Qlikster

QlikView & Qlik Sense Integration Blog

Back Online

Qlikster has been down for a very long time but having just noticed that version 3 of BlogEngine.NET had been released I thought I would take a couple of hours to get the blog back online.

I am usually blogging now over on the official QVSource blog but might start blogging personally over here or at a new non Qlik specific URL soon.

That's all for now!

A major milestone but no time to stand still

(This is a repost from the main QVSource blog here.)

We achieved a major milestone this month which marked the end of our first year of providing QVSource commercially.

We are considering the first year a great success and are delighted that already all of our earliest customers (excluding one desktop only user) have renewed for the second year - thank you!

We have also maintained the highest rated position on QlikMarket and currently have 18 5-star reviews - if you are a user and like the product please take a minute to rate us.

But it's no time to get complacent - we have been connecting QlikView to APIs since the end of 2010 when QVSource development began, and with all the experience we have gained and lessons we have learned we know we can still do many things better. Year one was about getting the basics right, next we will be focusing on usability and performance.

So this is half of a two part post on some of the improvements we are working on. In this post I'll look at our front end (user interface) and how it's changing and in the next post I'll look at our 'back end' QlikView scripting and how we are planning to simultaneously reduce complexity and improve performance.

Our current connector config UI is perfectly functional and gets the job done but there are a few challenges it still presents:

  • It shows all the input fields all at once, even though some may not be relevant to all the tables you are interested in.
  • It lacks supportive information about the fields and tables.
  • Each connector's UI is manually built which leads to some inconsistencies between connectors.
  • It presents all the tables all of the time, even though 80% of users will typically only use a common subset of tables.

A case in point is the Twitter Connector - here's a screen shot of the current version:

Current users will no doubt recognise this and some of the issues outlined above which it presents. I am not picking on this connector, I think all but the simplest of connectors have a similar issue.

So we are now re-developing the connector config user interfaces to have a layout which looks more like this (note this is still in development so the soon to be released version might differ slightly): 

A few things to point out.

At the top left a new drop down now allows the user to see different groups of tables. This is because for many connectors, 80% of users will typically only use a common subset of tables so now the first time they use the connector they are presented only the most common or popular ones to avoid information overload. The drop down allows you to select different grouping and of course 'All Tables' will be an option for power users: 

Below the table list we now have a new area where additional information about the selected table which could be relevant to the user is shown - here we see an example for the Twitter search table:

This will often essentially be us mapping relevant documentation from the underlying API to the QVSource user. Hyperlinks can also be included here to link to our docs or other relevant web pages.

The final big change is the input parameter section - this should now only show input parameters for the currently selected table:

Which should make the connector far more intuitive to use. This interface is also now 'auto generated' which means that there will be a much greater level of visual consistency between the connectors and also makes our SDK easier to use as you simply need to define which parameters each table needs and let the framework take care of the rest.

You should also notice that we now have tool tips on some of the fields - where necessary this allows additional helpful information about the fields to be show.

Finally, when the table's data is requested we now have much improved parameter validation before the request even gets to the connector. Here we see what happens when the Search table is requested without entering a query.

We hope you like the new changes, as they are still being worked on please let us know any further suggestions or concerns you might have and we will try to address them in the coming weeks.

In the next blog post I'll be discussing some of the changes we are making to simplify and improve the performance of the QlikView scripting for QVSource.

New Blog For QVSource

QVSource has a new blog - this blog to be precise!

We have been publishing QVSource related posts over here at Qlikster since launching the product and we will continue to echo posts over here for the foreseeable future.

However, blog.qvsource.com will be the new home of QVSource focused posts going forward and we would encourage any interested users to subscribe to the RSS feed from their favourite feed reader (personally, I love Reeder on my iPad).

Alternatively, you can sign up for email updates or just check back at the new site once in a while.

The plan is of course in creating a new blog is to start making more posts for the QVSource user community - let us know if there is anything you would like to see and please check back soon!

QlikView Use QVSource To Help Power New Presidential Election 2012 Analysis Application

QlikView have just launched a brand new live demo application for analysing data for the upcoming US presedential election and we're delighted that it uses QVSource as an integral component to link to the Twitter and Saplo (Sentiment Analysis and Text Analytics) APIs.

The Twitter Connector has been available in QVSource since launch and we have been working closely with Saplo to add connectivity to their API to the QVSource Sentiment Analysis & Text Analytics Connector and this functionality is now available in the latest release of QVSource. More detail on the application can be found in this PDF.

The 2012 Presidential Election demo analyses the content of Twitter and news articles regarding the candidates allowing analyis of sentiment for the candidates and investigating how people feel about them with regards to top topics such as the economy and health care.

QVSource allows QlikView users to quickly and easily connect to hundreds of APIs including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Analytics/AdSense/AdWords/Spreadsheets, Salesforce and many many more. For more information and a free fully functional evaluation as well as a large number of free demo template applications please visit our website.

New QVSource Release 1.3.2

On Friday afternoon we pushed out a major new release of QVSource to all our users. You should have received the update in a newsletter - if you didn't receive this please let us know so that we can ensure you receive future updates.

You will also find the list of main changes below. As you will see there are a number of exciting updates including new connectors to Google AdWords, Salesforce, iTunes Connect and the Windows Azure Data Marketplace.

.NET 4

One of the major changes is an upgrade to .NET 4. So you will now need to have this installed on your system in order to use QVSource. You can download it here although there is a good chance it is already installed on your system.

QVX

QVX is now the default response format for QVSource and we would recommend upgrading your existing scripts.

New Connectors

  • We have a brand new Salesforce Connector - In addition to allowing you to run any Salesforce search or query this Connector is also completely flexible in allowing you to run any valid REST query against the API. You can also specify the REST API version number meaning you will always be able to use the very latest version of the API!
  • We have a brand new Google AdWords Connector!
  • We have a brand new Windows Azure Data Market Connector which allows you to connect to the 135+ data sets and APIs hosted on this platform. Tableau and PowerPivot users have been able to use this service for a long time and now QlikView users can too!
  • We have an updated (v2) of the Google Spreadsheets Connector which uses OAuth and means that QVSource no longer needs to store your username and password - we would recommend all users upgrading to this as it will replace the current version which will be deprecated in due course.

Other Connector Updates

We also have a number of other exciting updates. Please note that there is one BREAKING change and one IMPORTANT change below in the Facebook Connectors.

  • QVSource can now be run in asynchronous mode which can mean huge performance boosts (up to 90%!) in certain use cases such as sentiment analysis - see here for more information.
  • We have made a couple of updates to the new Klout Connector and improved the demo apps and strongly advise all users to upgrade to using this version ASAP. The previous version of this Connector will be deprecated at the end of the year when Klout turn off the old version of their API.
  • We have updated the Facebook Insights Connector to include a start and end date for requesting data and also improved the performance. The Connector also has a new drop down listing all the properties the authenticated user can access and a new pacific_time column which indicates the date which the data refers to (rather than the first moment of the day after which the API returns and can be confusing). Please note that there is also BREAKING CHANGE (the 'api_page' column has been removed and should also be removed from your load scripts)..
  • We have updated the Facebook Fan Pages Connector - it is IMPORTANT that you upgrade as Facebook have changed their API slightly and the current/previous versions of QVSource will no longer correctly extract the likes count in the CommentsForItem table. We have also added is_published, description, were_here_count, checkins and talking_about_count columns to the Page table and a brand new QuestionAnswers table to retrieve the results of a poll (change log).
  • The General JSON/XML Web API Connector now supports HTTP PUT and DELETE requests. setting a minimum time between requests (some APIs for example enforce a per second query limit) and sending a cookie with the request (which can help in accessing password protected pages). We have also put up a sample script showing how to extract tasks from Asana.
  • The iTunes Connect Connector now supports extracting pass key protected reports.
  • We have made a number of improvements and additions to the connectivity to the Saplo Text Analytics API in the Sentiment Analysis and Text Analytics Connector.
  • The bitly Connector now works with https links.

General Updates

As usual there have been a number of core performance improvements which should benefit all users and all connectors.

Staying Up To Date

Don't forget, we have altered our wiki so that new accounts are automatically activated via email and we have activated all users who have previously attempted to create an account. We recommend you use the wiki (instructions here) to receive automatic alerts when connectors, features and demo apps you are interested in are updated.

Download Version 1.3.2

If you are a customer or partner or currently evaluating QVSource you will be able to access this new version immediately at the download link you should have been sent.

Need an Extension?

If your QVSource trial licence has expired but you would like to give it another go, just email us a copy of your licence file and we will get you set back up again!