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How to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page

In this post, I will explain how to embed a QlikView dashboard into an OBIEE dashboard page.

This can be useful if you have a scenario where OBI is your primary platform, but there are also dashboards built in QlikView or some other BI Platform, and you want to direct the users to one place for all dashboards instead of having to explain to them to “go here for this, and there for that”.

So, I am assuming you already have a QlikView dashboard built that you would like to embed into OBIEE.

Create or edit your OBIEE dashboard page. While on the page in edit mode, drop in/drag in an “Embedded Content” object.
DashboardObjectsMenu_EmbeddedContent

With the Embedded Content Object on the dashboard page in Edit mode, edit the “Embedded Content” Object.
Edit_EmbeddedContent_Object

In the Embedded Content Properties dialog …
– Enter the URL to your QlikView dashboard
– Check the box for “This URL Embeds an Application”
– and enter the Width and Height you desire for the embedded area.
– Optionally, check the box for “Hide Scroll Bars”. Make sure not to check this box if your dashboard is vertically longer than a typical monitor.
EmbeddedContent_properties

Click OK, and then Save your dashboard page.

When you now open your dashboard in OBIEE, you will see your QlikView dashboard embedded within the page.

QlikView_Embedded_in_OBIEE

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this article useful.

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The CONCATENATE statement, concat() function, and string concatenation operator (&) in QlikView

In QlikView, there is the CONCATENATE statement, the CONCAT() function, and the string concatenation operator (the ampersand – &).  These are all very different and in this post I will explain each of them.

CONCATENATE statement

The CONCATENATE statement is used in conjunction with the LOAD statement.  It appends the rows of one table to another.  It is similar to a UNION ALL statement in SQL.

Let’s take a look at a couple examples using the following tables:

Employee_Location

Employee_ID Employee_Name Employee_Location
1 John NY
2 Mary NJ

Employee_Office

Employee_ID Employee_Name Employee_State
3 Jane FL
4 Evan NY

Employee_Position

Employee_ID Employee_Name Employee_Position
5 Paul Cashier
6 Sonia Salesperson

If we concatenated the Employee_Location and Employee_Office tables using the following load script …

[Employee_Location]:
 LOAD
 [Employee_ID]       as [%Employee ID],
 [Employee_Name]     as [Employee Name],
 [Employee_Location] as [Employee Location]
 FROM [… data source details for Employee_Location …]

CONCATENATE (Employee_Location)
 LOAD
 [Employee_ID]        as [%Employee ID],
 [Employee_Name]      as [Employee Name],
 [Employee_State]     as [Employee Location]  --aliased column
 FROM [… data source details for Employee_Office …]

We would get this result …

Employee_Location

Employee ID Employee Name Employee Location
1 John NY
2 Mary NJ
3 Jane FL
4 Evan NY

Now, if we concatenated the Employee_Location and Employee_Position tables using the following script…

[Employee_Information]:
 LOAD
 [Employee_ID]       as [%Employee ID],
 [Employee_Name]     as [Employee Name],
 [Employee_Location] as [Employee Location]
 FROM [… data source details for Employee_Location …]

CONCATENATE (Employee_Information)
 LOAD
 [Employee_ID]        as [%Employee ID],
 [Employee_Name]      as [Employee Name],
 [Employee_Position]  as [Employee Position]
 FROM [… data source details for Employee_Position …]

We would get this result …

Employee_Information

Employee ID Employee Name Employee Location Employee Position
1 John NY  
2 Mary NJ  
5 Paul   Cashier
6 Sonia   Salesperson

Notice that the concatenation works even if the tables do not have the same number of columns.  This provide more flexibility than the UNION or UNION ALL statements in SQL where you need to add a dummy column to the select list of your first table before performing the union.

Concat() function

The concat() function concatenates all the values of a column into a single delimited string.  The column and the delimiter are specified as parameters in the function.  You also have the option of producing the result string with only distinct values.

For example, if you have the following table …

Product_ID Product_Description Product_Category
1212 Pen Office Supplies
3214 Paper Paper
1345 Sharpener Office Supplies
1177 Eraser Office Supplies
2780 Calculator Electronics
2901 Computer Electronics
This statement: CONCAT(Product_Category, ‘,’)

Produces: Electronics, Electronics, Office Supplies, Office Supplies, Office Supplies, Paper
Notice there is a space after the comma in the delimiter, and therefore, there is a space after the comma in the output

This statement:   CONCAT(Product_Category, ‘|’)

Produces: Electronics|Electronics|Office Supplies|Office Supplies|Office Supplies|Paper
Notice there is no space in the delimiter, and therefore, no space between the values in the output

This statement:  CONCAT(DISTINCT Product_Category, ‘ | ’)

Produces:             Electronics | Office Supplies | Paper
Notice spaces in the delimiter, and distinct output.

Concatenation operator ( & )

When you need to concatenate 2 strings together, you use the concatenation operator – the ampersand (&).  For example, if you have address values in separate columns as in the table below …

Street City State Zip
123 Main St Orlando FL 32801

… you can output the address as one concatenated string by using the concatenation operator as shown in the script below …

[Street] & ‘, ‘ & [City] & ‘, ‘ & [State] & ‘ ‘ & [Zip]

[Notice a comma and a space is concatenated between Street, City and State; 
and only a space is concatenate between State and Zip]

… and that would produce the following result …
123 Main St, Orlando, FL 32801

How to load data from multiple Excel files with similar but different names and varying number of sheets in QlikView

This post describes a scenario for loading data into QlikView from multiple Excel files with similar but different names and a different number of tabs.

Let’s say you need to load multiple Excel files containing information about orders into your QlikView application.  These files have different names, and each file may have a different amount of sheets.

For example, you may have several files with Order information from different sources for multiple dates such as:

CallCenter_Orders_20150312.xlsx
InStore_Orders_20150311.xlsx
SalesRep_Orders_20150312.xlsx
SalesRep_Orders_20150311.xlsx

Let’s say each file has one or more sheets representing regions/divisions – West, Mid-West, North East, and South.  Some files may have all 4 region/division sheets, while others may have just one region sheet.

This script is one possible way of loading this data in QlikView using a single script. With some adjustments, this script may also work for Qlik Sense, but I did not test exactly what changes would be needed.

//-----------------------------------------------
// set the errormode so that your script will not fail when one or more of
// the 4 sheets is not found in any particular file
 SET ErrorMode = 0;
OrdersFileData:
 LOAD [CustomerID]  as [Customer ID],
 [OrderID           as [Order Number],
 [OrderDate]        as [Order Date],
 [ShipDate]         as [Ship Date],
 [Notes]            as [Order Notes],
 [Turn around days] as [Turnaround Days],
 'WEST'             as [Division] //identify region/division on all records
 FROM [..\Data\Text Files\*Orders*.xlsx] //wildcard allows load from all
                                         //xlsx files with “Orders” in the name
 (ooxml, embedded labels, table is WEST);  //load from the West sheet
CONCATENATE (OrdersFileData) //append data from Midwest sheet from all files
 LOAD [CustomerID]  as [Customer ID],
 [OrderID]          as [Order Number],
 [OrderDate]        as [Order Date],
 [ShipDate]         as [Ship Date],
 [Notes]            as [Order Notes],
 [Turn around days] as [Turnaround Days],
 'MIDWEST'          as [Division]
 FROM [..\Data\Text Files\*Orders*.xlsx]
 (ooxml, embedded labels, table is MIDWEST);
CONCATENATE (OrdersFileData) //append data from Northeast sheet from all files
 LOAD [CustomerID] as [Customer ID],
 [OrderID] as [Order Number],
 [OrderDate] as [Order Date],
 [ShipDate] as [Ship Date],
 [Notes] as [Order Notes],
 [Turn around days] as [Turnaround Days],
 'NORTHEAST' as [Division]
 FROM [..\Data\Text Files\*Orders*.xlsx]
 (ooxml, embedded labels, table is NORTHEAST);
CONCATENATE (OrdersFileData) //append data from South sheet from all files
 LOAD [CustomerID] as [Customer ID],
 [OrderID] as [Order Number],
 [OrderDate] as [Order Date],
 [ShipDate] as [Ship Date],
 [Notes] as [Order Notes],
 [Turn around days] as [Turnaround Days],
 'SOUTH' as [Division]
 FROM [..\Data\Text Files\*Orders*.xlsx]
 (ooxml, embedded labels, table is SOUTH);

STORE OrdersFileData into ..\Data\QVDs\OrdersData.QVD; // if loading to QVD 
DROP Table OrdersFileData; //if loading to QVD and not needed in memory
//-----------------------------------------------

QlikView vs. Qlik Sense

What is the difference between QlikView and Qlik Sense?  QlikView and Qlik Sense are both business intelligence platforms from the same company (Qlik), but are different products. Qlik Sense is not just a new version or release of QlikView.

The below table shows the differences and similarities between the 2 products:

QlikView Qlik Sense
First version released in 1996 First version released in 2014

Data Discovery

Same analysis/calculation engine – scripts and formulas will mostly work between the 2 platforms

Same green-gray-white (included-excluded) functionality

Both products/platforms will be enhanced and supported for the foreseeable future

Guided Analytics – drill-down and drill-through

Self-service data analytics and visualization

Dashboards and analytics/reports built by developers and pre-canned and configured for flexible user interaction Metadata for reporting developed by developers, and users create analytics
Users typically do not have the ability to create new analysis, but use the various features built to slice and dice the data. Users slice and dice the data in any creative manner that they see fit.
Open APIs allow for embedding Qlik Sense into website and other applications, and also for extending the application.
Cutting edge web interface – Responsive web interface – adapt to different screen sizes – from PC to tablet to phones – on any HTML5-compatible browser
Collaboration and story telling
Extensive Pixel-perfect formatting options

Which is better?  It depends.

If you have a user base and business needs that require answers to specific questions, without the need for user self-service BI, then QlikView is a good option.  Also, for very high control over all features of the visualizations you create, QlikView is the better choice.

However, if you have a sophisticated user base that desires to create their own analyses and business needs are more toward data discovery, then Qlik Sense is a good option.  Also, if you plan to or would like to make analytics available on all kinds of devices, then Qlik Sense is the way to go due to the responsive web design interface.

Of course, there will be other factors such as cost, and available resources and skills within the BI Team and supporting teams.  As with any software choice, a full analysis of the options and how they best meet the requirements is needed.

What is QlikView?

QlikView is a business intelligence platform.  It allows for quick development and deployment of business intelligence and analytics applications, and for easy consumption of those applications through the web by those authorized.

QlikView has a unique associative data model feature that allows for all of the data to be used for analysis without pre-defined drill-down or drill-through relationships.

QlikView also has an included-excluded type display feature (sometimes referred to with the phrase … the power of green-white-gray) that allows users to not only see what data is included in the selected set, but also see what data is not included, thereby enabling data discovery.

QlikView holds data for its applications in memory, which allows it to deliver results quickly without the need for pre-calculated / pre-aggregated cubes.

These features help to differentiate QlikView from other BI platforms, and are some of the reasons for its growth and its leadership position in the BI space.

You can learn more about QlikView and the company that creates this software, Qlik, by visiting the company’s website at: http://www.qlik.com/.

QlikView Desktop Installation

In this post, I will go through the simple process of installing QlikView Desktop.

From the Qlik website (www.qlik.com), navigate or search for the download.  Download the Free Personal Edition of QlikView. You will need to register to download.

 

Click the FREE DOWNLOAD button to download the software.QlikView_Installation_Download

After the download is complete, navigate to where you downloaded the software.  Double-click on the executable to run the program and start the install wizard, or in some cases, you may need to Right-click and select Run as administrator.

QlikView_Installation_Run

Choose your language and click OK.

QlikView_Installation_Lang

The Install Wizard is prepared.

QlikView_Installation_Wizard

Click Next at the Welcome dialog.

QlikView_Installation_WizardWelcome

Accept the license agreement and click Next.

QlikView_Installation_license

Enter Name and Organization name.

QlikView_Installation_cust

Accept the default directory or choose / enter the directory to which QlikView should be installed. The example below shows a non-default directory selected.

QlikView_Installation_choosefolder

Click Next to confirm the destination folder.

QlikView_Installation_destinationfolder

Choose Complete installation type (makes sense in most cases).

QlikView_Installation_type

Click Install to start the installation

QlikView_Installation_ready

It’s Complete. Click Finish.

QlikView_Installation_complete

Go to the Windows Start menu and navigate to QlikView. Launch the program.

QlikView_Installation_windowsmenu

QlikView launches.

QlikView_Installation_launch

You have successfully installed QlikView and you are ready to get going. It’s that simple.