Quote

Top 10: Things I hate about QlikView

There is no perfect relationship. Your girlfriend is a little bit possessive, your roommate could use a shower once in a while and your boss always freaks out when you’re late. Come on, even QlikView has some flaws that you’d be happy to change.

Here’s my list of the most annoying things I’ve found as a QlikView consultant. If you’ve been creating apps for a while I’m sure that you’ll relate to some of them…

 

Splash screen

First things first: we will start our list with the splash screen. For those of you who are not familiarized with this term, the splash screen is that green window that pops up every time you open QlikView and disappears almost immediately. (I know… “immediately” is a vague term.)

7.1

If you’re developing small applications in your PC this will hardly be an issue. However, if your computer lacks capacity, you work with multiple QVWs at the same time or have an important presentation with key customers, it tends to… linger a little more than usual.

Typically you can click on it and start working right away, but when this little friend it’s not in the mood, it stays there blocking your visibility even if you change the active window. Sometimes it stays green, other times it turns black, but if you’re on a hurry it will surely be annoying.

Maybe patience is not my strong suit, but there are several posts around the web that show how to get rid of it… I can’t be the only one…

7.2

 

Ordering a QVD

Premise 1: The simplest commands are always the most powerful. The functionality provided by clauses like WHERE, GROUP BY and ORDER BY is vital for developers.

Premise 2: QVDs are great, they are incredibly small and fast files that can contain a lot of information.

The problem: Sadly, it is impossible to use ORDER BY when loading a QVD file. Yes, I know I can read the table and then sort it in a resident load… It’s just not cool…

 

Is it reloading?

The Script Execution Window is a great ally when you’re working with “temperamental” databases, tables with millions of records or applications that use multiple data sources. As you know, it contains useful information like the time elapsed, the database connections and the number of records loaded so far.

7.3

However, every now and then, when you reload the window freezes… It turns white… And your heart stops for a minute…

7.4

You can always open the Task Manager to see if QV is still processing… but when you’re working with heavy applications it’s never pleasant to encounter this issue.

 

Qlik Orphanage

I haven’t found this issue recently, I think they got rid of it in a Service Release or something, but it happened a lot in version 9 and 10. When you had –for example– a spreadsheet with the budgets for the next year, but each column represented a month, the most common way to deal with it was to use the CrossTable wizard.

7.5

However, sometimes the execution had some unexpected results… I’m sure many of you recall opening your Table Viewer to find a normal data model (no synthetic keys, no circular references) surrounded by dozens of little orphan tables like this:

7.6

Yep, you almost started crying… The classic workaround in this situation was to add an extra line to the code like WHERE 1=1.

 

QlikView Server logs

Monday, 8 AM.

James is in charge of the QlikView environment in his company. As usual, he starts the day with a routine QV Server check-up: reload results, RAM usage, number of users, inactive licenses, etc.

Though it looked like an average day, something was amiss. A failed reload message stained the perfection of the console. Hesitant, he opens the Task History tab only to confirm his fears. The XYZ task failed.7.7

What to do? Whom to call? He needed a starting point for his research. Rumors say that the Log tab has some information, so he decides to give it a shot. After a few seconds of reading, James is confident that this log will solve his problems. Surely the following lines will not only contain the reasons of the failure, but also some troubleshooting ideas. Suddenly, he finds it:

7.8

7.9

<sarcasm>

James is relieved. The information given by the log was clear and useful. It surely helped him to solve the problem.

James hates QVS logs. James is not alone… I hate them too…

</sarcasm>

 

Working as designed

OK, maybe this one hasn’t happened to a lot of you, but here it goes.

I remember a couple of months near the end of 2012 when I found 4 or 5 bugs in QlikView. At that time I was working with a Master Reseller and the normal procedure was to create a ticket so the support team could start checking the issue.

After a couple of emails exchanging details about the hardware, software and other stuff, the support team sent you a response. If you were lucky, they would tell you that a Service Release correcting the issue was on its way. If you were not so lucky, they would assure that the technical guys were working on it and that hopefully they may come up with a response soon.

But if you were me, the answer usually went like this:

Hello dear partner,

We were able to replicate the situation you described. As you mentioned, that awesome feature you were trying to implement is not working. However, the support team does not consider this as a bug. As you can read in the QV Manual and the Release Notes for version XX, that behavior is expected:

* This functionality will not work in the AJAX client. It will probably be unstable in IE 6 or superior. Also, we wouldn’t recommend its usage if your name starts with a vowel or if it’s Thursday.

Sincerely,

Support Team

7.10

 

Resolution Issues

Ever had problems with the resolution of your customers’ monitors?

7.11

 

It’s all about the client

My colleagues often say that I have principles of OCD… Maybe, but I really freak out when I see that the AJAX client slightly changes the alignment and size of certain objects.

7.12

 

“Small change”

This is a problem that most developers have. Damn you QlikView, you’re so freaking flexible.

Thursday morning:

– Lauren: OK Mark, it looks like our app is ready for release. Please give it a final review, just in case.

– Mark: Sure, I’ll do that.

 Later that day. Mark working on his own:

Mmmm… this app looks great, everything is working just fine… maybe I’ll just change this color. I don’t fully like it in blue…

– 15 minutes later: It looks awesome in green. Actually, I’ll change the whole color palette.

– 30 minutes later: You know what? This tab could use a pie chart instead of that table.

– 2 hours later: Wait, wait, great idea: scatter diagram and combo chart in a container!

– 4 hours later: Now that I think about it, we could manage QVDs differently to improve the overall efficiency of the environment.

– 7 hours (and a whole new application) later: Hi Lauren, our app is ready! I just made a few minor adjustments.

 

QlikCommunity

7.13

You know it happens every day…

 

The hand is faster than the Multi Box

Don’t you hate when you’re trying to search a string in a Multi Box but you’re faster than QlikView? Usually if you start typing before the Multi Box loads, this happens:

7.14

 

QlikView Services

There is a natural instinct in every IT specialist that dictates that if you can’t figure out what the problem is, you should reboot the system.

7.15

When QlikView Server is acting weird I usually restart all its services but sometimes it takes a couple of seconds to restore the whole system. In this lapse, the console shows this blood-freezing crimson label. Longest 30 seconds of your life.

7.16

 

Set Analysis Syntax

Why? Just… why?

7.17

 

 

Do you struggle with any other features? Please share your ideas in the comments section!

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29 thoughts on “Top 10: Things I hate about QlikView

  1. Steve Dark says:

    To remove the splash screen, go to Help / About, then right click the little Qlik globe (obviously). Find SuppressSplash, select it, set the value to 0 and click Set. Enjoy the few seconds of your life you get back each time you open QlikView. Yay!

    Most of the things you reference have got better over time. The syntax highlighting is perhaps the one that niggles me most (but I have got used to ignoring it now).

    The thing that has gotten worse, much worse, is Qlik Community. I have posted about this on the Community itself here:
    http://community.qlik.com/thread/109102

    The reload from last time saved on certain load script failures is a pain – I’ve noticed this is generally writing to a locked file or a folder that doesn’t exist.

    The fact the load dialog does nothing (except using a slightly different shade of grey on the Close button) when loads are complete and you’ve not got the Close When Finished tick box ticked, this has cost me some time in the past.

    As you say, if you didn’t love the product so much you wouldn’t notice it’s blemishes in quite the same way.

    Thanks for the post!

    Steve

    • Hi Steve. Thanks for your comments, and great post about QlikCommunity Guidelines!
      By the way, I haven’t had the chance to thank you for including my blog in AskQV; it’s a pleasure to share a platform like this with the most renown personalities in the QlikView scene. It is -without a doubt- one of the best references for all the people involved with QlikView.

  2. Another annoying issue: when you close the Help app and qlik freezes (of course, you forgot to save before opening Help because it was going to be a small change)…

    Usually if you wait XXX second/minutes it recovers or, if desperate, tell windows to shut down and qlik will ask you if you want to quit without saving (thank god)…

    Anybody suffers the same behavior?

    • Of course! I totally forgot that one, but it is surely one of the most annoying things. You naively press F1 to remember the parameters of certain function and suddenly, the last 2 hours of development are lost!

      • Juraj says:

        And don’t forget that F1 is pretty close to ESC. Spent some hours rewriting stuff just because I missed ESC and hit F1 instead.

  3. This article was SOOO needed. Love the humor and writing style!!! I have experienced frustration with most of this list for sure.

    My addition would be the fact that when you enter the script debug mode, it is impossible to go back to the script editor without either running the script or losing all the data. Perhaps, the “Cancel” button should do that, hello?

    • Thanks for your comments Aaron! Actually that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like to use the debugger, it’s all or nothing once you press that button. However, one cannot deny its usefulness when it comes to variable monitoring and partial loads…

  4. Christian says:

    GetCurrentField(Group) gets the sintax red underline also, and some others. It’s been happening for long, but the don’t seem to care… The problem is that from that point on, sintax help does not work.

  5. Andrea says:

    Are these the things you hate the most or just the only 10 things you hate about QV? Surely, it cannot be the latter…

    What about this one:
    Document Properties – Sheets,
    you are only trying to find a specific sheet and check its properties.
    You sort your sheets by any column (title for instance),
    you press the OK button because you have changed other Document Properties.
    Et voila… changes committed and all your sheets are sorted by that column!
    It looks like the Sheets table is there to help you find the objects or sheets you are looking for, but no, Qlikview will not even ask you if you want to commit the changes. It simply does! (because Qlikview is the leader in self-discovering and bla bla bla…)

    What about the chronicle lack of shortcuts? It is a product mature enough to afford a few more, isn’t it? Why there is not a “Make same size” options when you select multiple objects?

    And can someone explain me why sometimes I cannot simply see my objects selected?! Then, after repeatedly trying to select one of the objects, the selected item borders magically appear and everything starts to work again?

    Thank you for the possibility to share my frustration: psychologists say it helps talking about it with others! 🙂

  6. Christian says:

    COMBINING FUNCTIONS.

    SET FilePath=’2.QVD\NM_249_QVDS\NM_249_*_MTD.qvd’;

    for each File in filelist (‘$(FilePath)’)
    /////trace $(File);
    QVDSAVAILABLES:
    first 1 load
    FechaFoto
    from $(File) (qvd);
    next File;

  7. Christian says:

    COMBINING FUNCTIONS does not work many times. Here is an example. I want a record, just one per qvd. Can anybody make this work?
    Asterisks, loops, etc. disable first n load functions.

    SET FilePath=’2.QVD\NM_249_QVDS\NM_249_*_MTD.qvd’;

    for each File in filelist (‘$(FilePath)’)
    /////trace $(File);
    QVDSAVAILABLES:
    first 1 load
    FechaFoto
    from $(File) (qvd);
    next File;

    So, how do we know wich function works with what functions? trying, of course.

  8. Manesh Kumar says:

    Does any one has any idea how to set consistent color for a calculated dimension which uses aggr(). I tried many times but qlikview doenst seem to have a work around this. I wonder y can’t they have something like a dynamic field to support calculations!!!

  9. Tom says:

    I hate dollar sign expansion and how it’s supposed to allow us to write functions. It would be bearable if it wasn’t for the lack of a way to escape symbols like $ and ‘

  10. One of my pet peeves is the loading screen stealing focus.
    You’ve got a 30 minute load running, so you go do something else. Fast forward 25 minutes when you’re writing an email:

    “Hey, Mike, let’s schedule a meetin…”

    Now the cursor is on End Here, and your typing “g” essentially “clicks” End Here and your time is wasted.

  11. Cheenu says:

    To avoid the blank screen when reloading as well as “faster” initiation of reloads (sometimes), empty all the data (if there is any data in the QVW with “File > Reduce Data > Remove all values” or “Exit script” as the first line in script), run 10 (or 100) in Debug mode and then launch a full reload. I’ve noticed that when the script exec dialog box “hangs” temporarily, this method automatically relaunches the full data fetch must faster than it would if you waited for the script exec dialog box to “re-activate” (start “responding” again). Don’t know if anybody else has noticed this. I would be keen on an explanation as to why QV “works” like this.

  12. Luca says:

    Have you ever needed to change a variable formula after creation? Everytime it happens to me, I hope they have fixed the bug (I think it’s a recent issue, until some months ago it worked fine!) or at least that have introduced a workartound, but trying in any possible way the content after pressing confirm is still the same. At the end the only solution to reduce stress is remove and create again the variable, but it’s frustrating. Qliktech, please… Fix the Bug!!!

  13. Ernesto García says:

    Best. Post. Ever. 🙂

    I’ll contribute with a few pet peeves of mine:

    1) The QlikView script editor is virtually the only IDE I’ve ever encountered during the last two and a half decades that doesn’t let me cut the current selection by pressing Shift-Delete.

    2) More of a design decision than an actual flaw: Set analysis formulas are evaluated ONCE per chart and therefore you can’t reference dimensions inside them. Bit me more than a couple times and forced me to rethink my whole approach, often involving slow and resource-hogging IF() statements.

    3) Related to your point about server logs: Per-QVW logfile creation checkbox on new documents should be ON by default!

    4) The two most common chart types I use (bar and line) should come with better default options. They usually look bloody awful if you accept all defaults. It’s not uncommon for me to spend 90% of chart creation time de-uglyfing the charts.

    5) Related: If you use a drill-down group as a dimension to a horizontal barchart, and one of the dimension’s set of values is composed of strings significantly longer than those of the other dimension you chart will look awful no matter what. Sure, you can rearrange the chart elements at design time using the old Shift-Ctrl trick but If you make room for the longer dimension the chart will waste space when the user drills up/down to the shorter one, or chop the larger dimension otherwise.

    Cheers!

  14. KevinB says:

    My biggest pet peeve is I can’t keep the script window open and work in the design window at the same time. I would really like to have my table view, script, and design window open all at the same time, so that it’s easier to visualize what is happening.

  15. Andreas says:

    The Qlikview server logs from the last 30 days that acutally tells you what went wrong are located here:
    ProgramData\QlikTech\DistributionService\1\Log

  16. Cheenu J says:

    Nice post. I have exactly the same peeves about Qlik. This is one workaround I came upon by accident a few years ago with the “white screen of nothingness” upon reload. It has saved me loads of time, considering it can sometimes take a few minutes for Qlik to step out of its drunken stupor.

    Dump data from QVW, go to debug mode, load with 10 rows. Then when you do a full reload it goes through without problems.
    Also worth trying, works for different instances, dump data, save file, close QlikView completely, re-open Qlik and file, save it again and then reload.

    If neither of these work, then…

    And for the WAD from Qlik Support: you’re not alone. Really, you aren’t.

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