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Error "Unable to connect to the server" When Connecting to Data Sources on Mac


Published: 18 Jun 2014
Last Modified Date: 06 Jan 2017

Issue

When you connect to a data source using only a host name, using Tableau Desktop on a Mac, one of the following errors might occur:
 
An error occurred while communicating with the <data source type> data source <servername or IP address>. Unable to connect to the server. Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.
Or:
Unable to connect to the ODBC Data Source. Check that the necessary drivers are installed and that the connection properties are valid.
[Simba][SqlServerODBC] (100) Failed to connect to the SQL Server instance: Server not found.
Or:
Unable to connect to the server "DataServer". Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.
Or:
Unable to connect to the server. Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.

When you connect to the same data source from Tableau Desktop on Windows, you are able to connect without errors.

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop
  • OS X

Resolution

Connect to the data source using the fully qualified domain name. For example: ServerName/Domain or servername.domain.com

Cause

The computer running Tableau Desktop is unable to resolve the server name to an IP address.

Additional Information

In some environments, Active Directory (AD) and WINS are configured to help Windows computers look up the IP address of servers. Macs that are not configured to use WINS and AD for name resolution might require fully qualified domain names in order to successfully look up the IP address of the server.

To determine whether a Mac is able to resolve a server name to an IP address, use the ping utility from the command line or the Network Utility GUI application.

Option 1: Command Line

  1. Go to /Applications/Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal, and then type ping <servername>.

Option 2: GUI application

  1. Go to /Applications/Utilities.
  2. Open Network Utility, and then select the Ping tab.
  3. Under Enter the network address to ping, type the server name, and then click Ping.
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