Form Input and Commenting in Qlik

A common desire from Qlik customers over the years has been the ability to interactively edit data on a QV sheet and persist the changes in Qlik or maybe write back to another system. As Martin Mahler of VizLib describes it “turning a one-way data street into a two-way street”.

Sometimes the term “writeback” is used to describe the idea of inputting data in a Qlik app and persisting that data — writing back  the data — to some other system.  The new data is saved and shared with other users of the app. Importantly,  in a form/writeback application, the added data is associated with some row of the data model. For example, in a warranty claims app we may have a dropdown that allows the user to categorize each claim.  The assigned category is used in further analysis.

I think of “commenting” as making annotations on a chart, or chart data point, and a given set of selections.  Ideally, comments may turn into a discussion and use some sort of notification mechanism.

These are not pure terms. There are overlaps to be sure.

I’ve seen some interesting bespoke implementations by partners.  There is also a growing list of off the shelf products that enable writeback and or commentary within Qlik Sense or QlikView.

Some products are Qlik Sense only, some work with both QlikView and Qlik Sense.

Most products allow you to create table sheet objects that mix Qlik DImensions and Expressions with additional input fields such as freeform text, dropdowns or checkboxes.  They all persist the data to some type of backend store such as a database.

When evaluating a product for your requirements, here are some items to consider:

  • Do you have requirements for read-only and update users?
  • Are you looking to add additional data in a single chart or do you need to reference the new data from multiple charts?
  • Are you looking to add one to one new data or build complex workflow apps?
  • Does your business objective require structured form data,  free-form commentary or both?

There are an interesting range of products and capabilities out there.  Klikins and Emark Forms for example let you add new fields to a straight table.  One of the more interesting approaches is K4 Analytics, which embeds Excel into Qlik. This provides the full range of Excel formula and formatting functions. You can build some pretty powerful aps this way.

There are products that focus on finance reports. TrueChart creates a set of functional and beautiful IBCS compliant reports along with a nice navigation interface that can be reused throughout the Qlik app.

Both TrueChart and Climber Finance Report support the type of commenting and annotations user require in finance reporting.  I’m excited that the Climber commenting is being expanded and released as a generic commenting & collaboration product by VizLib. Qommentary is another global commenting solution.

Here in no particular order are some Writeback / Commenting products I’m aware of. The headings are links to the vendor site.

I’m sure I’ve missed some products.  Feel free to leave me a comment if you have something to share.  It would also be good to hear about use cases where you have found value in implementing an input/writeback solution.

Inform Write 

QlikView and Qlik Sense

K4 Analytics

QlikView and Qlik Sense

TrueChart

Qlik Sense

Emark Forms

Qlik Sense

Klikins

QlikView and Qlik Sense

Pomerol Writeback

Qlik Sense

Qommentary

Qlik Sense

VizLib 

Qlik Sense

 

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9 thoughts on “Form Input and Commenting in Qlik”

  1. Hi

    It is possible to create a solution for data input or commenting completely license free and without using extensions in Qlik Sense by using AirTable, the Sense Rest connector and a simple Qlik sense Widget. Almost no coding required for a simple POC.

  2. Hi Rob,
    First of all thanks for taking time to look into this interesting topic. I agree that it is very much wanted functionality to enable “2 way street” in Qlik applications.

    I was involved in big project some time ago where commentary was part of weekl/monthly performance review process. There were additional requirements around workflow, comments approval, process and review.
    The bottom line is that Qlik sense + writeback (with workflow) was a platform for company periodical performance review, taking out hours of work (copying/pasting screenshots to PPT, commentary etc.). We ended up designing our own custom built solution.
    Problem where all the add-ons will fail sits in quite obvious Qlik Sense purpose – it is not a DB and will not always retains all data in model, hence sometimes your write back relates to not existing records in Qlik application. This is common with big data sets and rolling periods (say last 12 months) loaded to QVW or QVF.
    Other than that I see huge potential in “writeback” + integration solutions.
    Will check some of the products as I am curious how they evolved since i looked at them last time.

    cheers
    Lech

    1. Hi Lech, I’m Sebastian – CEO of Qommentary.

      I read your comment and felt it might be good to connect. We are the only TED accredited partners in the market with a unique focus on collaboration extensions. Qommentary provides out of the box a robust approval workflow and security permissions framework which can all be managed with a separate admin console at enterprise level.

      Drop as a line at info@qoresolutions.com if you’re interested to find out more. We can easily set you up with a 30-days trial on-premise, so that you can lead a POC with your own applications.

      Best regards!

      Sebastian .-

  3. Hi,
    I wonder why nobody ever mentions the good old comment function of View, called „note“…

    Ok, it adds a comment only to a visualization, not a data row. But at least you could save comments, add bookmarks (snapshots) and initiate complete discussion threads.

    This is a function I desperately miss in Sense and the new rudimentary „Share“ button extension is not even close to this kind of collaboration.

    Does anybody know about such a functionality in Sense?

    Keep Qliking
    Michael

    1. The QlikView annotation feature never quite got the love. It is pretty useful, but in my opinion it suffered from being an 80% implementation, never seemed to make it all the way to the finish line.

      Both the Qommentary and VizLib Commentary products provide the equivalent to annotations in Sense, but done much better than what we have in the native QV feature.

    2. Checkout Qommentary. We’ve been using it for a while across various business units and it’s by far the best I’ve seen out there. Quite robust, they can handle complex approval workflows and it was a really easy to install. Support is also great and responsive. Hope it helps.

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