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Error "Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server" Publishing to Tableau Online


Published: 06 Oct 2015
Last Modified Date: 08 Dec 2015

Issue

When publishing a workbook that contains an MS SQL Server data source to Tableau Online, or opening a workbook containing an MS SQL Server data source published to Tableau Online, the following error might occur:
 
DataSourceException (type=UnableToConnect): [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server

Environment

  • Tableau Online 
  • MS SQL Server

Resolution

  • If the database is on-premises and not web hosted: Push data updates using extracts and the Online Data Sync Client
  • If the MS SQL database is hosted on Amazon AWS (RDS) or Microsoft Azure: Ensure that the connection contains embedded credentials and that the IP address is white-listed. For more information, see Keep Data Fresh in the Tableau Knowledge Base. 

Cause

The workbook contains a live connection to the underlying MS SQL Server database which Tableau Online cannot access because it does not have the appropriate provisions to connect to databases not hosted on a supported web service. 
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