Welcome to QlikView Unlocked. We hope that you find this book a useful guide when planning, executing, or maintaining a QlikView deployment. This book isn't intended to be a "mastering" guide, nor is it intended to teach you the basics of QlikView. We're assuming that you have been using QlikView for a while and are looking to expand your knowledge. We will highlight some important or interesting things for you to consider along with some guidance on best practices. You don't have to read the book from cover to cover; just dip into the chapters when you're interested in a particular topic. Things get more technical further into the book. Chapter 5, The Right Data Model Pays Dividends and beyond will be of most interest to developers, but we think there's something for everyone in every chapter.
In order to put some of the explanations into context, we based the book loosely around a project, but this is only for the sake of consistency in the examples. We will not give you a step-by-step guide to learning QlikView, which is what you might find in some teach yourself books, instead we will focus on insights that will give you an edge and show you things that you probably didn't realize could be done with QlikView. For this, we created a project at Borchester Models, a fictitious chain of model shops. Their business is the sale of unusual, short-run plastic aircraft kits. The chain has three shops in different towns in Borsetshire, the Borchester shop being the head office.
They have a website that sells a few models online, but most sales are through their point of sale system that runs in all three shops. We'll use some of the situations that might be encountered in this simple QlikView implementation for the examples in this book.
If you're reading this book, chances are that you belong to the growing army of QlikView professionals. So, when we say QlikView is huge, not only do we mean that it's big news, but also that it's a big product. On the surface, QlikView is just another programming tool. In reality, it's a complete, powerful, and very sophisticated environment. It sometimes seems that there's just no end to the things you can do with QlikView. While the focus is very much on being a powerful business intelligence tool, we have seen QlikView documents that draw a rotating Christmas tree complete with lights, a media player, and an analog clock (QlokView—brilliant!). We hope you enjoy using QlikView as much as we do and maintain the momentum by following up on some of the ideas in this book. Stay keen and keep your users or customers engaged by offering them new and interesting insights that you will find in all the following sources.
QlikView people are, on the whole, a very helpful lot. Sometimes, we all come across a problem that we don't know how to solve or are maybe just curious as to how some piece of functionality works. We all know that no manual covers every situation, but fortunately, there are people out there who have seen most. You will find that many of them hang out on Qlik Community (https://community.qlik.com/welcome), and they know a heck of a lot about QlikView. Always try searching for an answer first, but when you're stuck, ask a question. Chances are someone will have the answer. Don't forget to mark the response as "Helpful" or "Answered"—and say thanks too. These people do it because, well, they're helpful and love messing around with QlikView.
If you haven't joined any of the LinkedIn QlikView groups, we encourage you to do so. Qlik Community is the best place for technical questions and answers, but LinkedIn has more general discussions about Qlik products and a number of groups dedicated to jobs. If you're looking for your next QlikView job or contract, QlikView Gigs is a good place to start. Members include recruiters and hiring managers as well as QlikView professionals.
Many of the experts on Qlik Community also have their own blogs, and these can be a great place to pick up new tips and tricks.
If you want to see a lot of blogs, try www.askqv.com/blogs/; at the time of writing this, it lists 37 QlikView blogs of varying quality and frequency of postings.
The last couple of years have seen a number of books about QlikView appear on bookshelves, many of these published by Packt Publishing. They're all very useful to anyone serious about getting the best out of QlikView.
Some of the things to keep an eye out for are the regular service releases (SRs) of QlikView. Each SR has a number of bug fixes and often some minor improvements to functionality. At the time we started writing this book (March 2015), QlikView was at version 11.2 SR10. As we draw to the end of writing (July 2015), version 11.2 SR12 is out. Qlik are set to release QlikView 12 later in 2015, and this will be the first major release in about four years. We encourage you to look out for it as there will be some exciting new features.
Every year, usually around October, Qlik has a world tour, showcasing new features and customer applications. If you only get out of the office once a year, try to get along to one of these events. You'll see some great innovations and hear lots of interesting QlikView stories.
From time to time, Qlik runs smaller local events, often in conjunction with a partner. These normally focus on a specific business area and are usually by invitation only. It's worth going along if the topic is relevant to your business.
If you're working for a Qlik Partner, there's another must see event, and this is Qonnections. Up to 2015, this partner-only event was held each April usually in the USA. Along with presentations about product direction and new features in QlikView and Qlik Sense, there are numerous workshops on a wide range of topics, from sales and marketing to very technical sessions. If you get the chance to go along sometime, take it. In 2016, we understand that it will be open to partners, customers, and prospects, so it will be a massive event. They have beer too, and there's a lively social side; so, come prepared for several days of intense QlikView, lots of partying, and little sleep.
If you really can't get enough of QlikView, we know of a few local groups that you can go along to. Here, you can swap stories with other Qlikkies, and there will usually be a presentation or two on specific QlikView or Qlik Sense topics. Try searching LinkedIn groups to see if there's a physical meeting in your area. If you're in or around London, UK, you might like to attend one of the meetings organized by Qlik Dev Group (www.qlikdevgroup.com).
Chapter 1, Behind Every Successful Project Is a Plan, covers the basics of a QlikView environment, how to organize a QlikView project, and how to ensure that the development has clear deliverables.
Chapter 2, Building the Correct Environment, sets standards for the project or site as a whole, understanding that getting the environment right is a vital foundation for everything else.
Chapter 3, Are you Sitting Comfortably? Be More Productive, discusses some useful settings for the desktop workbench that save lots of time and open up features, making development more productive.
Chapter 4, It's All About Understanding the Data, looks at data and how it relates to the task at hand as well as at prototyping, how to correctly structure the data environment for performance and ease of use, and how to tackle common data problems.
Chapter 5, The Right Data Model Pays Dividends, identifies and fixes issues in the data model that could cause poor performance or difficulties in presenting data to the user.
Chapter 6, Make It Easy on Yourself–Some QlikView Tips and Tricks, provides you with some great time-saving tips.
Chapter 7, Improving Chart Performance and Usability, helps you unlock the power of charting by understanding little-known features and nonstandard ways of presenting data.
Chapter 8, To Deployment and Beyond, talks about how to implement security, deploy and protect the source code, and how to investigate and solve problems on QlikView Server.
Appendix, Hidden Image List, provides over 450 built-in images that can be used in any QlikView document.
For the examples in this book, you need to have QlikView Personal Edition, version 11.2 with a recent Service Release (preferably SR9 or later).
QlikView Unlocked is intended for anyone with at least some experience in designing, developing, or supporting QlikView applications. This book is carefully constructed so that the subjects discussed become more advanced in later chapters. Whether new to QlikView or a seasoned developer, there is something for everyone in this book.
In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.
Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "This can be stored in the
9. Documentation subfolder."
A block of code is set as follows:
Stock: LOAD [Shop No], [Product Code], [On Hand] FROM [QlikView Unlocked Data.xlsx] (ooxml, embedded labels, table is Stock);
When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:
LOAD [Shop No],
[QlikView Unlocked Data.xlsx]
(ooxml, embedded labels, table is Stock);
New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text like this: "Clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen."
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