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Talk to Experts Tuesday - Qlik NPrinting FAQ

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Jamie_Gregory
Community Manager
Community Manager

Talk to Experts Tuesday - Qlik NPrinting FAQ

Last Update:

Sep 21, 2020 4:24:26 PM

Updated By:

Jamie_Gregory

Created date:

Sep 10, 2020 3:35:03 PM

This is the FAQ for the September 8th Talk to Experts Tuesday session on Qlik NPrinting.

For the recording and transcript, please see TTET - Qlik NPrinting on September 8, 2020: Recording & Transcript.

Environment: Qlik NPrinting

 

One NPrinting task cannot output reports volume > 2 GB, are we going to get rid of this problem in near future. At least it should throw error in the browser interface - Admin/Task executions, so that we can take corrective action.

I don't know that we're going to make a change to the limit of the file. One thing that often comes up that is related to this question is the fact that it's the result of a large cycle that's creating a large zip file. As a best practice for different reasons, performance reasons, we suggest you split the cycle into smaller batches to gain better performance in the cycle. So, the idea is that you have clone the report, put filters on each copy of the report and do independent cycles and produce the reports faster than you would otherwise in split cycle. So, it's sort of a workaround. As far as a roadmap feature, I don't know that there's that there's going to be a change to that limitation on the file size limit. Please use the Ideas board to enter in an enhancement request.

 

When can we expect NPrinting on Demand to Support SAML based SSO?  I have clients that are still on NP16 or will not buy NPrinting due to the lack of support for this common functionality.

It’s a great question, common question with respect to our SaaS platform. NPrinting remains our on prem portal document reporting solution. Certainly, we have a roadmap around reporting capabilities on the SaaS platform. It’s a different technology stack so that will be evolving into 2021.

 

Why is it so difficult to size and align images in word templates?  Are there any fixes in development coming?

 There are not any updates to the designer plan at this point in time. Please use the Ideas board to enter in any suggestions. For the technical aspect, the more power you have on your designer (RAM, CPU) mitigates that a bit. In terms of aligning, you can use the snapping tools that are inside of Word or PowerPoint. It’s a matter of working with it the best you can and having as much horsepower on your machine as possible. Here are some tips from the Help site. You may also want to consider PixelPerfect if you want quality, professional type of reports for Executive level distribution of reports. So that’s another option if you’re having difficulty with Word.

 

When you upgrade NPrinting it automatically creates a backup in the background, are there any plans to allow this to be skipped? As it can fill the server’s disk in a large environment, or might not be needed if a full server backup has already been taken.

 This is the first time Product Management has seen this question so please enter it into the Ideas board.

 

Is the 2GB output volume limit documented?

It is documented in an article on Qlik Support: NPrinting Server has 2 GB output limit.

 

When creating an NPrinting app - you can have multiple Qlik Sense app connections within a single NPrinting app.  What are the pros and cons of having multiple connections to different qlik sense apps within a single NPrinting app.  I am thinking about impact with regard to metadata, time connected to Qlik Sense etc.

With regards to connecting multiple QS Apps to NP, they should be split up appropriately (say by dept) if you only use one App name for a bunch of App Connections and one of those connections breaks, then all of your NP tasks will fail. So it's best practice to separate the App names appropriately. Also just make sure all of the Apps are in "Generated" green status by going to Apps Connections and using the drop-down to focus on that particular App Name.

 

I am working with a company that will not use Microsoft Office products.  Are there any thoughts to integrating with G-Suite or other ‘open’ solutions in a manner similar to the current Excel/PowerPoint capabilities?

I would absolutely encourage that to be added to the community as a Kind of request feature that is something where, you know, I'm hearing more and more, and I'd be interested to gauge demand for that because that's one of the things community offers us is the ability for people to add there. Please use the Ideas board to enter in an enhancement request.

 

Are there any plans for high availability for NPrinting?

That’s another item that we do hear from some customers and we are trying to gauge demand. It is acknowledged to be in the backlog but I don’t have a timeline for the solution.

 

Is there any way to get around sending the reports to zip files?  We have a client who won't accept zip files through email.  So our current work around is to place the files on our local machine then manually email each file.

Custom solutions are possible where you distribute to a folder and then you would run a third party program that will do it for you. If you want to implement something custom like this, please reach out to your Account Manager and they can help. Otherwise, please make your voice heard by entering the idea as an enhancement request. For more information on report output types, please see Published output type by report type.

 

Are there any plans to allow for setting a max number of workers on a per task basis?  Example would be you have a large report that you don’t want to have NP try to run max number of web renderers on, but you have other smaller reports you do want running max.

 There isn’t an interface way of doing this, it’s through config files. If you want to limit the number of processes that are utilizing your NPrinting server, this article should help you. For an interface or the ability to do this on an individual basis, please enter the request on the Ideas board.

 

We frequently struggle with Nprinting not saving enough task history - Is there configuration that we can do? There are times we need to research more than 30 days. And additionally, we cannot tell who’s modified a task or when.

 From a roadmap perspective, what is in the works is an audit trail capability which will provide a little bit more insight into not only the Administration of the NPrinting backend but also the task execution as well. It is targeted for November at the moment so hopefully that will help.

For On Demand, there is a config file and we’ve had people reduce it to 1 or 0 because they don’t want old, stale data sticking around. If you increase it, then the nightly task that do the cleanups could be delayed.

In the existing Postgres repository, it has a last modified date but there’s no trail. Some of that information is exposed through the Governance Dashboard. It’s a Sense app and there isn’t a QlikView version. It would work with NPrinting April 2020 and newer.

 

We have an extension that uses web fonts. Are web fonts supported? We see about a 10% failure rate in icon rendering in our extension. The web fonts are in woff file format.

In general, I think the fonts need to be in the Control Panel > Fonts for NPrinting to pick those up. I'm not sure about specifically web fonts. It needs to be installed on the engine computer, for sure, if it's going to work. Make sure your fonts are installed in Control Panel > Fonts. And make sure it's in in in the Designer and the NPrinting engine and try it out. That's a good question, but that's something you can try. For more information, please see Fonts do not display properly in reports and if needed, please add an enhancement request to the Ideas board.

 

Are there any plans to move the settings changes for timeouts with Sense to the frontend web console?  In the prior release, Qlik completely changed how you change these settings and the documentation of this was buried a number of pages deep in the release notes. This caused problems for clients that didn’t read through the entire SR.  This should have been on the top of the SR since it’s a common change or available in a easier to change manner.

This question has been passed to Product Management. The FAQ will be updated when a response is provided.

 

Has Qlik had many issues with Vizlib objects in Reports?  Our larger clients like using Vizlib, but we find their performance/stabilty to be lacking when compared to OOB which has major impacts on NPrinting reports.

You can use extensions with your NPrinting reports but you do have to set up a finished rendering notification. Currently I am working with Vizlib to see if it’s possible to have this notification and the JavaScript added to the extensions already but I just don’t know what their limitations or capabilities. Here is a link of how to set up this rendering notification, just to make sure that that’s done on the coding side. You may also want to reach out to Vizlib to make your voice heard for this request.

 

Is there a QlikView version the NPrinting Governance Dashboard?

Not currently, but it is being worked on so keep an eye out for it on Github. Also, just to make sure everyone is aware, it is an unsupported from a Qlik Support perspective) utility.

 

What is the installation order for Qlik NPrinting?

Personally, I always do the NPrinting server, followed by the Engine and then the Designer component last. Also, just to make you aware, it is good to put Designer on the Server. When you have a case open with Qlik Support, a lot of times we need to access the Designer on the Server. I know a lot of people sometimes just put the Designer on the developer computers but it is a good practice to have it on the servers in case we have to troubleshoot the report. For more information on installation, please see Qlik NPrinting installation.

 

Are there any plans to have a migration capability between NP servers for apps/connections/tasks, etc?

That is something that is definitely in the backlog. I don’t have a timeline for delivery but it definitely has some attention.

 

Is it recommended to keep the NPrinting Designer version in line with the environment version? Does it matter at all? Does it make sense to upgrade Designer without upgrading the environment?

All NPrinting components must have the same version.

 

I have a customer that uses control M to start NPrinting and Sense tasks, however control M is unable to know when a NP task fails to restart it. Is it possible to get to do it anyhow?

It’s the same with whether you manage the task execution through a Qlik reload script, an API call or a third-party, it’s all the same API. When you post the task execution, you get back a request ID. So in your code, you’ll have to grab the request ID that comes back from the post. Then you can pull the request ID every 5 seconds, every 10, on an interval of your choice. You can do a GET on the request ID and it will tell you the status. It will say in queue, running, warning, failed, completed. There are a bunch of statuses that are possible. For more information, please see this Community post.

 

In the Task Log, every reference is shown as a hash value. Are there plans to change this into the actual values (for example the report name instead of the hash)?

I don’t have an update plan for the logging. Again, this capability in the audit trail may help support or I expect, will help answer this question. The audit trail capability is targeted for the November release.

 

What is the impact to Qlik Sense server when an NPrinting app is running?  How long does the connection to qlik sense server stay active? We recently had an NPrinting task that was running and seemed stuck on the same step in NPrinting - resolving variables - until the services on the Qlik Sense server were restarted. Then the NPrinting job completed. That is just one example. That was also why I asked if there was an impact when a single NPrinting job has connections to multiple qlik sense applications.

Most of the performance in NPrinting is tied to the speed of your Qlik app and the ability of the charts to export data fast. That’s going to be app design, it’s going to be your server, it’s going to be your network. There’s a lot of things and NPrinting performance is 75% Qlik Sense performance or QlikView performance. Most of the execution, unless you’re doing a large batch, it’s going to make a big zip file. It’s going to be on the Qlik Sense server.

You said when NPrinting app is running, I’m going to assume you mean an NPrinting task or report is running. There is a handy little link, add /admin/plan to your web console. You can actually see the threads, a report on the threads. It’s an unofficial page that will show you how the threads are being worked on. There is an app and all our performance benchmarking that’s in the NPrinting Scalability white paper is dependent on your Qlik Sense server not being saturated.

So, keep that in mind as you plan for expansion. You can’t expand NPrinting or run more reports if your Qlik Sense server is getting saturated.

If you noticed that the memory was getting out of control, if it got about 70%, that’s a sign that Qlik Sense can’t keep up with the demands. Qlik Sense tries to keep the memory at 70% unless you have custom settings. If it’s getting higher than that, that means it’s getting saturated and you’re undersized on the Qlik Sense side. Usually these investigations go back to Qlik Sense. If you have a lot of questions, start monitoring your CPU and RAM on the Sense server. And of course, the only supported configuration for NPrinting is to run it on its own server and don’t co-install it on the same server.

If you do need assistance with checking out your Qlik Sense server, make sure you reach out to your Account Manager. They can help get you some resources.

 

I encountered this question the other day from a client.  Is it possible to leverage the Newstand API for a custom webpage?  They like the functionality, but do not want everything available and need custom design.  I found in chrome developer tools that a flavor of the "NPE" API was being used, which historically for NPrinting was an undocumented one.  Are there any plans to move this to a non NPE that has documentation on the site and won’t be depreciated?

It is not currently a public API but please enter this on the Ideas board.

 

What functionality or improvement do you think is most important to add to the NPrinting product?

I think one of the interesting things, certainly as a Product Manager starting at the beginning of this year, you quickly realize just how flexible the product is and how many customers have different use cases for it. So, it is a wide open question and certainly there is the Ideation forum that sits out on Community that is very, very helpful for us to gauge demand for different capabilities. So I do love the question and like I said I have my laundry list. What’s really helpful to know, is where you do have that large enterprise customers who do have that sort of formal software promotion practice, and I answered earlier about being able to promote between environments. That’s an area of requirement that I’ve certainly heard from larger customers. For many that have a single deployment instance they have different tyepps of interests. So again, please use the Ideation forum. As you see other customers and partners identifying different things that resonate with you, please do a plus one or express your use case as well. It’s very helpful for us to take in as a team and review.

 

Is cloning of elements as tasks and reports something that will be available in future versions of NPrinting?

You can clone reports today. You need to have part of the right security role for it to show up or you can make a custom security role. It doesn’t say “clone” it says export/import or export/replace. And by exporting and importing is how you make a copy. So, it’s not exactly like version 16 but you can get duplicates. And it’s handy that way so you can sort of make a baseline template that is a bit more enriched and then make copies from there. Cloning tasks, we need to have public APIs to do that at least or a feature so put it in Ideation and if you would accept an API way of doing it, mention that too. Ultimately that could end up being more flexible for us to have an API solution and then more people can take that and make it more accessible for the rest. So rather than have a Qlik Developer do that, maybe one way for us to get it out is to do API. For more information on roles, please see Managing Roles.

 

I’m gonna post this to the ideas page, but how about Nprinting Designer for Mac?  I am held hostage to Mac in my current position.

That is not planned at this time. I think the only thing you can do as a Mac user is make an entity report and point that entity report at a Qlik sheet or Qlik object and that way you’re kind of using Sense as the editor rather than having to get Designer. We get a few questions on that every now and then and also a request for Google. Some institutions aren’t on Microsoft. So please make sure those requests get posted to the Ideas board.

 

Are there plans to make NP designer work on high resolution screens?  It is barely usable on things like surface tablets.

I haven’t heard of any changes. It’s everyone’s favorite support ticket. You have to have 100% zoom set on your screen. So whatever your screen is set to, you have to put it on 100%. If you have multiple screens, you have to put all your screens on 100% as well. I don’t know of any changes to that requirement and it is a requirement.

 

We have an Nprinting environment up and running and currently only one task run once a month. But somehow the engine goes offline and it remains offline when the task triggers and for that reason task never gets completed. Is there a bug in the tool or we are missing something?

The best thing would be to create a case with Qlik Support if you have not done so.

 

We used to have a feature in previous versions of NP, we could embed a Qlik table in an Email, NPrinting will inherit all the properties (i.e. formatting). Why can’t we do that now with latest versions of QS and NP? is this feature coming back?

Newer versions of NPrinting can do that. You need to author the report using the HTML editor.

 

Are there any plans to increase distribution capabilities to split reports into multiple small emails when the number of reports exceeds a set number or overall size?  Example would be you are distributing with cycle enable, so some users might get 2-3 reports, while others might get 20+.  Not all smtp servers allow that many attachments or cap at 20mb max.  Logic could be added to NP to see when this is occurring and just break it into multiple emails

I think a folder distribution is more flexible in this regard with user folders. SMTP servers will prevent large emails. The new dynamic distribution features to parametrize Cc and bcc and to address lines in April 2020 can be made to help too through Qlik variables.

 

Can NPrinting auto refresh access of the users from Qlik Sense Streams? i.e. if we add/remove a user, it should flow to NPrinting nightly?

You can sync users to NPrinting through a Qlik script and the REST connector. Please see this Community post: Syncing windows AD users from Qlik Sense to NPrinting.

 

Any plans to include Business Day Calendars based scheduling capability in QS and NPrinting?

I suggest triggering the task via API or reload script on the business day schedule.

 

Is there any plan to release any QV or QS app to analyze NPrinting logs?

There is an unsupported NPrinting Governance Dashboard in Qlik Sense that works with np April 2020+ .  It’s in github under eapowertools.

 

We have situations where we need paging inside paging, for example Use Client as first level paging, and then at 2nd level paging location under each client, whole purpose is to generate separate slide for each location under clients. More on two level paging question, this is specifically for PowerPoint, NPrinting is not supporting two level paging in PowerPoint template. I have 10 slides for each client and out of these 10 slides, one slide needs to page for 20 locations for a client, NPrinting cannot do this, question is if it will be available in future.

This may not be possible with PowerPoint. Levels within levels is possible with Word, Excel and PxP reporting. I would suggest entering this to the Ideas board.

 

I've been doing a lot of PowerPoint report generation with NPrinting recently. Is there any plan to support any of these? -- Conditional slide/page generation -- Dynamically changing fonts/colors/images based upon data? Thanks. and lastly, the concept of paging, within a PowerPoint table.

We can do that with ‘pages’. Pages that evaluate to null or no values are skipped. So if you have a slide that you page, it can evaluate to 0-N slides. For information on conditionals, please see this Community post.

 

What is required for a third part extension to work with NPrinting? I'm using one that displays an image from a content library. It works "sometimes" and then stops working until I edit the report again. The image is the same link all the time.

The extension must implement the “finished rendering” notification. For more information, please see Using Qlik Sense third-party extensions.

 

If users are just receiving reports via email - not NewsStand or Hub and there are no user filters. Do they really need to be added to NPrinting as a user.  We have had success with adding a google group of users to the cc and having 1 user defined to NPrinting.

You can certainly do that but you won't be able filter those reports using NPrinting for those specific users except for a single user filter and task filter for that unique user associated with the Google distribution email address.

 

The capability to connect to both SAAS and On Premise, since Qliks existing push is to move everyone to SAAS.  SAAS capability wise, as well as clients capability wise, are a long way from full SAAS.  Most clients will go hybrid cloud over the coming years, so being able to have a single reporting platform for both will give ease of administration and development will help.

A on-prem QV/QS server is needed to serve batch jobs.  Both QV and QS can publish the same apps to QCS for cloud based interactive consumption of the apps and sheets .  QV needs 12.40 to publish links to on-prem in the cloud, but 12.50 can publish the whole app to the cloud.  So with 12.50 setup the task to publish the app to both QVS onprem and QCS and run NP off QVS onprem.  September 2020 of Qlik Sense has a better ‘multicloud’ or ‘distribution’ feature to copublish apps onprem and in QCS from an onprem sense server.

 

Another nice feature would be making it so users from the sense Enterprise dashboard can build a report while on the page using drag and drop.

For sure!  But its only entity reports for now which still require some NP console workflow to realize. Please also consider adding this to the Ideas board.

 

Are there any plans to make it so NP can source users from more than ldap, ad, xlsx?  We still get many questions from clients that are still migrating that were connecting to other sources that NP16 could connect to, such as an app

You can import users through qlik apps using the REST connector. If you need user filters I suggest this workflow:

  1.  Load the users and filters into Qlik apps
  2. Author an NP report that outputs to XLS in the format of a user import task
  3. Run the user import task
  4. Run the actual publish task
  5. <chain everything using qlik load script and REST Connector to operate the NPrinting API>

 

Can we get more specific Best Practices for Qlik Sense with NPrinting?  There is a lot of information with Qlikview that is not applicable to Qlik Sense with NPrinting.

Here is a Community post that has a lot of information. If there is anything you would specifically like to know about, please let us know.

 

I have not tested this in a while, but does NP support extended Qlik sense sheets yet?

This question has been passed to the panel. The FAQ will be updated when a response is provided.

 

What about a web-based designer? There are some customers whose security will not allow the designer to be loaded on their PCs.

This question has been passed to Product Management. The FAQ will be updated when a response is provided. Please also consider adding this to the Ideas board.

This URL below is very helpful in understanding task status for high volume tasks. Some of our reports take 4-5 hours to finish, so we understand here how much request points are pending or in case its not moving at all due to some network issues etc. https://nprintingservername.com:4993/#/admin/plan Any plan of adding that in the NPrinting browser interface?

This is not currently on the roadmap. Please add this to the Ideas board to have it considered for a future release.

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parkera
Partner Ambassador
Partner Ambassador

@Jamie_Gregory . Thank you for sharing this FAQ.  It is fascinating how much can be achieved using its technology.

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Last update:
‎2020-09-21 04:24 PM
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