Thursday 26 February 2015

Qlik Sense FR1 - A little underwhelming?

So, it is finally here.  Qlik Sense v1.1.0, Feature Release 1, is now available for download and I would definitely encourage everyone to think about updating.

So what is new in this release:

-   A pivot table!
-   A new KPI object
-   Updates to the map object
-   A new way to create calendars - declare/derive
-   A whole load of stuff around server management and APIs.

I believe that the best work that has happened is actually the last bullet. Unfortunately this is the least interesting to the vast majority of people who are interested in what Qlik has to offer.

The new pivot table is good. It is nicely done and will work well for users who need it. I have not been a big fan of having a pivot table in a self-service data discovery tool, but you have to serve the market, and the market have been asking for it.

The new KPI object is, I think, fairly limited, but I do like the option to allow click through to other sheets. It would have been good to have seen this option also added to other objects, like the gauge and text.

The map has been updated to include its own tiles so that you don't have to add the custom Slippy map - although that is still available if you want it.  They have also added the facility to snapshot the map for stories. I think that they could have added some other functionality here, but it is still a good solution for most needs.

I was initially very interested in the new Declare / Derive functionality. It allows us to create a template for fields that can be derived from other fields and then apply it to several fields. The demo example is deriving different calendar fields from a date field, which could help replace some of the calendar scripts that we create and reuse in script. However, I was disappointed to see that some functionality that was in the demo script - creation of drilldown and "collection" (cyclic?) groups is not yet released. I was also disappointed to discover that such derived fields do not work in Set Analysis.

Further thinking on the Declare / Derive will be needed because I am struggling to see a use case for them beyond the calendar example. This calendar use case should really be handled for users, especially self-serving business users, within the UI - and maybe that is where this functionality will end up.

There is some good, and some very good, stuff in this new release.  I have to say though, that I am left a little underwhelmed.

Stephen Redmond is author of Mastering QlikView, QlikView Server and Publisher and the QlikView for Developer's Cookbook
He is CTO of CapricornVentis a Qlik Elite Partner.
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