

                        I tried to find the solution for this,meanwhile i came to know about UNC path.I don't know how to set the path or Get solved for this issue.UNC.PNG

                        • 9. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                          cor.bader

                          Hi Prasanth,

                           

                          Here is the KB article for the above error: Alert "<Data source> is out of date" and "Unknown failure" Refreshing Extract | Tableau Software

                           

                          The section "Additional Information" has information on the UNC path

                           

                          It looks like there is a windows command where should be able to verify the full UNC path. 

                           

                          See the following link for more details: windows - Find UNC path of a network drive? - Stack Overflow

                           

                          Thanks!

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                            prasanth.avirnene

                            Hi Cor Bader,

                             

                            It is working now.

                             

                            Thank you for your support..

                            • 12. Re: How to set UNC path for Excel Based Extract?
                              Mads Manalo

                              Hi Hiren,

                               

                              I'm having the same issue as yours. May I ask if you paste the excel file on the remote desktop where your Tableau Server being installed? And configured the data connection with your Tableau desktop located in your local machine?

                               

                              Appreciate your response. Thanks!