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Using Qlik Application Automation to create and distribute Excel reports in Office 365

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MattGrayndler
Employee
Employee

Using Qlik Application Automation to create and distribute Excel reports in Office 365

Last Update:

Jun 26, 2023 12:26:33 AM

Updated By:

Sonja_Bauernfeind

Created date:

Oct 14, 2021 9:34:34 PM

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With Qlik Application Automation, you can get data out of Qlik Cloud and distributing it to different users in formatted Excel. The workflow can be automated by leveraging the connectors for Office 365, specifically Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Excel. 

Here I share two example Qlik Application Automation workspaces that you can use and modify to suit your requirements. 

Content:

 

QAA_O365_Excel_Sharepoint_Report_EmailEG.pngQAA_O365_Excel_Sharepoint_Report_ReportEG.png

Video:


 

Considerations

  • This example is built on distributing a SharePoint link. It is also possible to use attachments with the Mail block (see Creating a Qlik Reporting Service report).
  • Qlik Application Automation has a limit of 100,000 rows when getting data out of a Qlik Sense straight table object.
  • The On-Demand example uses an extension in QSE SaaS to send data to the Automation. An update to the Qlik Sense Button object is expected soon, which will provide a native way to pass selections to an Automation.

 

Example 1: Scheduled Reports

  1. Download the 'Scheduled Report.json' file attached to this document.
  2. Create a new Automation in QSE SaaS, give it a name, and then upload the workspace you just downloaded by right clicking in the editor canvas, and selecting 'Upload workspace'.
  3. Select the 'Create Binary File (Personal One Drive)' block, select 'Connection' in the block configurator to the right, and then create your connection to Microsoft SharePoint.
  4. Select the 'Get Straight Table Data' block. Under 'Inputs' in the block configurator, lookup your the App Id, Sheet Id, and Object Id for the relevant QSE SaaS table you wish to output.
  5. Select the 'Create Excel Table With Headers' block, select 'Connection' in the block configurator, and then create your connection to Microsoft Excel.
  6. Select the 'Send Mail' block. Under 'Inputs' in the block configurator update the 'To' to reflect the addresses you wish to deliver to.
  7. With the 'Send Mail' block still selected, select 'Connection' in the block configurator and add your Sender details.
  8. To test, Save and then Run the Automation
  9. If you receive any warnings or errors, navigate to the relevant blocks and ensure your Connection is selected in the block configurator. 
  10. Select the 'Start' block. Under 'Inputs' in the block configurator, change Run Mode to Scheduled and define your required schedule. 

 

Example 2: On-Demand Reports

Note - These instructions assume you have already created connections as required in Example 1.

  1. Download the 'On-Demand Report v3.json' file attached to this document.
  2. Download and install the 'qlik-blends' extension. See: 
    https://github.com/rileymd88/qlik-blends/files/6378232/qlik-blends.zip
  3. Create a new Automation in QSE SaaS, give it a name, and then upload the workspace you just downloaded by right-clicking in the editor canvas, and selecting 'Upload workspace'.
  4. Ensure your Connections are selected in the block configurator for each of the following blocks, 'Create Binary File (Personal One Drive)', 'Create Excel Table With Headers', 'Add Rows To Excel Worksheet Table (Batch)', 'Create Sharing Link', and 'Send Mail'.  Save the Automation.
  5. Select the 'Start' block and ensure Run Mode is set to Triggered. Make note of the of URL and Execution Token shown in the POST example. 
  6. Open your chosen QSE SaaS application, and Edit the Sheet where you wish to add a Button to trigger an On-Demand report. 
  7. Under 'Custom Objects' look for 'qlik-blends' from the Extensions menu and drag this into your Sheet.
  8. Under the 'Blend' properties to the right, add-in your POST webhook URL and Token as noted in Step 5.
  9. We will now add three measures to the 'qlik-blends' object. It is important you add them in the order described.  Add the first measure, using the following function in the expression editor: GetCurrentSelections()
  10. Add the second measure, using the following function DocumentName()
  11. The final measure will be the Object ID of the table you wish to use. To find the Object ID, select 'Done Editing'.  Then right click on the table, select 'Share', select 'Embed', then look for the Object ID under the preview. Copy this value, go back into Editing mode and paste this as your third measure value. 
  12. With the 'qlik-blends' object selected, under Form select 'Add items'. For 'Item type' select Text. Under default value you can choose to add a default email address. For 'Label' and 'Reference'  type 'Email'. It is critical that Reference is updated to 'Email'.  Turn 'Required input' on. 
  13. You can change the Appearance properties to suit your preferences, such as updating the Button label and message, enabling Dialog, and changing the Color under Theme.
  14. Back in the Automation, under the Start Block. Set  'Run asynchronously' = yes to allow multiple requests to run at the same time (This will also increase the max run time from 1min to 60min)
  15. Once happy, test the On-Demand report by entering an email and clicking the button.

This On-Demand Report Automation can be used across multiple apps and tables.  Simply copy the extension object between apps & sheets, and update the Object ID (Measure 3) for each instance. 

 

Environment

 

The information in this article is provided as-is and to be used at own discretion. Depending on tool(s) used, customization(s), and/or other factors ongoing support on the solution below may not be provided by Qlik Support.

 

Labels (1)
Comments
agigliotti
Partner - Champion
Partner - Champion

Hi @MattGrayndler ,

Below the output of "Get Straight Table Data" block:

agigliotti_0-1652943127307.png

the Qlik Sense table has 218 rows.

MattGrayndler
Employee
Employee

For those having similar issue with the 'Add Rows To Table (Batch)' block seemingly not adding any of the rows, the APIs we are using for Excel seemingly does not like double quote (") and backslash characters (\).

I have a new version of these automations and am currently updating this documentation and will highlight this limitation. 

agigliotti
Partner - Champion
Partner - Champion

Hi @MattGrayndler ,

Finally the issue has been fixed removing double quote and backslash characters.
Thanks for your collaboration.

Best Regards

DenisSinai
Contributor II
Contributor II

HI @MattGrayndler ,

Thank you for your great work on this automation. It is a huge help.

One question I have is how it is possible to change the excel headers colors?

Currently the color is black with he white text and I would like to change it and could not find that option.

Can you help me please?

Thanks.

didierodayo
Partner - Creator III
Partner - Creator III

hi @MattGrayndler ,

This is great thank you. I have just tested and I have an issue returning the following function column  from the straight table. =SubField(OSUser(),'=',-1).

on the table I have a 1 dimension and the function above as a measure. It works fine for me and sends a file with the dimension and my email address as the second column.

when other users run hit the button a file is generated but with my email address not theirs.

am a bit confused why the function is not evaluating for hte users?

Thanks 

MattGrayndler
Employee
Employee

Hi @didierodayo ,

Application Automation does not run as the user who triggers the automation, so I wouldn't expect an Engine function like OSUser() to be useful here.   

That is  why in my example I have used an extension to request the user to provide their email address via the form function of the extension.
https://github.com/rileymd88/automation-trigger

To avoid using an extension you could load an island table with each user email, and ask users to select their email as part of the app selections prior to hitting the native Action Button to trigger the automation. 
You could then use the 'List Current Selections' block to try and unpack the selected value but there is some complexity here.  I hope to be able to update my documentation with an example like this soon. 

 

didierodayo
Partner - Creator III
Partner - Creator III

thanks @MattGrayndler .

 

Yes I had to drop the email extension. in my use case we just need to drop into OneDrive without a notification. The file is then picked up by another process. The logged in user email is neccessory for the following process.

I will play around with loading the users as field option.

DenisSinai
Contributor II
Contributor II

HI @MattGrayndler ,

I am just wondering if you missed my question about excel headers color.

I am sure it is something obvious but for some reason I can not figure out where to change it.

Currently the color is black with the white text and I would like to change it and could not find that option.

Can you help me please?

Thanks.

MattGrayndler
Employee
Employee

Hi @DenisSinai the formatting is controlled by Excel Table Styles, and while no table exists in the template, it uses the style last set.   

To change this, create a table in your version of the template (cntrl+t) then change the table style.  You can then delete the table, save your template - and convert the file to base64 used in the automation.    Once the automation inserts a table, Excel will use that style you last used. 

DenisSinai
Contributor II
Contributor II

Hi @MattGrayndler ,

Got it.

Thank you very much for your help!

Version history
Last update:
‎2023-06-26 03:26 AM
Updated by: