The associative model is definitely one of the best features in the Qlik platform. It is simple, elegant and intuitive but, at the same time, it is a very powerful tool that helps us unveil the stories behind our data.
My favorite way to explain the Green-White-Gray navigation in Qlik is to use a simple example such as the Movies Database demo that is pre-installed in QlikView desktop. It has easy to follow concepts like movies, actors and directors. However, it is a little outdated and, to be honest, it doesn’t contain a lot of common films. So, my colleague danielalucero and I decided to take advantage of the Qlik REST Connector and refresh this old classic.
Getting a robust, flexible and reliable data source can be pretty difficult sometimes. However, we found an amazing website called The Movie DB, a community edited database that offers an API to interact with a lot of information about movies and TV series.
Using the Qlik REST Connector, you can easily create scripts that cycle through the years, movies and actors to gather all the data you need and store it in QVD files. We won’t go into much detail in this post, but be sure to check out or QVD Generator to know more about this process!
Welcome Page: The power of Text Objects
The welcome page usually gives the users general information about the contents of the app. We decided to start our adventure by sharing the number of movies, actors, directors and genres available in the data model alongside our two protagonists: The Movie DB and Qlik REST Connector. The interesting thing here is that the entire tab was built using exclusively Text Objects.
These little guys are amongst the most flexible objects in the QlikView realm. You can use them as labels, type in a formula to display a KPI, convert them into images or add some actions to create a button. You can even adjust the order of the layers and use them as backgrounds or containers.
The magic behind QlikView: The Associative Model
Who directed Sweeny Todd? Tim Burton. Who was the protagonist? Johnny Depp. Have they worked together in other films? Yes, Alice in Wonderland, Sleepy Hollow and some others! Wow. Yep, it’s as simple as that.
Our second tab focuses on explaining how to navigate in QlikView. I’m sure that many of you also learned the green-white-gray paradigm using these three boxes, so I’ll leave this one to you.
On to the analysis: Statistics Page
Our next stop is full of charts and tables. This page dives into more detail and presents histograms, trendlines and rankings using several metrics such as the length, rating and revenue of the movies. Don’t forget to check the alternative pages by clicking on the buttons in the upper right corner of the screen!
Movies & Actors Pages: Did someone ask for details?
This is probably the most interesting page in terms of visual design. Although, to be honest, most of the work wasn’t ours: The Movie DB provides lots of media resources such as posters, photos and trailers!
We don’t use this feature very often, but don’t forget that table expressions can be represented as images or URLs. What if, instead of displaying a boring list of all the countries where a movie was produced, we use dynamic icons with flags? Or if we add a picture of the actors alongside their names and characters?