Butler SOS v2.0 – Real-time error and warning dashboards for Qlik Sense

This one is long overdue, but finally here: Butler SOS v2.0

The new version is an almost complete re-write of v1.0. Changes are plentiful and include

  • All warnings and errors stored by Sense in its log database are now pulled into Butler SOS, from where it can be graphed and acted upon.
    This is a big deal, as it was previously not possible to get notifications or alerts when errors or warnings started to pile up in the logs.
  • Operational health metrics are still pulled from Qlik Sense, but this is now done directly from the QIX engine rather than via a hard-to-secure virtual proxy.
  • Using certificates for authentication with Sense removes potential security issues with v1.0.
  • Config file is now YAML instead of JSON. More human readable and with inline comments.
  • Config file now allows for more fine-grained control of Butler SOS.
  • Several bugs fixed, especially around sending metrics to MQTT.

The readme file on GitHub has all the details, here are some screen shots to get you started though:

 

The new version is available on GitHub.

 

PS. This is blog post # 100. Yaaay!!!

Ptarmigan Labs is open for business!

Wow – after 10 years and one day at Spotify the time has come to take the next step.

Going forward I will work in my own company, Ptarmigan Labs AB.
The company’s focus will be more or less the same as what I have spent the past 6-7 years doing at Spotify, i.e. helping people, teams and organisations understanding, enriching and making use of their data.

Qlik Sense will remain my main focus, the Qlikosphere is really heating up with lots of interesting new features both launched and around the corner.
During the past 12 months Qlik Sense has really taken great steps towards becoming a proper enterprise grade BI platform.
Given this development I am really looking forward to Qonnections 2018 and the announcements that are likely to happen there. Interesting times!

You can reach me via info <at> ptarmiganlabs.com, or on LinkedIn.
My open source projects are found on GitHub, as always.

Onward!

iPhone killed the removable battery  –  How to make a charger for cell phone batteries

Last weekend I finally got around to doing something I have postponed for several years now.

Being somewhat of a gadget hoarder, I have ended up with quite a large stack of rechargeable batteries. Everything from 12 Volt lead-acid ones from old UPS:s to Lithium-ion variants from mobile phones.

The last kind are actually pretty interesting. They pack a significant punch when it comes to energy storage, the problem is that they are designed to go into cell phones (at least pre iPhone ones where you could remove the battery!), and there are thus no separate charging docks or battery holders.

Still, it would be sweet if they could be used to power electronics gadgets that I build myself…
It is of course possible, and even quite easy to do – here is the very first prototype in action:

Charger in action with Samsung B600BE battery

Continue reading “iPhone killed the removable battery  –  How to make a charger for cell phone batteries”

BigQuery ODBC driver now free from Google

 

A freebie for the weekend:

Looks like Google is now offering a free ODBC driver for BigQuery.

 

Google has licensed Simba’s driver, which is great! The Simba driver has proven very stable and performant, and being able to use it freely to access data in BigQuery is likely to benefit BigQuery adoption.

The Simba drivers support both Standard and Legacy SQL modes in BigQuery, as well as large result sets, and are confirmed to be working very nicely with Qlik Sense September 2017 version.

There are versions available for 32/64 bit Windows, OS X, and 32/64 bit Linux.

 

Same same but different

New look and feel of the blog, but focusing on the same topics.

Everything should in theory just work… but please report issues in the comments section below.

Thanks!

How to set up free SSL certificates for Qlik Sense

I recently had a need for an isolated Qlik Sense environment, in order to test some of the new features of Qlik Sense September 2017.

While it works perfectly fine to run Sense with self-signed certificates, you then get browser warnings that the certificates are not valid etc. That might be fine, but as the test at hand involved testing my app duplicator service for Qlik Sense (which require a proper SSL cert) together with the September 2017 version of Sense, I needed a proper SSL certificate.

As I have good experiences using the free certificates of Let’s Encrypt (they secure this blog, for example) I thought it would be a good exercise figuring out how to use them together with Qlik Sense Enterprise.

The notes below are largely reminders-to-self, in case I need to do this again some day. Maybe they can also be useful for others out there.

Continue reading “How to set up free SSL certificates for Qlik Sense”

Monitoring and auto-starting Node.js services on Windows Server

When relying on various Node.js services (e.g. Butler SOS, Butler, App Duplicator etc), you quickly run into the challenge to ensure all services are always up and running.
A failing service might be fine, as long as it is quickly restarted in a predictable way.

A concrete example could be Qlik Sense or QlikView apps that send status messages to Slack during the execution of their reload scripts. Those messages will fail if Butler is for some reason not running.

This leads us to the conclusion that the services must automatically be

a) started when a server is rebooted, and
b) restarted if they for some reason terminate/die.

Enter process monitors.

At their core, process monitors ensure that the desired processes are always running, i.e. bullet b) above. Some process monitors also offer additional features such as zero-downtime restart of services, memory and performance profiling of the monitored services, being able to monitor different kinds of processes (not only Node.js ditto).

Adding to the pain is the fact that Sense and QlikView runs on Windows servers, meaning that all those great tools available on Linux cannot be used.

Looking at Node.js specifially, I have found two process monitors to work well on Windows: Forever and PM2.

Continue reading “Monitoring and auto-starting Node.js services on Windows Server”