Author Archives: Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Barry Harmsen

Hi there, I'm Barry and I'm a Business Intelligence Consultant at Bitmetric and 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.

Extracting embedded images from QlikView

ImageExtractor for QlikView

ImageExtractor for QlikView

ImageExtractor is a small utility that extracts images from your QlikView applications and stores them as bitmaps. It also gives you a browser that tells you which images are used in which QlikView application.

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Masters Summit Milan recap

Last week the Masters Summit for Qlik was held in Milan, Italy. For those unfamiliar with the event, the Masters Summit is a 3 day advanced training for QlikView and Sense developers. If you have followed all the Qlik trainings (Designer, Developer, etc.), have 1 to 3 years of experience and ask yourself “Now what?” then this training is perfect for you.

I was at the Masters Summit and presented two sessions, Data Modeling and Server/Publisher Administration. In this post I will share with you some of the experiences and feedback from the event.

81 Qlik enthusiasts participated in this edition and as you can see in the photo below, we were at full capacity.

A packed house!

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What does Narratives for Qlik make of the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms?

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

The 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms was released last February 4. This year’s edition caused quite a stir on various blogs and social media platforms as most of the ‘old-school’ vendors were dropped from the Leaders quadrant, leaving only Tableau, Microsoft and Qlik as Leaders.

Many excellent blog posts appeared in the last week, providing further commentary and thoughts on the current state of the BI and Analytics market. Rather than adding another post with my own commentary, I will take a slightly different approach.

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The Joy of QlikView Grid Layouts

While most QlikView Designers are familiar with the works and principles of data visualization gurus such as Stephen Few and Edward Tufte, when it comes to dashboard layout many (including myself) are more likely to follow the design principles of that other visualization expert: Bob Ross.

Dashboard Design - The Bob Ross way

I plot different objects on the sheet, basing their location on my experience, sound judgement and the overall aesthetic appeal. “Maybe in our world there lives a happy little treemap over there.” Apply a little horizontal and vertical alignment and I’ve finished another ‘masterpiece’. It’s much more of an art than a science, or at least that’s what I like to think.

While this approach is a lot of fun, it’s not a very fast way to get things done. Not every layout works immediately, and reshuffling objects after “happy little accidents” can take a lot of time.

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Join me in the Qlik Sense Cloud

Qlik Sense CloudWant to build a quick dashboard or analyze some data? Want to share your findings with others or publish charts on social media? Then the Qlik Sense Cloud might be of interest to you. This cloud version of Qlik Sense has been available since September 2014. While it is still in beta, features are steadily being added. Best of all, it is completely free!

You can upload up to 250MB of your own data, but can also get external data from the Qlik DataMarket (for example information on exchange rates, demographics, weather or businesses) to augment your internal data.

 

A use case

The missus and I are expecting a baby early next year. Picking a name, in my opinion, is no easy task. I don’t want my kid to have the same name as 5 other kids in his class, but also not a really obscure name (like “Bamboo”, “Patient”, “Berlusconi” or “Zorro”, names that were actually given to some unfortunate kids in the Netherlands in 2014). To make things a little easier, I downloaded a list of all the baby names that were given in the Netherlands in 2014, loaded it into a Sense Cloud App and shared it with my wife. Now we can easily filter names based on popularity, length, letters, etc. and see what we like. It’s nothing too fancy, but the fact that we can use it from a tablet or our phone without having to install anything makes it a lot more convenient and fun.

Want to try the Qlik Sense Cloud?

If you would like to give the Qlik Sense Cloud a try, then enter your email address in the form below. You will then automatically receive an invite for my shared space on the Qlik Cloud. This will give you access to any applications that I publish to the Qlik Cloud and will also give you the option to create your own applications. (email addresses are only used to send the invites and are not stored)

Up to 50% discount on “QlikView 11 for Developers” this November

QlikView 11 for DevelopersThe good folks over at Packt Publishing are having a special promotion on our book QlikView 11 for Developers until November 25th 2015. Now is an excellent time to get the book if you:

  • Do not yet own the book (but want to!), or
  • ‘Borrowed’ a copy from the Internet before and want to regain some good karma, or
  • Are delivering our QlikView classroom training and want to replenish your stock, or
  • Want to give a gift to that special QlikView Developer in your life, or
  • Own the original version before it gets replaced by QlikView 12 for Developers (that might take a while), or
  • Have an exceptionally wobbly table that requires fixing.

If any of the reasons above apply to you, or if you have another good reason (would love to hear them, please comment 😉 ), then feel free to use the following discount codes:

Discount code
Discount Book version
QLIKVIEW50 50% eBook – English version
QLIKVIEW20 20% print book – English version
QLIK50ESP 50% eBook – Spanish version
QLIK20ESP 20% print book – Spanish version

 

Remote include scripts

Got a bunch of scripts here for you, where do you want me to put them?One of the reasons why I like QlikView so much is that there are always new functions and applications to discover. Yesterday I was at a client who is a Qlik OEM partner. During lunch we discussed various uses of include scripts. The question came up if it was possible to remotely update include scripts. At the same time they didn’t want these external scripts to be viewable (they sell a solution based on QlikView, clients get the solution but the OEM owns the code). Of course, that makes things a little more complicated. The include script sits outside of QlikView in plain text, so anyone can read it. Besides that, updating an external script that sits on the client’s local server is also not a straightforward affair.

I started wondering if it might be possible to fetch an include script from a remote website. So I just tried it, and it works!* (in QlikView, Sense requires Legacy Mode to be enabled, I will let you decide if that is a good idea)

Try this one for example:

$(must_include=http://www.qlikfix.com/remote_include/?license=12345);

In my opinion, this opens up some interesting use cases:

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QlikView macro’s are bad!

Last Thursday I did a presentation at the Qlik Dev Group NL about QlikView macro’s. While the title Macro’s are bad! suggests that I have a very firm view on macro’s, of course the actual presentation is much more nuanced. I wouldn’t be talking about macro’s if I didn’t think they have their uses 😉

In my presentation, I identify some potential use cases for macro’s and discuss if these are a good idea. Next, I share some tips on developing and debugging your macro’s. There are a lot of myths around macro’s, so I have taken a look at which ones are actually true. The presentation concludes with an overview of some of the cool macro’s that are already out there.

You can find my slide deck below:

The examples that I used in my presentation can be downloaded using the link below:

Download the macro examples

I hope you will enjoy these slides. If you have any questions or, also interesting, a different opinion, then feel free to post to the comments section below.

Qlik Dev Group NL on October 29th 2015

Qlik Dev GroupAre you interested in exchanging ideas and knowledge about QlikView and Sense with your peers? Then the Qlik Dev Group might be for you!

The Qlik Dev Group is a regular gathering where Qlik professionals can socialize, share ideas, challenges and solutions and generally have real discussions, devoid of any sales and marketing bias. Attendance is free, and yes, there is food and drinks!

These events are community-driven and independent from Qlik or any partners. The Qlik Dev Group originated in the UK, but as with most good ideas the concept is quickly spreading to other locations. Events have already been held in Denmark and The Netherlands and events in Finland, Germany and France are underway.

Qlik Dev Group NL meetup

On Thursday October 29th 2015, the Dutch chapter of the Qlik Dev Group is organizing a meetup in Hoofddorp (near Amsterdam). We have some very interesting speakers this time:

  • Henric Cronström of Qlik will give us an ‘under the hood’ insight into QlikView and Sense.
  • Jason Atkinson of Rituals Cosmetics will explain how they realized their ‘mobile first’ strategy and made QlikView available to all their stores and all their mobile devices.

Additional presentations will be announced later, but we can promise they will be interesting as well!

If you’re in the area, feel free to sign up on the website. Hope to see many of you there!

Have QlikView – Will Travel. Where do Masters Summit attendees come from?

Advanced QlikView Training: theMasters Summit for QlikViewIf you are a regular reader of this blog, you are probably aware of the Masters Summit for QlikView. Besides offering some of the best advanced QlikView training available on the market, this 3 day event adds a unique “conference feel” where you are able to network and exchange ideas with peers from all around the world.

My colleague Frédérique recently put together some visualizations to answer some questions we had about our attendees; where do our attendees come from? How far do they travel? What kind of companies do they work for? Do they and their companies experience enough value to return?

As I thought you might enjoy these visualizations as well I have posted them to the blog. If you want to hear more about our attendees’ experiencing, be sure to also check out the testimonials page over on the Masters Summit website.

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