Updating Underlying Data in a Tableau Server Workbook That Uses a Live Connection to Excel

Published: 13 Mar 2013
Last Modified Date: 03 Jan 2019


How to update the underlying data in a Tableau Server workbook that uses a live connection to a Microsoft Excel file data source. 


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Server


  1. In Tableau Desktop, right click on the data source in the Data Pane and select Edit Data Source.
  2. From the Data Source window, select Data > [data source name] > Edit Connection from the top menu.
  3. In the Excel Workbook Connection dialog box, type the full universal naming convention (UNC) path to the Excel data source.
  4. For example, D:\datasource.xls has a UNC path that looks like the following: \\workstation1\d$\datasource.xls, where "workstation1" is the full computer name.
  5. Select Server > Publish Workbook.
  6. In the Publish Workbook to Tableau Server dialog box, uncheck Include External Files.
  7. Click the Publish button.

Additional Information

  • Make sure that the Tableau Server Run As User account has access to the location where the Excel file is saved.
  • Unchecking Include External Files ensures that Tableau Server connects directly to the original Excel file.
    NoteInclude External Files affects all external files used in the workbook.
  • After adjusting the path and publishing the workbook to Tableau Server, you can test the permissions on Tableau Server by selecting the Data Source then selecting Action > Create New Workbook.
    • Successfully being able to create a workbook indicates that Tableau Server has access to that file.
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