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A Historical Odyssey: QlikView 1

 

1994 was the year when the Swedish soccer team took bronze in the world championships. It was also the year the channel tunnel opened. Boris Yeltsin was the Russian president and Bill Clinton was one year into his first term. 1994 was also the year when the first version of QlikView - or QuikView - was released.

QV01 Opening screen.png

 

Version 1.0 had only the logical inference between fields – it had no graphics capabilities and no calculations were possible. But during the lifetime of QlikView 1 graphics and numeric calculations were added and by the release of version 1.42, QlikView had the same basic structure as we still have today: a multi-table relational data model, a logical inference engine, and graphs that hold no data of their own but instead are calculated on the fly based on the result of the logical inference.

Further, the conceptual idea of an “app” came with QlikView 1: the holy document. A QlikView document is in its basic form still today a self-contained file that holds all necessary information: a snapshot of data, layout information, and information on how the data should be refreshed. A user can have several documents, each corresponding to a specific area of the data. The document can be mailed to other users and no installation is necessary. This approach ensured portability and has been key to simplifying backward and forward compatibility as well as compatibility between QlikView Desktop and QlikView Server.

QV01 Graph.png

 

The mid nineties were also the time when 32-bit Windows software started to emerge. Most programs, as well as Windows 3.1 itself, were only 16-bit, but if you installed the Microsoft Win32s module, you could also run 32-bit programs. Consequently, several of the QlikView 1 releases were produced in both a 16-bit version and a 32-bit version. In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95 and although we today are not very impressed by this operating system, it was at the time a big leap forward. After that, 32-bit programs became standard.

With the 16-bit QlikView you could only have 16,000 distinct values in a field and 65,000 records in a table. These limits were however not a huge problem because most of the analysis in those days was made on data sets with few distinct values and often with pre-aggregated data. By the introduction of the 32-bit QlikView, these limits were removed and this opened up the field for transactional analysis. It would take many years before the new limit of 2GB memory would become a problem.

Much of what was invented in QlikView 1 is still there today, in QlikView 11. In fact, the principal features from QlikView 1 are the core of the modern QlikView; they are the foundation of how QlikView still works today.

However, there is one thing from QlikView 1 that I miss – the marble background…

HIC

QV01 Marble background.png

 

Further reading on the Qlik history:

A Historical Odyssey: Quality - Learning - Interaction - Knowledge

A Historical Odyssey: QlikView 2

11 Comments

Thanks Henric for the post. Much needed context and history to better understand why QlikView is like it is now. Every journey has a beginning!

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Not applicable

Thanks for the information,Henric. Nice post about Quick and Qlikview and how they updated as per the trend.

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Partner
Partner

Probably still beats some of today's so-called "business intelligence" applications 😉

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In my mind, and from a technical perspective, QlikView 3 (1997, three years after QlikView 1.0) was the first really good product. It was much more mature than previous versions and delivered both flexibility and ease-of-use. But more about that in later blogs: I will post several blogs about the history.

However, as a company we were not ready in 1997 - we lacked sales methodology and sales skills and this could be seen in our financial reports. It took some more years before we reached break-even financially.

HIC

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philbishop
Contributor

I had the honor of being mentored by Henric when I started working with QlikView in 1996 (version 1.42). Just as important as having an amazing product like QlikView to work with, the early company had amazing people to work with as well - Henric, of course being one of them. And the fact that many of the original people are still involved in some way with QlikView is testament to the power this humble piece of software has over all of us.
-Phil

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mvaugusto
Contributor

Nice !

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Not applicable

Dear Henric: you are the best blogger @Qliktech and I read all your posts. Context and History (20+ years of it!) sometimes more important then current technology.

Thank you!

Andrei, http://apandre.wordpress.com/

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Partner
Partner

great to read the history from you !

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mrooocha
Contributor

Oooh !

Very nice !

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vireshkolagimat
Contributor III

thanks for the information.

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santiago_respane
Valued Contributor

This is great! thanks for the information!

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