Many people and organisations are considering moving their existing QlikView applications into Qlik's more modern product offering, Qlik Sense. This post aims to provide some information about the benefits of converting, as well as outline a strategy for migration.
- So far, Qlik have been allowing our (Keyrus Spain) clients with existing QlikView deployments to translate each Named CAL into a Qlik Sense Token.
- One token = One user / 10 hourly sessions that refresh once a month.
- Qlik have offered them to have in parallel both QlikView and Qlik Sense to make migration easier during a limited period (1 month or so).
- This is where a data governance tool such as Quilliup can come into play for validation best practices.
- Qlik Sense is built on HTML5 and so it is mobile friendly. All applications dynamically resize to fit your screen regardless of the device, unlike in QlikView.
- The license model is different from QlikView and more straightforward; the model is based on tokens. 1 token gives a user access to all applications, or it can be divided into 10 hourly sessions which refresh monthly.
- There is an emphasis on self-service in a controlled manner. Super users can create charts and tables and publish to dashboards while other users consume the dashboards.
- Improved look and feel, especially with regards to charts and visualisations.
- Qlik Sense has smart search functionality so that you can type in some keywords and see corresponding results instantly. You can also tag fields with synonyms so that they can be found easier.
- Data connections are controlled in the Management Console so that they are maintained and reusable (websites, databases, folders etc).
How to Migrate
I would suggest first doing some test migrations of existing dashboards to a test environment. There are a few ways to do this conversion, as detailed in the points further below. Ideally, existing QlikView dashboards would run alongside newly built Qlik Sense dashboards and quality checks would be performed between the two to make sure the data model, measures, and objects are returning the same results as before. These quality checks can either be performed manually, or with some form of data governance software. When doing a test migration, it may be beneficial to take a subset of your applications (maybe with reduced data).
You should look to migrate all existing applications including those that perform your ETL processes. There are some QlikView features that Qlik Sense does not have, and so some scripting may have to be performed to rectify any issues or alternative solutions put in place.
Possible migration methods include:
- Copying the QVW into the Qlik Sense Apps directory will make it appear in the hub. You can then open it and save it as a QVF. This cannot be reversed so make sure you back up the QVW first.
- Dragging a QVW into the Qlik Sense hub causes Qlik Sense to immediately create a QVF version of the QVW file dragged in.
The two methods mentioned above only copy over the load script from QVW files and none of the front end. This can be somewhat achieved with the third method below.
- QlikView Converter - a relatively new feature accessible through the dev hub in Qlik Sense Desktop.
- You can drag a QVW in or select it manually. Both the load script and dashboard objects are converted to their Qlik Sense equivalents. Measures and variables are also imported.
- The import of objects isn’t always 100% - sometimes there is not an equivalent object in Qlik Sense - so these objects appear in an unconverted tab. This notifies you that you need to recreate / redesign this object.
- The converted objects appear in the master library, where you can then drag them in to create a dashboard.
- This requires Qlik Sense version 3.2 or above.
Set up and Architecture
Qlik Sense's server setup mimics that of QlikView's, where a central server (or cluster of servers) stores and serves a collection of Qlik Sense apps to requesting web and mobile clients. The minimum specification that a Qlik Sense server requires is a Windows server with a 1gb HHD, 8gb RAM and multi-core x64 compatible processors.
Another option is Qlik Cloud. This is where Qlik host your Qlik Sense apps on their servers. There are three pricing models involved with Qlik Cloud:
Qlik Cloud business is an ideal way to go – providing an agile solution that has all the features of a Qlik Sense Enterprise server. One thing to note with Qlik Cloud is that there are app size limits at each level that increase with the level. On Qlik Sense Enterprise server there are no such limits.
Quilliup is a data governance application that allows you to connect both QlikView, Qlik Sense, and your underlying source systems (both RDBMS and Hadoop), and compare both data and components in an automated fashion. Testing criteria and alerting can be configured to help you have a safe, well managed migration.
Benefits of validating your migration using software such as Quilliup include:
- You will be able to get a full picture of the current state of your migration.
- You can catch issues even when no user / tester has visited a given page or object and manually compared it
- You will have a historical analysis of all your new applications gaps, which will help you focus on the more ‘problematic’ applications
- Your users will trust the migration more when you are immediately alerted and aware of any data quality problems.
- And of course, you or your QA team will save many testing hours, and it will free you from the routine work of opening both applications and comparing them visually.
Our recommended approach to migrating from QlikView to Qlik Sense is the following:
- Look at your current QlikView solution – determine how your ETL processes are performed and what needs to be migrated.
- Backup all of your existing QlikView apps, for all tiers of your architecture.
- Using the QlikView converter, convert all of your QlikView apps.
- Performs script adjustments as required.
- Construct Qlik Sense frontends.
- Bring in Quilliup to test Qlik Sense dashboards against old QlikView Dashboards. It is currently the only tool that can do this natively.
- Make changes to rectify any issues that have arisen.
Keyrus are offering migration services around Qlik Sense training, license acquisition, and QlikView dashboard migrations. If any of these may be of interest, don't hesitate to get in touch.