Qlik Sense sheet icons made easy

If you develop Qlik Sense applications you’ve been there: Manually creating screen shots and then manually uploading them to a content library, and finally manually assigning them as sheet icons.

Fun? Not really. But it makes the lives of our end users easier, so we do it.

I’ve had this idea for years, but only got around to work on it recently.
Better late then never, the Butler family of open source tools for Qlik Sense has a new member:

Butler Sheet Icons

https://github.com/ptarmiganlabs/butler-sheet-icons

It’s an open source tool that will take screen shots of all sheets in a Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows app, upload the images to a content library and finally set the sheet icons of each sheet. Automatically.

The tool is cross platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Docker).
A single command will update all sheets in an app. Add a few lines of PowerShell script and you can automatically update all sheets in all apps…
Or run it as a Docker container as part of your CI/CD workflow.
Or manually when you have made UI changes to your Sense app.

Feel free to try it out, feedback, report bugs or contribute with new features!

Butler 5.0 is out – Extra mega super deluxe reload alerts for Qlik Sense

…and yes – Butler is still open source.

The step from 4.x to 5.0 indicates this is a major release.

Very much so in fact.
The main focus of the new version is on reload alerts. Rich email alerts were introduced in Butler 4.2, but that was really just the testing ground for what’s now available in 5.0.

Here’s the short version of what’s new:

  • Alerts for failed or aborted reloads can be sent to Slack, MS Teams, outgoing webhooks, MQTT or as email.
  • Alerts sent as email, Slack and MS Teams can all make use of all the rich formatting and layout options available on those platforms.
  • Alert emails can be sent to the owner of the Sense app that failed reloading.
  • A new API for doing partial (and full) app reloads was added. This means it’s now possible and even easy to do partial app reloads in Qlik Sense. One of the epic QlikView features finally become usable in Qlik Sense!

Interested in more details?
butler.ptarmiganlabs.com

Curious what the alerts look like in reality? Check out this video for a hands-on demo:

Superpowers to Qlik Sense Enterprise: The Traefik reverse proxy, part 1

Edit: A GitHub repository has been created with the files mentioned in this article:
https://github.com/mountaindude/qlik-sense-and-traefik

What’s Traefik and how does it relate to Qlik Sense?

Traefik is one of today’s most hyped reverse proxies. It’s available in both a commercial and a (very capable!) open source version. According to the company behind Traefik it’s been downloaded more than 2 billion times – that’s a lot…

In this blog post we’ll take a look at how Traefik can run natively on Windows server, providing services to a Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows cluster.
We will see how this can make Qlik Sense easier to use for end users as well as easier to run and operate for sysadmins.

Specifically, we’ll use Traefik to set up TLS secured access (a.k.a. https) to Qlik Sense, while at the same time establishing a solid platform to which we can add more features in coming blog posts.

Starting with the basics makes sense though – let’s get to it!

Continue reading “Superpowers to Qlik Sense Enterprise: The Traefik reverse proxy, part 1”

Black box monitoring of Butler tools – monitoring the monitor

This is part 3 in a series about how healthchecks.io can be used to solve various kinds of monitoring scenarios for Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows (QSEoW) environments.

Previous articles:

Part 1: Oh data where art thou?
Part 2: Black box monitoring of Windows servers

Tl;dr

Most of the Butler family of DevOps tools for Qlik Sense can now be monitored using healthchecks.io or similar tool.

If one of the supported Butler tools go down, an alarm is raised and one or more alerts are sent via email, Slack, Teams, PagerDuty or other supported channels.

This means that both infrastructure (servers etc), applications/services and data sources can be monitored using the same tool and on the same dashboards.

Health dashboard at Ptarmigan Labs, covering both servers, applications and data.
Continue reading “Black box monitoring of Butler tools – monitoring the monitor”

Butler SOS 5.4 is out: good looks and app details

Butler SOS provides real-time insights into Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows environments.

Time for another update of Butler SOS, this time to version 5.4.

Github release : https://github.com/ptarmiganlabs/butler-sos/releases
Docker image   : https://hub.docker.com/r/ptarmiganlabs/butler-sos
Documentation  : butler-sos.ptarmiganlabs.com

This release both adds some nice new features as well as enhancing existing ones and fixing some bugs. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

  • Track in detail what apps are loaded into each Sense server.
  • Regular apps and session apps are handled separately, making app metrics easier to understand and more relevant
  • Sample dashboards are now built using the brand new, shiny and all together awesome Grafana 7. Did I mention that Grafana 7 is awesome? Awesome.
  • Ever wondered how long Butler SOS has been running or how much memory it uses? The new uptime messages have you covered.
  • You are properly impressed with the uptime messages – good. Why not store them to Influxdb, so you can also visualize Butler SOS’ own memory use? It’s just a couple of changes in the config file away.
  • Better control over what features are enabled. Don’t need Docker health checks? Now you can turn that (and other) feature off.
  • Ah, you are a serious Sense user and have separate DEV and PROD environments? Good – now Butler SOS supports multiple instances running on a single server.
  • Who will monitor the monitor? Butler SOS can now send heartbeats to customisable URLs at desired intervals. Perfect if you want to monitor Butler SOS using for example healthchecks.io. Very, very cool actually.
  • Bugs, bugs and bugs. The known ones have been fixed. Keep reporting new ones!
  • Update all dependencies to latest versions, to ensure security concerns are adressed.

Curious what it looks like in practice?
Seeing is believing:

Animated GIF horror for Qlik Sense

Parrot, anyone?

Qlik Sense is very much my go-to tool for many data related questions.
It’s very powerful to be able to throw together a proof of concept or test a hypothesis in half an hour.
Seeing is however believing, so those prototypes does need some polishing before they can be seen as production grade.

I have always pushed my peers in the Qlikosphere to become better at using icons for their Qlik Sense apps in general, and also for the sheets within those apps.
Having an icon for a sheet within an app makes it way easier for the user to find a particular sheet – humans are visual by nature.

Continue reading “Animated GIF horror for Qlik Sense”