As far as developing the apps and visualizations that is really little difference.
The big differences come with sharing apps, automatic reloads of data, controlling access to data, and general access to the apps. Enterprise is for a system with many apps and users that need governance.
The desktop version is a free single user version.
You can create an app using the desktop and then import it into Enterprise and publish it for consumption.
Overall Qlik Sense Desktop and Qlik Sense Enterprise have the same features and functionalities, with Section Access being the only difference between them, QS Desktop does not support it.
Qlik Sense Desktop:
- Anything you develop could be imported into Qlik Sense Enterprise.
- You are in charge of controlling access to your data.
- You can share applications (qvf files) with other users via network drives, as long as Qlik Sense Desktop is installed in their workstations.
- You can copy qvf files easily, take them home, enhance them and producing a new improved version of the original.
- You data is less secure.
- Section Access is not supported by QS Desktop.
- It is not easy (possible) for third party users to browse into QS Desktop Applications.
- QS Desktop - QS Enterprise mixed environments could be challenging in managing Data Connections.
- Memory resources for developers and clients are bigger because their workstations need more memory to handle the applications requirements.
Qlik Sense Enterprise
- Very secure environment.
- Application written with QSE could be exported as qvf files and consume by QS Desktop (as long as you have permissions to export it); you have to re-create the data connections.
- Users could browse into QSE applications (dashboards) from anywhere in the world based on your network configuration.
- Memory resources for developers and clients are more flexible, because the application is consuming the server memory.