1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 17, 2018 12:50 PM by patrick.byrne.0

    Frustrations with Tableau Box Integration

    Matt Youngberg

      Hey everyone,


      Is anyone else having severe issues with the Tableau Box integration? I have some excel files on Box that are being erased and re-written every hour, and they maintain the same structure so as to be readable in Tableau. The filename remains the same with each re-write so that the filepath remains the same. However, every time I open up my Tableau workbooks (this is a problem I'm having over several workbooks, not only one), it somehow looses the association with the data source and needs to be re-granted access to Box as well as directed to where the file is located (Which is sometimes a huge hassle because Tableau doesn't let you know what file it's specifically trying to locate, so mis-matching often occurs and I have to go back and redirect Tableau to the right file on Box once the data source actually loads and I can see which sheets are experiencing errors). It should be noted that the data sources make use of both files that are being re-written every hour and others that are simply static. Tableau is asking to be re-directed to the location of the files in either case.


      That's only the tip of the iceberg.


      My main problem is that whenever I load my workbook to Tableau Server (embedded passwords and everything), anytime someone authorized attempts to access the workbooks, it asks them for credentials to Box. Now, this wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that Tableau Server receives the credentials and then proceeds to ask again and again in an endless loop, never being able to actually load the workbook, and not throwing an error either to diagnose the problem. This is a major pain and is preventing myself and my coworkers from being able to actually access the workbooks that are critical to our operations.


      I really don't have any other way to serve files, and my workplace is so small that we don't have IT guys and a database hosting this information. My only option really is to serve a file from Box because that's what my workplace uses and Tableau accommodates it. I can't host the files on a local computer because a parent organization has the administrator rights to our Tableau Server and isn't willing to make system changes to allow the server to read my local files.


      Tableau Desktop isn't terribly descriptive with what the problem is either, but I have a hunch. Tableau Desktop tells me often that I have invalid authorization tokens. I've worked with OAuth2 in my little experience programming, and I understand that this integration uses it. I also understand that OAuth2 is a downright pain and it's easy to get stuff wrong with it in development. It seems that my dashboards will last for about an hour in Desktop, but after that, I have to go through a lot of re-authentication again if I want to refresh my data sources. So I'm thinking the issue is with refreshing the tokens Tableau is receiving from Box via OAuth2 and that they're expiring after an hour, but I can't be terribly sure. Tableau gives an error code that, when looked up, returns absolutely no results. So again, I have no ability to be able to solidly diagnose the problem.


      My frustration is about to overflow with this integration and the seeming lack of answers. I'm not seeing any similar posts on the forum, but I wonder why I'm having this issue across all of my workbooks. Rumor is that many other people under my parent organization are having similar issues since we moved over to Box. I'm not friends with any Tableau users outside of our parent organization that use this integration, so perhaps it's an issue with our server specifically? I've activated the Tableau apps on Box and everything, and I built the data sources in ways that aren't complicated. Another frustration is that I'm on a student account of Tableau, so I have no access to Tableau support and they immediately close any support tickets I make, claiming that their help articles can walk me through just about anything I'd need to know about Tableau (Even though I respond in an attempt to keep the tickets open, they close anyway).


      So if anyone has any fixes to this issue that I'm having with the Tableau Box integration, or some other idea of how to serve excel files, I would be incredibly indebted to you.




      P.S. I'm running the latest versions of both Desktop and Server.

        • 1. Re: Frustrations with Tableau Box Integration

          Hello Matt,


          I am sorry that use of this connector has been less than ideal experience and I understand that frustration.


          I was able to find some information that might be able to help but it would help to have some additional information on the issue. Are there any errors presented in Windows log viewer? Can you provide the logs or a snippet from when the error occurs in the logs from Tableau Server.


          The error captured in the logs/ the information of what was occurring prior to the error can shed light upon what was the root cause of the error or unexpected behavior.


          Another option/ potential workaround, make sure the user experiencing the issue has the embedded credentials from the Box account added to the Tableau Server Saved Credentials section for the given data source.


          Hope this helps!



          Byrne, Patrick