QlikView is a popular business discovery platform that allows all the organizational users to do self-service BI. By using QlikView, you can analyze and visualize the data, their relationships, and use those analyses to make decisions. It can retrieve data from various sources along with files and relational databases. If any data source is too large for QlikView memory, then it can directly connect with that data source. QlikView compresses the data and keeps in memory so that multiple users can use it instantly for analysis purpose.
Though datasets are large, QlikView can analyze and grasp the overall picture, find connections between data, and provide insights of data. QlikView works the same way as the human brain works. Just like a human brain, QlikView also provides associative connections between data getting processed.
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Below are some features of QlikView which enables advanced reports from multiple data sources rapidly.
QlikView has many different applications. Which way you need to use is up to you. Below are few applications where you can use QlikView.
QlikView is a Windows-based application. QlikView architecture is separated between different roles. Its front end enables us to visualize the processed data whereas its back end provides security for QlikView documents. It is composed of 3 main components:
Moreover, it also contains few more components like QlikView Management Console and QlikView User Access. All these components contribute and help QlikView to design and develop applications.
Before digging into its architecture, let us first explore all its components to know how and why they are used
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QlikView Publisher is utilized as a distribution service, which can retrieve data from various data sources like data files, Informatica, Salesforce, etc., and load them into QlikView files (.qvd or .qvw). It distributes .qvw files between different QlikView users and servers. Moreover, it also manages access privileges and authorization.
QlikView Management Console is a web-based interface, managed by an IT professional. It is a central management console that handles all QlikView components.
QlikView User Access lies on the front end from where users can access QlikView and manipulate data files. Users can access this front end from any medium like web, mobile, desktop, laptop, etc.
QlikView Directory Service Connector can retrieve various user details for end-users from various sources such as Active Directory, ODBS, LDAP, and Custom Users. Web services use Directory Service Connector for the resolution of any group and DSC will search for their email addresses.
Now, let us see how all these components relate to each other and how they communicate with each other. The below diagram depicts how all components are interconnected.
The whole architecture is divided into 2 sets based on their roles:
The front end is the place where users communicate and manipulate data and documents which they have the authorization to access using QlikView Server. Moreover, the front end contains those documents which are created through QlikView Publisher in the back end. The front end is responsible for all the interactions happening between client and server. QlikView Server handles client authorization for the same.
The back end is the place where QlikView stores documents that are created by QlikView Developer. The source files have scripts to retrieve data from different data sources such as Excel, Salesforce, Data warehouses, SAP, etc. The distribution service is responsible for loading and distribution in the back end. The back end uses infrastructure resources like directory catalogs or SMTP servers for clustering.
The three-Tier architecture of QlikView contains 3 layers for extracting data from various sources, storing them into QlikView data files, applying business logic, and developing data models using QlikView data files (QVD files), and creating the dashboards so that end users can analyze and process the data.
Below are 3 tiers in QlikView architecture.
Let us explore each layer in detail to understand the importance of that layer in QlikView architecture.
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Let us have a look at few advantages of the three-tier architecture of QlikView:
Due to QVD files, loading can become 100 times faster than loading data from databases.
It provides more flexibility as QlikView uses binary load for the presentation layer. This transform can be utilized by multiple dashboards.
Maintaining QVD files is very easy as QlikView has separate QVD generator files for every data source. If there is any failure, it is very easy to find out the faulty one instead of taking down all the data sources to fix one.
Many applications can use QVD and transform files.
For any tool or technology, architecture plays a very important role. Here, understanding QlikView Architecture tells you a lot about how QlikView operates practically. As it is a self-serving software, it is very important to know its architecture before actually working on it.
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Vinod Kasipuri writes about various IT platforms such as QlikView, Qlik Sense, and Perl Scripting, at Mindmajix. He loves to explain the concepts he writes in simple terms. He is also engaged in researching trends in AngularJS and LabView. Reach out to him via LinkedIn and Twitter.