Always start easy with QlikView

    With QlikView what I have learned most is - Always start Simple & Easy. Sometimes what you are trying to achieve is a lot easier and could be simpler than how to think first to approach it.

    1. Start with simple definition:
    Define the problem or task clearly. Think about how you can define your problem very simple way and make it very clear. Let's take an example: "I need to load Stock Prices in my QV application".

    2. Dig into details:
    What and how much data we need to satisfy the needs? How often do I we need the data?
    Don't try to get all of it in first shot. Think about what is necessary and go after that. Let's define our example requirements: "The stock prices I need by Stock Tickers and I need current Stock prices at the time of reload".

    3. Look for alternatives and pick the easiest one:
    There are many ways to solve a problem. Almost every way can be proven to be a best practice for certain situation. Think about what possible ways you have to get what you are looking for. Don't forget Community and other sites. Google is always a best friend of developers.
    List down the ways you can go after your specific problem / task with. Start with the easiest one and move to complex ones in the list, in the order of complexity and difficulty.

    For our example, let's think about possible ways:

    • We can have QV loading a text or excel file someone if place in a directory everyday.
    • Or we can have QV pulling data from a Website
    • Or we can implement/consume a Web Service in QV to pull data from many free sites available

    With our first option, loading file would be the easiest, but it requires lot of manual work everyday for someone to pull data from somewhere, put in a file and place in the directory. Also more chances for manual errors.
    In our third option, we will reach some technical difficulties and limitations. Please we would need to implement VB Script which are not-so-good to implement in QV apps.

    So second option seems to be our best option. Let's dig further.

     

    Now we look for websites which can give up list of tickers with current prices. We will look for sites which do not require any authentication, and can provide simple lists of data stream. There could be many sites available for our needs, but look for something which is known and respected in the market. Compare sites and the results they give you back for the complexity and result format. For example, do you get paging in the results or just one list, are fields properly formatted in the way you could use them?

     

    For our example task, checkout Yahoo Financial site: finance.yahoo.com. Here you can provide a list of all the tickers in the URL and read the output list within the same QV reload cycle. So if you can build the call URL dynamically at reload time, you can read the whole list of tickers form Yahoo financial in the same reload.

     

    URL something like: http://finance.yahoo.com/quotes/QLIK+MSFT+INTC+CSCO+F+GE+T+SIRI+GOOG should give us what we need very easily, it seems.

    So just put together all the findings in QV application and get it done.
    See enclosed example - how easy it is to get stock prices into a QV application, without dealing with VBScript, or website authentication, or consuming any Web Services, etc.

     

    Example Application

     

    QlikView itself a very simple application, and if we apply simple & easy logic in our applications, it can make our lives a lot easier.

     

    My 2 cents!

     

    -Rakesh Mehta