Author Archives: Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Hi there, I'm Barry and I'm an independent Business Intelligence Consultant based in the Netherlands. Originally from a background of 'traditional' Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Performance Management, for the past few years I have been specializing in QlikView and a more user-centric form of BI. I have done numerous QlikView implementations in many different roles and industries. In 2012 I co-authored the book QlikView 11 for Developers. You can follow me on Twitter at @meneerharmsen.

Visual FX in QlikView (5): Merry Xmas 2014!

Christmas time is near again, so it’s time for another visual effect in QlikView: the QlikFix 2014 Christmas Card. Using the trusty animated scatter plot once more, I’ve built a little spinning Christmas tree (and, in the spirit of Christmas, added some awful music ;) ). Check the video below:

The complete QVW can be downloaded below:

Download the 2014 QlikFix Christmas Card

Wishing you all happy holidays and all the best for 2015!

More visual FX in QlikView:

 

New feature: QlikView / Qlik Sense book list

Books for QlikView and Qlik Sense developers and consultantsDifferent people have different preferences for acquiring new skills and knowledge. Some like to follow a classroom training while others prefer to start with a concrete problem, research the subject themselves and learn by doing. Some people like to read blog posts and watch videos, while others prefer to read a book. Today I have something for that last group; a reading list for QlikView and Qlik Sense professionals.

The reading list is available through this link, or via the top menu bar. It does not only contain books about QlikView or Qlik Sense, but also a range of peripheral methods, skills and technologies that I believe will make you a more well-rounded Qlik professional. I will be periodically updating this list with new and relevant books.

I hope you will enjoy this list. If there are any must-read books that you are missing, feel free to contact me through the contact form, or leave me a comment below.

Remove scrolling tabs from QlikView Chart Properties

Remove scrolling tabs from QlikView Chart Properties

A short post today, but one that will fix a very common developer annoyance in QlikView 11 and 11.2; the scroll tabs in the chart properties dialog window. When you want to change properties on tabs that are on opposing sides of the tab row (for example, Dimensions and then Layout) you first have to click the scroll arrows before you can select the tab. Extremely annoying, if you ask me.

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Masters Summit early-bird offer ends this week

Masters Summit for QlikView - Amsterdam

A quick heads-up for those of you who are planning to attend the upcoming Masters Summit for QlikView in Amsterdam, the early-bird offer ends this Friday, August 15th. Don’t miss out on a $300 discount!

For more information about the event, or to register, please go to the Masters Summit for QlikView website. I hope to meet many of you there!

Building a nicer (dynamic) multibox, without extensions

Building a nicer, dynamic multibox in QlikViewThe multibox is a QlikView object that I find extremely useful because it allows you to fit selection fields into a much smaller space. At the same time, I also find it extremely annoying; the gradient looks dated and if you want your field names and values to be readable you will often have to make both columns quite wide. For these reasons I tend to not use the multibox in my applications, using a conditionally hidden drop-down filter panel instead.

Recently, I was hired to perform a health check on an application. The application made extensive use of a multibox (in a very nice and flexible way, I should add). One of the challenges my client was facing was that not every field was relevant to every user. Besides a general technical review of the application, the developers wanted to know if it was possible to create a dynamic multibox. A multibox where users could select which fields they want to show.

As I started digging in to this question, I realized there’s a much nicer way to create a multibox. After experimenting with it for a bit, I actually like this solution so much that I will probably be using it in some of my future projects.

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Aliases, to indent or not?

“Code is read more often than it is written”

  – common programming adage

As someone who often has to look at/modify QlikView script written by others, I have come to appreciate the value of readable script. Rather than taking an “if it works, it works” attitude, I always try to write my script with readability and consistency in mind. Somewhere down the line someone else (or worse, you) might have to decipher what a specific script is doing in order to modify or extend it.

Today I want to ask your opinion on the readability of a specific part of the QlikView script, indentation of aliases within LOAD statements. To this end, I’ve taken a piece of script from the QlikView System Monitor and formatted the aliases in three different ways. (note: I don’t agree with the absence of white space in functions and between operators, but have left that as is)

Have a look at the three options, and then please answer the two multiple choice questions below.

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ABC: Always Be Closing

Always Be ClosingA very short tip on writing QlikView expressions that might save you a lot of headaches. In my last online training on Set Analysis (another one coming up this week) I showed a simple technique that I use when writing expressions in QlikView, especially when they contain nested functions. Based on the feedback, it seemed to resonate quite well with the attendees and not everybody was aware of this technique, so I thought I might share it with you as well.

It can simply be summarized as: Always Be Closing.

Whenever I write an expression that contains a parenthesis (or curly bracket/chevron/whatever) that also needs to be closed, I immediately close it and place the cursor one step back. Or, to show it visually (in slow mo):

This way, you’ll never need to think about how many parentheses/etc. you need to close your expression. Of course,  this technique also works for Excel, SQL or any programming language.

As a follow-on tip, whenever I have to ‘decipher’ a nested expression within QlikView, I work inside-out. Start with the inner-most function, figure out what it does and what value(s) it returns, then move on to the function that uses the output of the first function, figure out what that does, and so on.

Online training: QlikView Set Analysis

QlikView Set Analysis Training

Just a quick heads-up about a new online training that Miguel García and I are offering: Set Analysis. We delivered our first training on May 2nd and received excellent ratings and feedback. We are now scheduling new sessions, the first one being held May 23rd 2014. This is a live, instructor-led, 4 hour online training. We have multiple sessions (both in English and Spanish), so you should be able to find one that fits your time zone. More information can be found on the website, or after the break.

Register Now for the Online Set Analysis Training

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Introducing a new author at QlikFix: Wesley Smit

Albert_Einstein

One of the reasons I started this blog in 2010 was not only to share what I know about QlikView, but also to expand my own knowledge and understanding of it. In my opinion, explaining concepts and solutions to others is a great way to identify areas of improvement for yourself.

Recently, I got a new colleague at my company; Wesley Smit. Wesley is a recent graduate of Business Economics and Organization Sciences from the VU University in the Netherlands. With this business-oriented background, Wesley has an excellent understanding of the what and why of Business Intelligence. Since joining Bitmetric as a Junior Business Intelligence Consultant, we’ve been bringing him up to speed on how to develop BI solutions. Of course, the main focus is on QlikView, but we’re also working on peripheral solutions, methods and techniques that will make him an all-round consultant.

Wesley has been making great progress and is ready for the next step, not just gaining knowledge but also sharing it. In the coming time he will be posting articles on some of the things he has discovered while learning QlikView.

I welcome Wesley as a co-author on this blog and hope that you will enjoy his articles!

The power of QlikView caching

CacheToday I read a very interesting blog post about the QlikView Cache by Qlik’s Henric Cronström (HIC). In the post, Henric gives a high level overview of how caching is used within QlikView to speed up front-end response times. (for a more in-depth explanation, have a look at the patent) Henric also explains some interesting peculiarities about caching, one of which busts a myth that I hear repeated very often (“running macros clears the cache”). I highly encourage you to read Henric’s post.

Of course, this post isn’t just a me-too article. Rather, I want to show you a neat thing that will let you experience the power of caching in QlikView for yourself. Did you know that you can actually turn off caching?

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