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Emojis do not display as expected in Tableau Desktop "unknown character" when connecting to MySQL


Published: 21 Oct 2020
Last Modified Date: 08 Jul 2022

Issue

Emojis and/or mathematical alphanumeric symbols display as squares or ? in Tableau Desktop. MySQL encoding is set to utf8mb4.

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop
  • MySQL drivers  8.0.26 (and earlier ?)

Resolution

To resolve, download the latest MySQL driver from https://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/odbc/.

As a workaround, connect using a JDBC driver from Tableau Desktop to pull in the columns that are using characters "utf8mb4 encoding" that the native driver cannot parse.
  1. Downloaded and install the right JDBC driver for the appropriate OS. Note:JDBC drivers are self-contained .jar files. Place the .jar files in the folder for your operating system. 
  2. Connected to MySql from Tableau Desktop using Other Databases (JDBC). URL field example: jdbc:mysql://<servername>:3306/<databasename>
Detailed information can be found here : https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-us/examples_otherdatabases_jdbc.htm
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