Posting to Slack from Qlik Sense load scripts, part 1

When thinking about it, it’s kind of strange that Slack has been so enormously successful.

Sure, it’s a great instant messaging tool, but it’s not a new concept – IM tools have been around for decades, and IRC, Google chat and others rose to be very dominant and present in everyone’s minds.

Still, Slack does bring something new with the ease of setup, the slick user interface, really good clients on both web, Windows, OSX, IOS and Android. And more than anything else, they provide a very extensive set of integrations (also mentioned in earlier post on great OSX tools), which makes it a breeze to have other systems send messages, status notifications etc to your Slack channel. Or vice versa – messages in Slack can be sent to those other systems. As of this writing the list of integrations is more than 85 entries long, including services like Dropbox, IFTTT, Twitter, various email integrations, Jira etc.

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Qlik Sense servers need time server connectivity to stay in sync

QlikLogoProbably pretty obvious when thinking about it in retrospect, but this one hit us the other week.

After setting up some Qlik Sense servers without any real issues (rather the opposite – it is incredibly quick and easy to deploy an Enterprise scale Sense system!), one day one of the rim nodes fell off the cluster and showed up as red in the QMC.

The Windows server itself was fine, we could RDP into it without any problems whatsoever. But after trying to restart the Sense services on that server, none of them came back up, except for the Repository Database service. Nothing really helpful in the logs either. Rebooting the entire server didn’t help. That rim node was dead in the water.

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Qlik Sense and QlikView code snippets available as GitHub Gists

I finally got around to start using GitHub Gists a bit more systematically for storing useful bits of code. Going forward I will post useful, reusable pieces of Qlik Sense and QlikView code there. My own experience tells me there is tons of time to be saved by reusing existing code rather than writing it from scratch each time..

All gists available here.

IMHO GitHub could improve the gists concept by adding tags to them, that way it would be way easier to find relevant gists. Or I’ll move to some other tool if/once I find it… Any suggestions on good ones? Leave a note in the comments!

Does Qlik Sense make sense? Not always…

Qlik Sense is pretty cool. Ok, it’s early days and they are still on version 1.x, but still – lots of potential there.

And the name is kind of neat too – Qlik’s marketing people must have had a long hard think before settling on “Sense” for their next gen product… There are just so many puns and word games that keep popping up.

Sense did however give us a good laugh the other day. Trying to open a Sense app that was developed some time ago, we got this error message. Now that’s pretty funny..

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Using Slack to monitor Qlikview and Qlik Sense

Slack has only been around since August 2013, but I would definitively say it’s one of the better Slack integrationsteam communication services out there. The web client is great, and the OSX and IOS clients are truly awesome. It integrates with tons of other services, including Dropbox, GitHub, IFTTT, Jira, Google Drive, RSS, Nagios, Yo, Twitter and Pingdom are just some of the services it supports (as of today they seem to support ca 75 integrations). There are also generic connectors for incoming and outgoing webhooks, especially the incoming webhook feature will be interesting from a systems monitoring perspective – it will allows us to post messages to Slack by just calling a certain URL.

In this post we will look how we can use this to both monitor the various QlikView services, as well as monitor the transfer of files (e.g. data files used by QV) to a QV server, and a as a generic way of sending notifications from QlikView Management Console (QMC).

Most of the concepts below also apply to Qlik Sense, of course.

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Qlik Sense keyboard shortcuts

Qlik Sense is very nice in most ways, the development environment however still falls short when compared to the one found in QlikView. Having a proper Windows client (which QlikView has) just gives more flexibility than using a web based editor and development environment.

Don’t get me wrong – Sense gets the job done – just that for people whose muscle memory is tuned to the QlikView development environment, Sense feels somewhat limiting and slow. That said, after spending a fair bit of time both porting existing QlikView apps to Sense, as well as developing new Sense apps from scratch, the development environment becomes less and less of an issue. I’d say that Qlik still has way to go though. But hey – we are looking at version 1 – I am sure there are plenty of good things to come in future versions.

Anyway – if you spend significant parts of your days in an application, you want to be as effective as possible in your work. QlikView has quite a few powerful keyboard shortcuts, Qlik Sense has somewhat fewer, but still useful. These are listed in this online Qlik Sense help page.

Seems that the help page is not complete though – some shortcuts are not listed there.
Let’s compile a list of them here, please feel free to add additional ones in the comments!

Ctrl-KComment (using //) the lines currently selected in the code editor.