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.

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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Generating random test data in QlikView with Mockaroo

Functions to create random data in QlikView


I often need random data. For example to use in an example file on this blog, to deliver a customer demo or just to test out something new. As I am probably not the only one with this need, here’s a short and sweet post on how to generate random data for use in QlikView.

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QlikView hash functions and collisions

HashFunctionI’m currently updating my materials for the upcoming Masters Summit for QlikView in Chicago, and thought I’d share a little bit with you. In my session on data modeling, I explain how you can deal with various types of Slowly Changing Dimensions in QlikView. One of the techniques I explain is using hash functions to detect changes in (historical) records. During the previous events, this always lead to two questions from the audience:

  • What exactly are hash functions and hashes?
  • And, from those who already know the answer to the first question: Aren’t you worried about hash collisions?

Today I will answer both questions and hopefully give you some insight into hash functions, their usefulness in QlikView and the risks of hash collisions.

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A secure (and cheap) alternative to Dropbox

A more secure alternative to DropboxA short article that isn’t directly related to QlikView, but if you’re looking for a secure way to synchronize and share your files across computers then this might be interesting for you nonetheless.

Like many people, I am a big user of Dropbox. Between my referrals, the free space that came with my Samsung phone and my paid subscription I now have 186 GB of online storage. While this is awesome for personal files, I’ve always been reluctant to use Dropbox for work-related documents, as time and again it is demonstrated that Dropbox is not secure. Besides that, Dropbox is also quite expensive, especially since I mainly use it to synchronize files and am not really interested in the cloud storage. With this in mind I set out to see if I could set up a more secure (and cheaper) alternative to Dropbox.

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Masters Summit for QlikView Europe: Amsterdam October 2014

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After successful events in Las Vegas, London and Barcelona, and the upcoming event in Chicago next April 1 – 3, I am pleased to announce that the next European edition of the Masters Summit for QlikView will be held in my hometown of Amsterdam, The Netherlands on October 1 – 3 2014.

If you are a QlikView developer then the practical skills, ready-to-use resources and excellent peer networking offered at this event will make for 3 days that you do not want to miss! More information about the event can be found on the Masters Summit for QlikView website.

TheGrandUpdate 2014/03/11: the date and venue have been finalized: 1 – 3 October 2014 at Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam (Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, Amsterdam 1012 EX, Netherlands).

You can register by clicking the button below:

RegisterNow

Scripts and wizards, too much script, not enough wizards

ScriptVsWizardsI recently read an interesting post by James Richardson over at the Business Discovery Blog: Wizards vs Scripts. In the post James makes the case that QlikView scripting is not old-fashioned or too hard, but is evidence of the power of QlikView as a platform.

Let me first state that I love QlikView scripting. I’m a guy who writes script for fun. I also agree that scripting offers much more flexibility than a visual solution ever could. With those things in mind, I would like to present a different viewpoint: I think that QlikView places too much emphasis on scripting. In my opinion, the default approach should be much more visual.

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Masters Summit London & Barcelona: a success

From October 9 – 11 and from October 14 – 16, the European edition of the Masters Summit for QlikView was held in London and Barcelona. The goal of this event is to show and discuss advanced concepts, methods and techniques for QlikView development and deployment through 3 days of hands-on sessions and discussions. Together with Bill Lay, Oleg Troyansky and Rob Wunderlich I was one of the speakers at this event.

The Masters Summit Team

The Masters Summit team, from left to right: organizer Kevin McCann and speakers Bill Lay, Barry Harmsen, Rob Wunderlich and Oleg Troyansky

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Or-mode selections between list boxes

and & or selections in QlikViewAt the Masters Summit for QlikView in London we ended the second day with an informal ‘stump the geek’ session. In this session participants could submit technically challenging questions to a panel. Besides the four presenters, this panel also consisted of Steve Dark, Stephen Redmond and Henric Cronström. You can imagine that I found myself surrounded by an awesome amount of QlikView knowledge.

While challenging, most of the questions could either be answered on the spot or a conceptual solution could be described. There was however one question that didn’t really yield an, in my opinion, satisfactory answer. The consensus almost seemed to drift towards ‘it cannot be done’ or ‘that is not how QlikView works’. The question was:

Can we make “or” selections between list boxes, instead of the standard “and” selections?

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Hosting issues: QlikFix is back!

QlikFix is back!I had it coming, but yesterday it finally happened; the QlikFix website collapsed under its own success. With visitors and page views steadily increasing I had outgrown the cheap ‘n cheerful hosting solution that I’d been using for the past 3 years.

So yesterday I had to scramble and do what I’d been putting off for way too long; move everything to a new provider and a bigger server with more resources. Learned a lot about WordPress migrations and DNS in the process.

Everything should be up and running again and with better performance than before. If you notice any glitches or problems then please contact me.

QlikView 11 for Developers – Training Materials

QlikView 11 for Developers - Classroom training materialSince its publication in November 2012, our book QlikView 11 for Developers has been used by many people to take their first steps in QlikView, improve their skills and prepare for their Developer certification. But to our surprise, it haven’t only been individual developers who used the book. Mike and I learned that many organizations either developed their own training around our book, or were contacting us to inquire if such materials were available. Obviously, this is something that we welcome and will gladly facilitate.

After a few months of development and rigorous testing, we are proud to announce that we now have a complete set of ready-made materials available. These materials enable you to quickly deliver a structured, professional QlikView training based on QlikView 11 for Developers.

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