One thing that could be done is to increase the connection timeout limit in the preferences file.
Here is a KB on the process to increase the timeout limit: Timeout Occurs When Publishing or Downloading Extract | Tableau Software
Though the behavior does seem quite odd and might be worth invesitgating with the Tableau Technical Support Team. A case can be opened at: Support Case | Tableau Software
Hope this helps!
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Thank you for your reply!
We found the issue to be with one of our database views. More specifically, we were 1) nesting views within views and 2) one of our "lower" views was throwing an error, which was not displayed by the "higher" level views. As a result, no data was coming into Tableau and it seems Tableau was smart enough to stop the extract execution after 900 seconds. It would have been nice though to see that in the error message. The "timeout" error is very vague.
Thanks for the information on the steps that you have taken. I am happpy to hear you have found a solution and hopefully this will assist other customers in troubleshooting connection issues.
Thanks for posting!