'Invalid Database Name Value' When Connecting to Loose Spatial Files in Tableau Desktop.

Published: 09 Dec 2021
Last Modified Date: 10 Dec 2021


When opening spatial files in Tableau Desktop 2020.4 and later, the following error occurs:

'Invalid database name value'


  • Tableau Desktop 2020.4 and later 


To resolve follow the steps below:
  1. Download the Shapefile.
  2. Navigate to the location of the 5 constituent parts of the shapefile (.dbf, .sbn, .sbx, .shp, .shx) files and create a new folder.  
    1. The name of the folder will be the name of the data source in Tableau.
  3. Place the 5 shapefile parts into the new folder and Zip the folder (R-Click > Sent to > Compressed Zipped Folder)
  4. Open Tableau Desktop > Connect to Spatial File > select the newly zipped folder.


Tableau Desktop is not able to open loose shapefiles.

Additional Information

Some shapefile sources provide the shapefiles in an unzipped format, for example shapefiles from the CDC website designed for CDC's Epi Info application.
Did this article resolve the issue?