QlikView Extensions: A New Feature in QlikView 10


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QlikTech recently released QlikView 10 and one of the new features introduced is QlikView Extensions. Aside from the general marketing information in press releases of the QlikView 10 launch, I found only two sources of information about this new feature: one is from the sample demo QlikView document included with the software installation and another one from the reference manual uploaded by someone to www.scribd.com. Please take note that I am using RC2 release of QlikView 10 as I write this post.

Update 10/20/2010: Extension Examples.qvw can now be viewed online from QlikView’s demo site. Click this link to launch the demo.

Extension Examples.qvw

QlikView 10 installation provides Extension Examples.qvw in Program Files\QlikView\Examples\Documents to demonstrate the capability of QlikView Extensions. This QlikView document requires the installation of the sample .qar files located in Program Files\QlikView\Examples\Extensions to view the samples. The succeeding texts are taken from the Intro and About sheets of Extension Examples.qvw.

What are Extensions?

QlikView Extensions is a new capability released for the first time in QlikView 10. Extensions enable custom visualizations and user interface components to be used within QlikView like any other QlikView object. This allows bespoke and third party visualizations to be fully integrated and take advantage of QlikView’s capabilities. Extensions work in both the desktop and AJAX client.

How do I configure it?

In the desktop client an Extension is automatically installed by double clicking the packaged Extension .qar file. The .qar file format is associated with QlikView and will automatically install the Extension to the correct location. To install an Extension on a server for use in the AJAX client, it must be set up manually. To use an extension in the desktop client, the document must be set to WebView mode. WebView mode can be enabled from the ‘View’ menu or the new toolbar button.

Where can I find sample .qar files?

Sample .qar files can be found in Program Files\QlikView\Examples\Extensions. Please double click each file to configure them in order to view the examples within this document.

Limitations

  • In QlikView 10 Extensions Objects are not visible in reports.
  • Extension Objects are not suited to visualize larger data volumes in the region of 10 thousand records or more and some complex visualization types such as complex hierarchical structures.
  • Extensions using Flash or Silverlight do not display in the 64-bit desktop client as Adobe/Microsoft do not provide provide 64-bit Flash/Silverlight plug-ins.

What Does This Feature Bring to QlikView?

A QlikView Extension allows you to visualize your data the way you want to use it. With Extensions fully interactive custom visualizations can be used directly from within QlikView. The feature enables the use of specialist visualizations and user interface components that are not present in standard QlikView today. Extensions allow developers, for example, to create and use a map, a tag cloud or an infographic chart directly from within their QlikView application like any other QlikView object.

How Does It Work?

QlikView Extensions are built by developers using standard web technologies and are installed alongside a standard QlikView installation. An Extension is developed and packaged by a developer ready to be installed then used within a QlikView application. This plug-in mechanism allows Extensions to be developed once and re-used in multiple QlikView applications. Once an Extension is built by a developer end users can easily add these from the palette of available objects. A developer can build an Extension with web technologies that work inside a web browser. These include – HTML, Javascript, Java, Flash, Flash, Silverlight. Existing third-party chart visualization libraries could also be used to create a QlikView Extension to be easily re-used across your QlikView applications.

How To Use An Extension?

To use an installed extension, right-click on the sheet and bring up the “New Sheet Object” window. The Extension installed are found below the list of standard QlikView objects. The Extension can now be configured using the corresponding properties dialog box similar to a standard QlikView Object.

Business Cases

The use of Extensions is extremely broad and can be used as solutions to a number of different scenarios. Add to documents where the following are considerations:

  1. A specialize or bespoke data visualization is required.
  2. A unique look and feel is desired.
  3. A visualization or user interface element is required that is not part of standard QlikView.

Upgrade Considerations

Prior versions of QlikView do not have the native ability to include Extension Objects. All upgraded documents will continue to work as they currently do. An Extension can be added to any existing document layout using QlikView 10 in Web View mode. If Web View mode is disabled, the Extension object will not display. If a document opened in an earlier version of QlikView, the Extension will NOT appear on the sheet.

 

QlikView 10 Reference Manual

The QlikView 10 Reference Manual has the following entries:

Extension objects

Via a new simple API it is now possible to write plug-in extension sheet
objects for integrated display in QlikView layouts (works in the Ajax client
and web view only). The extensions build on a QlikView chart object and
may be written in any modern web language, e.g. Flash, Silverlight,
JavaScript etc.

Workbench

The QlikView workbench has been simplified and there is now only one
ASP.NET control for all QlikView standard objects. Workbench supports
QlikView Extension Objects in Beta 2 as an alternative to extended workbench
controls.

QlikView JavaScript API

The new JavaScript API is a client-side API for use with the Workbench or
the standard QlikView Ajax client. This API is also for use with the development
of QlikView Extension objects. Documentation will be provided in
html format.

QlikView Extensions seems to be a really promising feature as it allows developers to integrate custom visualization or control which may be newly created or have already been created before to the QlikView document. In its previous versions, QlikView only allows OCX, or a COM-based control, to be integrated in the document. With the new feature, developers can develop sheet objects using other web technologies like Flash, Silverlight, JavaScript, etc.

What do you think of this new feature?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.
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4 Responses to QlikView Extensions: A New Feature in QlikView 10

  1. Pingback: Contents of a QlikView Extension .qar File | Jojit Soriano's Blog

  2. Pingback: QlikView 10 blog & resource round-up | The Qlik Fix!

  3. Aadil says:

    Wow… This is cool news…

  4. Siz says:

    Hi Jojit.

    Great compilation. I completely get how QlikView Extension can really give value add outside the existing charts. I’ve just given it a go and it all works. Looking forward to the open source QlikView Extension library. It’s going to be interesting once everyone catches up.

    Regards,

    Siz.

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