Cross-Database Excel Join Does Not Show Updated Data on Refresh

Published: 27 Aug 2018
Last Modified Date: 22 Mar 2019


Cross-database join with Excel external files included will not refresh correctly.


  • Tableau Desktop 
  • Windows 10
  • Excel
  • Cross database join


Deselect "Include External Files" when publishing the joined data.
  1. Go to Server > Publish Workbook. 
  2. Uncheck the box next to "Include external files."
  3. Select Publish.
When unchecking the box for "Include external files," then Tableau Server can access the Excel file directly for refreshing the data. Otherwise, if "Include External Files" is selected when publishing, a copy of the data from Excel is included with the workbook and is static data and will not refresh. 


Because the dataset is based off of a subset of the Excel file, the "Include external files" option does not include a complete Excel file. If the external files are not included (but are on a shared location for example) when the dataset is refreshed, Tableau reaches out to the location of the Excel file for the extract refresh.

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