3 Ways to Customize QlikView Functionalities for Better, Faster Results

Akshay JainMarch 2, 2016

Many of our clients have turned to QlikView as their preferred BI and data analytics tool—and for good reason. Not only is QlikView easily deployable and configurable, but thanks to its in-memory database, it offers incredible speed and performance. Additionally, QlikView’s patented “associative technology” ensures that users derive intelligence and insights on demand, while its user-driven interface makes it simple for both technical and non-technical users to produce stunning reports within minutes of installation.

Despite all of these great features, QlikView does have its limitations. In situations where traditional QlikView functionalities cannot achieve the desired outcome, a customized approach can help. While there are numerous ways to customize QlikView, in this post, we highlight three ways our InfoCepts team has customized QlikView to achieve better data visualization and analytic results for our customers:

Case 1: Designing a Drop Down Select for Responsive Navigation
With numerous reports classified into different categories, our client needed a way to improve the ease of navigation so that users could quickly and efficiently find and access specific reports.

To address the issue, we customized text boxes in QlikView to create a drop down select feature. By using variables with appropriate actions, the drop down menu allowed users to easily select and navigate to the screen of their choice. Highlighting activated sheets with a different color further improved the ease of navigation for users.

This custom approach has several advantages. First, a drop down select conserves screen space—with the list’s options hidden, a lot of information can be included in the form without cluttering the entire page. Second, a drop down provides a logical grouping of the content. Finally, a responsive select menu creates a familiar user experience, similar to the type of drop down navigation found on websites.

Case 2: Creating a Default Selections Macro
Our client was managing numerous reports from multiple sources and needed to set a number of defaults across multiple screens. Manually selecting these defaults was time-consuming and the client was looking for a better way to handle the issue.

Typically, developers would address this issue by creating a trigger or a bookmark in QlikView. However, there were downsides to both approaches. Using triggers can have a substantial impact on performance. Bookmarks, on the other hand, do not create performance issues, but they remain visible to the users—something the client wanted to avoid as well.

To speed the modification process while avoiding the downsides of triggers and bookmarks, InfoCepts determined a macro would be the best solution. Macros are VB script or J script codes written inside a QlikView document. The macro was written for default selections to be enabled on post reload. Using ActiveDocument and the Select function, the required values would be selected from a dimension. This dimension could also be evaluated by selecting minimum/maximum values or a specific period range using the Evaluate function.

The benefits of this approach were many:

  • Reduced the overall time to select defaults
  • Improved the overall performance of the system
  • Usable across applications
  • Created a post reload macro that is supported when running in AJAX client

Case 3: Using Macros to Automatically Update Graph Data
A client had a number of graphs in a PowerPoint template. The current process was to export the data to Excel, then generate the graphs in Excel and import these into PowerPoint. It was a multi-step process that took considerable time.

While skipping the Excel step would save time, QlikView can only export data, not graphs, so this step could not be skipped. For a solution, InfoCepts determined that using macros would essentially automate the process for the client and save considerable time.

To create the custom macros, InfoCepts wrote two macros, using a VB script. The first macro exported the data from QlikView to Excel while the second macro exported the data from Excel to PowerPoint. With the macros in place, the client only needed to run the macros and the PowerPoint presentation would be automatically updated with the new data, saving the client significant time, eliminating errors, and allowing the graphs to be quickly and consistently updated.

As these cases illustrate, customizing QlikView functionalities can not only improve the data environment—making it easy for end-users to see and understand the data—but save time, simplify processes, reduce errors, and improve performance.

Interested in how QlikView can be customized to improve your BI and analytics environment? Give us a call, we have the expertise to guide you to the best approach for the best results.