Globbing file pattern error received from BigQuery

Error displayed by Tableau : The Google BigQuery service was unable to process this request. Encountered an error while globbing file pattern.

This poorly worded error has been reported to me by more than one of our Tableau Developers who received it when trying to connect Tableau to Google BigQuery. Its meaning is not straightforward, there is no mention of it on the Tableau Support webpages and nothing definitive when searching via Google. I thought this post would be useful in explaining why the error is received.

Screenshot of error displayed by Tableau:
bigquery-globbing-error

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The users who reported the error in Tableau were able to successfully query the same data set directly from the BigQuery console.

When researching the error I came across this Stackoverflow question where the BigQuery API was used to query a federated table. A check of our user’s BigQuery set up showed that BigQuery was reading from data from a Google Sheet. Currently this is not supported by Tableau. If Tableau is to use BigQuery as a data source then the data must first be loaded into a BigQuery Table.

An alternative solution could be for the user to upgrade Tableau to version 10 when they could use Tableau to query the Google Sheet and avoid BigQuery.

It’s quite straightforward to identify what type of table is being queried in BigQuery. Navigate to the Table, click on Query Table and select the Details. This is an example of what will be displayed when the data has been loaded into the BigQuery table:

bigquery-loaded-table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an example of a query based on an external table:

bigquery-external-table

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