13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2018 5:00 PM by Jeff D

    Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!

    Helen Lindsay

      I'm working with a .twb* file in Tableau Desktop 2018.3.0.

       

      I'm building a set of dashboards that I will use as a template for many clients. So at the moment, whilst developing, I have data sources for several clients. All are set to Extract not Live. The workbook has a .tde and an Extract.hyper file for each client.

       

      I've made some changes to the workbook and now it won't save. The error is "The workbook you're trying to save uses and extract that's locked. To continue saving the workbook, you must save the extract file to a different location."

       

      1. Why has one of the extract files become locked?

      2. How do I find out which extract file is locked? Can I unlock it? 

       

      * I used to immediately save a new workbook as a .twbx file. However, I've been advised not to do this because it gives me no control over where the extract file is located. I want to keep the workbook, .tde and Extract.hyper files all in the same folder. So now I'm working with a .twb file. In the same folder as the .twb file, Tableau has created a sub-folder called "[workbook name] Files. However, I can see no content in the sub-folder.

       

      Thanks for reading this,

      Helen

        • 1. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
          Jeff D

          Hi Helen, if you press Ok, you should be given the option of saving the extract to a new location.  Give that a try and see if it solves the problem.  (This will also let you know which extract is locked.)

           

          One reason for an extract to be locked is if it's in use elsewhere (via Tableau Desktop running on your machine, or if the extract is on a network/share, via Tableau Desktop on another machine).

          • 2. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
            Helen Lindsay

            Thanks Jeff,

            No, frustratingly selecting OK did not give me the option of saving to a new location. There were no further prompts. 

             

            So I used Edit Data Source to save the .tde in use (to the same location). Tableau then said it could not find the Extract so I located that for it. However, I still could not save the workbook (same error).

             

            What I did to resolve the problem was to repeat the above procedure for every one of the connected data sources (not just the data source in use). Some of the data sources had a red apostrophe next to them. I was aware of this but as they were not in use this had not stopped me working in the workbook. But apparently the red apostrophe will (sometimes but not always) stop me saving the file.

             

            The red apostrophes occur all the time. I should stress that the .tde files and extract.hyper files have not been moved or changed in order to cause this.

             

            It's frustrating but at least working with a .twb file, I can find the .tde files and extract.hyper files. Working with a .twbx files they are saved in places that neither Tableau nor I can find.

             

            So I don't know if this is a bug or a weakness but it's very frustrating. Particularly as I'm now following what was explained to me as being best practice.

             

            Regards,

            Helen

            • 3. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
              Helen Lindsay

              Jeff,

              Picking up on your other point, I also should have said that the extract was not in use:

              - on another workbook in Tableau desktop on my machine

              - nor is it on a network/share

              - nor is it used by anyone else on any other machine

               

              So I conclude that it is indicating an error but giving an incorrect explanation of what the error is.

               

              Anyway thanks very much for reading and trying to help.

               

              Regards,

              Helen

              • 4. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                Jeff D

                There were a lot of things you mentioned.  Did you resolve all the problems?  Do you still have red apostrophes?

                 

                You mentioned .tde files, do you mean .tds?  tde is the predecessor to hyper; current versions of Tableau don't create tde files.

                • 5. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                  Helen Lindsay

                  Hi Jeff,

                  Yes, I got rid of the red apostrophes - I just need to remind Tableau where to find the .tde and the extract.hyper. It’s tedious to do again and again but I think I’ve learnt that leaving the red apostrophes will sometimes (not always) prevent me from saving the workbook.

                   

                  I produce the .tde in Alteryx. When I connect Tableau to the .tde, I choose Extract (not Live) and get a .hyper. So then I’ve got an extract of an extract. Seems a bit daft to me but there it is

                   

                  Helen

                  • 6. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                    Jeff D

                    The Tableau workbook (or datasource) stores the locations of the extract files.  When you "remind" Tableau, where does it think the files are located?  In a temp directory?  If you can provide the steps necessary to reproduce this problem, that might help us help better understand what's going on.

                    • 7. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                      Helen Lindsay

                      Hi,

                       

                      When I use .twbx then Tableau stores the extracts in a temporary folder with a very deep path that I have difficulty finding.

                       

                      Now I’m using .twb it’s better (I have control over their location) but not perfect (Tableau ‘forgets’).

                       

                      I have a file structure like this:

                       

                      A Template WIP folder

                      This holds the .twbx worksheets in development (101, 102, 201 etc). I will merge them into one workbook when I’m confident I’ve got each one as consistent as efficient as I can. I’m using Interworks Power Tools and also have a support session booked in a few weeks time.

                       

                      Then I have a folder for each client

                       

                      Client 1

                      Alteryx

                      Tableau

                       

                      Client 2

                      Alteryx

                      Tableau

                       

                      Client 3

                      Alteryx

                      Tableau

                      etc

                       

                      In each client Tableau folder there is:

                      - the .tde produced by Alteryx

                      - the extract.hyper file

                      - there will also be the ‘final' .twbx file. When I’m happy with the template .twbx, I’ll save a version of it here. At this point it will have just one data source (so I can safely share with the client via Tableau Online). So at this stage my problem may go away.

                       

                       

                      At the moment, the .twbx workbooks in development connect to a .tde for each client. I switch between them using Data replace to test.

                       

                      When Tableau “forgets” where to find the .tde file say, for Client 1, it’s looking in the folder Client 2 / Tableau or Client 3 / Tableau etc. I can’t see a pattern to it - e.g. it’s not because I’ve just been working with another client.

                       

                       

                       

                      I used to have an "Alteryx repository" folder and a "Tableau repository” folder. This was a simple approach. Each folder had a lot of files.

                       

                      I’ve changed to using a folder per client with an Alteryx and Tableau sub-folder because a colleague now needs access to the Tableau workbooks for a few (his) clients.

                       

                      If you can make any sense of that you are a patient man!

                       

                      Regards,

                      Helen

                      • 8. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                        Jeff D

                        The problem occurs because Tableau expects the files to be in the same location each time, but you're switching between clients.  Here's a trick that could in theory help streamline things.

                         

                        Create a symbolic link to the Client1 directory, let's call it "CurrentClient".  When you load the workbook, point Tableau to the hyper and tde files in CurrentClient (not Client1).  Save the workbook.

                         

                        To work on Client2, remove the CurrentClient symbolic link, and create a CurrentClient symbolic link to Client2.  When you load the workbook, Tableau is already pointing at CurrentClient, so it will use those files.

                         

                        This isn't perfect but could save you a few steps.  If you like the idea, you could create a script to simplify the management of the symbolic links.

                        • 9. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                          Helen Lindsay

                          Thanks Jeff,

                           

                          Sorry I still don’t see why it has a problem. To me, the files are in the same location each time.

                          I’m working away…

                          Only one of the .tde files is in use in the worksheets in the workbook e.g. Client 1.tde.

                          Tableau knows where to find Client 2.tde, Client 3.tde, Client 4.tde (or the extract.hyper files) whilst I’m working. I can do a Data replace OK.

                          Then I close the workbook.

                          I open it again and sometimes (but not always) some (but not all) of the data sources have a red apostrophe.

                          The .tde files and still in the same place. They haven’t moved or changed. 

                          So you might just have to admit defeat in making me understand

                           

                          However, thanks very much for giving it such careful thought and coming up with a solution.

                           

                          Regards,

                          Helen

                          • 10. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                            swaroop.gantela

                            Helen,

                             

                            Apologies if this doesn't address your issue, but

                            just wanted to pass along this response from Tableau:

                            Re: Extract Locked - Can't Save Workbook

                            • 11. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                              Helen Lindsay

                              Thanks. It’s interesting that two of us have experienced the problem with 2018.3. I definitely didn’t have another workbook open using the same extract.

                               

                              Regards,

                              Helen

                              • 12. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                                Helen Lindsay

                                I’ve been working with another template workbook tonight. It also has multiple data sources connected but just one in use.

                                 

                                The workbook opened with quite a few of the data sources showing a red apostrophe. I didn’t fix them. I worked OK and saved the workbook without a problem. So the red apostrophes may or may not have something to do with the “locked extract” error message.

                                 

                                Regards,

                                Helen

                                 

                                So it’s

                                • 13. Re: Why is my extract file locked? It's stopping me saving my work!
                                  Jeff D

                                  If you're still interested in more ideas, attach one of your workbooks (it doesn't need to have any real sheets or dashboards, just enough to see what resources are being referenced).  Perhaps one of us can figure out how to make this work better.