I had a great time participating in the Hackathon at the recent Qlik World Conference in Orlando. The Hackathon challenge was to create a visualization solution to a United Nations challenge using the Qik Sense Mashup APIs. It was a stimulating exercise for a number of reasons — the subject matter, the company of talented practitioners, and the Sense API ease of use and powerful functionality.
Through my experience with using the APIs and talking with a number of customers at the conference, I see a clear opportunity for existing QlikView customers to leverage Sense as an Extranet or Mashup solution.
Many QlikView customers have apps that currently deliver great value inside the company. These apps may be mature, data dense and backed by a sophisticated data model. Everyone is happy, but there may be some discussion about providing a subset of the solution to external users like B2B customers over the web. That has been possible with QlikView, but it can be to be complex to implement. It’s much easier with Sense and I think Sense could be the killer solution for extranet reuse. Here’s why:
- The existing QlikView data model can be reused by Sense with a simple Binary Load. No need to write additional script and you maintain a single-version-of-truth for both internal and external users.
- The sense charts and visualizations are much more “webby” in appearance and behavior, meeting the modern expectations of web users and web developers alike.
- The APIs are powerful, clearly designed and will be easily understood by web developers tasked with integrating Qlik content and data into portals or other interface.
- Better APIs to get data from the Qlik engine. For example, there are methods to create and return “hypercubes” of data. Pass in Dimensions and Expressions and calculated data is returned — without the need to create a chart. The returned data can be visualized or used to drive another process.
- The new Session Authentication API can delegate user authentication to an existing portal session, eliminating the need for a piggybacking WebTicketing exchange. This satisfies the common customer requirement that “when the portal session ends, the Qlik session should end”.