Technologies | April 21, 2023

Do we still need extensions for Qlik Sense? Latest news in Qlik 2022!

Every Qlik Sense update brings changes that have an effect on the comfort of working with this popular Business Intelligence tool. What changes did last year bring, and what new functionalities did Qlik gain after a facelift? We invite you to familiarize yourself with a brief summary of 2022 in Qlik. We will also try to look to the future and find the answer to the question: Will we soon be able to do without external providers’ extensions?

qlik sense extensions

New Qlik every 10 weeks

In a trend also observable with other Business Intelligence tool providers, Qlik has decided to regularly provide updates for its current flagship tool – Qlik Sense. The time between releases, often containing new, useful functionalities, is now even as short as 10 weeks. Thanks to these frequent updates, we can take delight in new functionalities that bring measurable benefits to users every few weeks. It also guarantees that the tool we use is constantly being improved and adapted to the latest standards. As for extensions, they are published by external providers and developers on the Qlik Branch portal.

In this article, we will try to answer a question that many users may already be asking themselves right now. Will it be possible to cope without third-party extensions thanks to the ongoing improvements provided by Qlik? Let’s take a look at recent changes in Qlik and the extensions available there. In particular, we would like to focus on the new functionalities in 2022.

What is new in Qlik Sense 2022?

Qlik Sense offers tools to visualize and model data, and collaborate in a team, allowing you to better understand data and make business decisions, thereby helping to increase operational efficiency. Last year, four major versions of Qlik Sense were released, namely:

  • February 2022,
  • May 2022,
  • August 2022
  • November 2022.

In recent years, Qlik has been developing the option of simultaneous use of QlikView and Qlik Sense. The provider is also increasingly focused on improving areas such as enhanced intelligence, Machine Learning, the multi-cloud engine, data management and Big Data analytics. The novelties that appeared in 2022 concern both the frontend side, important for the developers and end user, as well as the backend, important from the administrators perspective. Below we have prepared a summary of the most important, in our opinion, novelties introduced in 2022.

Migration from QlikView to Qlik Sense

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Augmented analytics

Insight Advisor is a quick and easy way to ask questions and discover interesting insights using natural language. In the new version, when users select or search for appropriate fields, it provides more detailed periodic analysis in the form of entire dashboards. In other words, instead of a simple chart, the user receives one or more charts and KPIs along with a filtering panel that allows them to select the data of their interest.

qlik sense extensions

Custom tooltips for KPI

App developers can add custom tooltips to KPIs. Previously, tooltips could not be added to objects without dimensions. Currently, we can create a custom tooltip in the form of a cloud, adding more information to the visualization. The tooltip will appear when you hover over the visualization. Such tooltips are available for several types of charts: pie, bar, KPI, line, combo or map view.

qlik sense extensions

Functions of Cephes library

Statistical distribution functions provide information about the probability of different results for a particular input variable. In 2022, features from the Cephes library were added that allow for more advanced statistical analysis of the simulation.

Chart-level scripts

Chart-level scripts are an advanced feature that allows you to modify a dynamic dataset on a chart using a subset of the Qlik scripting language. It uses techniques such as variables and loops. You can now add or modify rows and columns that were not in the original dataset.

Better data visualization – style pane for bar and pie charts

App creators can now style the font used in titles, captions, and footnotes on bar and pie charts. This means more options for customizing visualization. The new “General” tab contains options for changing the font type, size, color and highlighting. The Chart card allows you to style bars on the bar chart and slices on pie charts.

External and internal set expression in set analysis

Analysis of sets is a useful feature that can be used to compare your current selection with a specific value (for example, last year’s value or market share). In 2022, the option to use set expression for master measures was added, e.g.: {} [Master measure].

qlik sense extensions

Qlik Web Connectors included in Qlik Sense Enterprise Client-Managed

The Qlik Web Connectors package is a web service that facilitates the downloading of data from social media and Internet sources using the API. Just specify the type and amount of data you want to download, and Qlik Web Connectors will generate the appropriate scripts. Previously, it was necessary to install QWC on Windows. Currently, the following connectors are available in Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows without the need to install them separately:

  • Facebook Insights,
  • Google Ads
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Search Console
  • Outlook 365,
  • Mailbox IMAP,
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM V2,
  • OData
  • Qualtrics,
  • SMTP
  • SurveyMonkey,
  • YouTube Analytics,
  • GitHub, Google Analytics,
  • Jira
  • Twitter
  • Amazon S3
  • Azure Storage,
  • Dropbox
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Google Drive
  • Office 365 SharePoint,
  • OneDrive

Favorites apps in a hub

Hub is a place where all the applications you have access to and permissions to are located.

To make it easier to access apps in the hub, a feature has been added to mark private or published apps as favorites. Such apps are marked with a star icon and displayed in the new “Favorites” section.

qlik sense extensions

Note – This section will only be visible if at least one app is marked with a star.

Visualization Enhancements – New Grid Graph Appearance

Enhancements to the grid chart allow labels to be displayed for each data point on the chart. Labels identify the measure value for the data point. As part of preparations to the Heatmap object discontinuation in the current version, the grid chart now contains two layouts: the standard and the new Heatmap option.

qlik sense extensions

Formatted export to Excel

Formatting options are now supported when exporting simple tables to Excel. Exported tables contain summaries and styles as they appear in Qlik Sense.

Duplicating tasks in QMC

This is an option for administrators, which was added in November 2022 at the the request of one of the members of the Qlik Sense community, who advised that it would be as useful as the option to copy the application. Qlik listens to ideas and needs reported on the forum eagerly and now QMC users with appropriate permissions can duplicate tasks.

Bars with messages in hub

Administrators can now publish bars with information, e.g. about ongoing development work or errors. There are four different color types:

  • Standard
  • Info
  • Warning
  • Error

You can set the text and duration of the message display.

Overwriting extensions in QMC

Another novelty is an option to replace the existing extension with a new one with the same name in QMC. Existing files are overwritten by new ones, without affecting the GUID of the extension or related items, such as non-standard security rules.

Read also: QlikView and NPrinting Support Services

Managing tasks at the hub level

Users with the appropriate permissions can now easily create, run, stop, and view tasks from the hub. This feature is disabled by default.

qlik sense extensions

Hiding empty streams in the hub

In the hub, streams without any applications – either empty streams or those that do not show applications due to existing user safety rules – will not be displayed. When you publish or move an application from another stream or delete an application, the stream list is updated dynamically and will be visible or hidden depending on whether the stream contains an application. Changes outside the hub, such as in QMC, will not cause updating the list of streams in the hub.

Qlik new functionalities

In our view, these are the most important changes to the Qlik analytical platform. A list of all changes can be found on the official Qlik Sense help page. Thanks to the new functionalities, the provider meets the expectations of customers who want to explore and visualize data from various systems themselves, but as many examples show – is also open to the ideas of developers and administrators.

You can contact our experts if you want to know more about Inetum’s BI solutions offer. We are happy to help if you are interested in implementing Qlik Sense, training, competence development or just want to talk about data analysis opportunities in your company or share insights.

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Qlik Sense – do we still need external extensions?

Do we still need extensions of external providers for Qlik Sense due to constant improvements and recent updates? The best answer would be: it depends. Each implementation of Business Intelligence is unique, tailored to the specific client’s needs. Companies like Vizlib provide plenty of possibilities in their library facilities. However, it cannot be denied that many functionalities previously available only in external extensions are now available to the user in the basic version provided by Qlik. Given the interval at which new versions of Qlik Sense appear, we predict that over time the tool will become even better. We hope that in the future it will allow users to opt out of external extensions.

Summary

Analyzing even the last few versions of Qlik Sense, we can see how Qlik has improved its product. At this point, it addresses even more of the current needs of users, who often report them directly to the provider. The development of Qlik Sense is also in line with the latest trends in the development of Business Intelligence tools, providing new functionalities in short periods of time. We hope that this review will help current users make optimal use of the new functionalities of the Qlik Sense tool.

Authors

  • Szymon Serwin, Senior Business Intelligence Specialist / Technical Leader,
  • Michał Ogonowski, Principal Qlik Leader

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