Here's the absolute best source of information regarding updating Excel files, extracts & updates:
Read the whole article and pay special attention to the 'Some Wrinkles' section (and below that) Jonathan outlines step-by-step ways of creating static extracts that never get updated. I'm sure your situation is in there, so it's just a matter of finding it, understanding it and creating your extract differently.
I believe that you are referring to live connection to excel file residing on network location. I also faced similar problem and this is what worked for me.
1) Use Tableau Desktop on windows machine to develop and publish the workbook to tableau server (somehow it did not work when I did it from mac)
2) Test the live connection when your workbook is still on the tableau desktop. (for this to work, the local user or windows AD user must have appropriate permission to read network file). Edit network file and the change should reflect in your workbook.
3) If step 2 works then publish the workbook to tableau server with option deselected for "Include External Files"
4) Double check on what is the "Run As" user set up on Tableau Server. This user also needs to have read permission on network file. (in my case it was different user then what I used to perform some operational tasks on tableau server)
Above steps worked for me and I hope its helpful for you!
Thanks for the link, Shawn. We had seen it before, but sadly our answer is not there...
Thanks Hiren Mehta.
Leaving the "Include external files" unchecked causes an error upon viewing the workbook on Server - likely due to whatever connection issue we're missing.
We checked the user privileges... from the VM where Server is installed we navigated to the required network folder using the profile that is set at "Run As"...
So... we'll keep looking.
You can't use Desktop on a Mac to publish a workbook to Server that needs a UNC path to an Excel file because the Mac path to your network share will always be different than from Windows where your Server runs, e.g. /Volumes/tableau_files/test_cnxn.xlsx (Mac) vs. '\\kr\TABLEAU_Files\test_cnxn.xlsx (Windows).
One workaround if you want to have both Mac and Windows users be able to update a workbook that uses a UNC Excel file is to first use Desktop on Windows to create a published data source on Server that connects to the Excel file, and then have that be the data connection in the workbook instead of a path itself.
Have you installed Desktop on the Server machine and tried opening the workbook there to see what happens?
No Macs here, @Zach
Apologies if we gave that impression.
You didn't, I was replying to Hiren's comment "somehow it did not work when I did it from mac".
Running Desktop on Server is going to get you closer to the solution.
Thanks Zach for your comment. That is the best workaround for mac users.
And for BI BLZ:
In my case, I thought the profile/user I used to login into VM hosting Table Server was same as Server Run As User but they both were different. Did you check this for your case?
I am not sure if you already know it but you can quickly check it on "Server Run As user on General Tab of Tableau Server Configuration Window" (Start->All Programs->Tableau Server 9.x->Configure Tableau Server).
Hope this helps.
Thanks for all who posted here.
We reached out to customer support and found the issue : the machine where we placed the source file is on a different network domain than our server VM. Even though one can reach the other through our VPN, Tableau Server was unable to make the connection.
Workaround : a file folder in the Server VM synced to machines where we do the editing using Google Drive (to the complete dismay of our IT team).
As a tableau admin where we can see the map drives details and how to know which map drive is having access.