Tableau .tde mystery solved: An error occurred while communicating with the data source

The other day I made a simple workflow in Alteryx, where I essentially just had to convert an Excel/xlsx file to a .tde file. I made a workflow as usual but when I opened It in Tableau, all my special characters, such as the Danish æ, ø and å had turned into question marks like this:

This seemed odd to me as this had never been an issue before. I found that the cause of the problem was the variables containing these special characters were set as “Strings” and not “V_WString”, which I usually use. When I changed the variables to “V_WString” the problem disappeared and the workflow ran perfectly. In earlier versions of Alteryx I have experienced that I was not even able to open the .tde file in Tableau, if the variables containing special characters was not set as “V_WString”, so consider this as a friendly reminder that it is always good idea to set the format of your strings in Alteryx as “V_WString”. Changing the datatype in Alteryx is simply done in the select tool.

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