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More things I hate about QlikView

Let me start this post with a question: What is wrong with you people? I was building a little app for analyzing which are your favorite topics in this blog when I came across a sad realization. Even though QlikFreak is full of useful tips about visualization and data modeling, it looks like the most popular post is… well… the one where I complain about everything 😛

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In a way, writing this kind of posts is like talking about my problems with someone who really understands, and since I cannot afford a decent therapist, why don’t we put the constructive spirit aside and discuss the details we hate about the platform we love? Here we go: More things I hate about QlikView!

The extra space in listboxes when you use the AJAX client: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had mixed feelings about the AJAX client. On one hand, it has great features such as notes, session collaboration and the fact that you don’t have to install anything special in order to use QlikView in desktops, laptops or even mobile devices. On the other hand, it slightly changes the size and alignment of the objects, modifies the amount of visible rows in straight / pivot tables and sometimes adds scrollbars to the charts. And well… I really hate unaligned objects in my apps!!! However, the thing that annoys me the most is, without a doubt, that blank space that appears at the end of certain listboxes:22_02

For God’s sake! Why. Are. You. There?!?! Aaaaarrrrghhhhh!!!

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Bulk Actions: At some point in our lives, we’ve all wished that QlikView had some sort of bulk actions (you know, a magical “Apply to all” button). For example, let’s say you just finished creating a 10-column straight table and you want to center all the labels.  You go to the Presentation tab and try to select all the expressions but you can’t, so you end up either clicking each column and centering its title or changing the object type to a Pivot Table and doing it all at once (I’m not really sure why this only works for Pivot Tables).

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It’s also impossible to disable all the columns at once. I stumble with this problem very often when I want to use the Equal Column Width action just for some expressions:

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Or when you want to change the width / height of several objects:

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It’s really not a big deal, but sometimes I’m too lazy to performs all those clicks 😕

Stagger Labels: I’ve always asked myself why this is the default setting for new charts. Really, it’s impossible to interpret that. I could have understood diagonal or even vertical labels, but this?

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 “QlikView Experts”: I don’t know if this phenomenon happens in other countries as well, but here in Mexico there’s a plague of self-proclaimed “QlikView Experts” who go around creating apps that stand out because of their insane amount of synthetic keys, pie charts with dozens of slices, unreadable fonts and poorly designed KPIs. These guys brag about their experience in the airline, retailer and consumer products industries. However, they never mention that it comes from Q-Tee Brands and HighCloud Airlines! (Yep, those are the fictional companies of QlikView your Business and QlikView 11 for Developers. Great books, by the way.)

If Rob Wunderlich, Steve Dark or Stephen Redmond call themselves QV experts, they’ve more than earned it. If Barry Harmsen wants to be Chief Qlik Officer, no one can complain. If Karl Pover wants to be referred to as Honey Boo Boo, you’d better call him “Your Majesty Miss Honey Boo Boo” (Let’s see if Karl still reads my blog). But please, if you just finished the Designer I course and created your first real world app, don’t use “Ultimate QlikView Guru” as your LinkedIn title.

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Moving containers: I’ve always had problems when it comes to moving container objects in QlikView. For a strange reason, sometimes when you try to use Ctrl + Arrows it looks like the table inside it wants to get out, but the object itself doesn’t move.

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Awesome demos: Have you ever tried to borrow certain elements of a demo app (like a label, for instance) just to find out that it’s actually an image?

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Tab Scroll: I really cannot believe that Qlik hasn’t changed this yet! A little part of me dies every time I install QlikView with a new server / laptop and this guy appears for the millionth time:

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Once again, thanks Barry for sharing the solution. (I wish we knew who wrote that post originally, he’s a real hero).

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Some features in QlikView 12: QlikView 12 has brought some good improvements, but also some not-so-pleasant things:

Online Help: Some of my customers have strict security rules and they don’t grant full Internet access to the external consultants. Sadly, since QlikView 12 doesn’t have any local help, you must now gather other type of documentation. Good luck remembering the parameters of ALL the functions!

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Strange Symbols: If you speak Spanish, French or German, maybe you will relate to this one. QlikView has no problem in defining fields with non-English symbols. However, in this new version, the Edit Expression dialog doesn’t get along with them very well and marks them as errors:

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C’mon, first you recommend me to use this field, but then you don’t recognize it?

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Ctrl + E / Little Hammer: Have you noticed those little hammers in the script? They used to be very useful! Usually, they would trigger the File Wizard where you could edit the column names, create a cross-table, etc.

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Well… Now, sometimes they work, but some others they don’t 😦

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Hidden text objects: I’m sure this one has happened to you at least once. When you have multiple charts / tables in the screen and you create a new Text Object, sometimes it doesn’t appear at first sight. You have to activate the Design Grid in order to discover where the sneaky guy is hiding!

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Can you relate to any of these? What else would you add to the list? Please, share your thoughts in the section below. Till next time!

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17 thoughts on “More things I hate about QlikView

  1. Haha that was a brilliant post Julian! I can relate to them all and the bulk action is something I have prayed will be added. Just like you can add multiple drop down selects to dimensions on a table box why can’t you you do the same for expressions, grrr. Of late, the most frustrating thing I have to do is when a client asks me to build a straight table with 30+ dimensions and 2 expressions. I always forget to treat this the other way because if I build it like this, say good bye to fitting this within your screen resolution. Why the flip can I not shrink you and for a scroll bar to magically just appear :). Once again, great post Julian!

  2. Al says:

    Hi.

    This is the best post because it gets the point. It doesn’t lick any ass. It says things that we all know but none dares to say.

  3. Hi Julian,

    Similar to your field not being recognised and the red underline of ‘do you really mean that’ I’d also like to expand that to set analysis when you use an operator:

    Sum( { Sales}

    By adding the minus sign (-) you exclude the Region North from the set which is perfectly fine and it’s the correct syntax although you now get a red ‘do you really mean that’ line from the minus sign all the way to the end of the expression. Not great when you’re trying to debug a big expression…..

    Ah the joys…….

    Take care

    Richard

  4. A few of these things might be assessed as bugs (especially the ones about QV 12, but not only those). Please, open some support cases and we’ll see if something can be done about them.

  5. Julian, I would add the innability to use the mouse wheel on the box that shows all the expressions on an object.

    Another one is the inability to invoke images from a directory in the server (though i figure there should be some workaround for this one) instead of embedding them in the file and make it bigger and bulkier

    And the one of the sneaky text boxes is easily solved when you create your objects through richt click menu instead of design bar

  6. In my models, and due to the need of controlling several exchange rates at the same time I have some fields like

    Sum([Sales_$(v_Active_Exchange)])

    Which really evaluates to something like

    Sum([Sales_USD]) or Sum([Sales_COP]) or ….whatever

    So… on to the annoying think… QlikView recognizes this use of a Variable as an error (even though it works)…. and from then on, the autocomplete tool and the syntax coloring won’t work anymore because the editor wants you to try and correct the “error” you made….

    BUT IT WORKS!!!!!

    Ps. any better idea is kindly appreciated, though I just had one …. Sum($(v_Field_Sales))… I know for a fact that won´t get me an error..

  7. Mihai Petcu says:

    Interesting.

    I would add something that is not really included in this topic, but it quite rises my tension every time I get to do more complex loading.

    In script load syntax you cannot join more than two tables.

    Thus is annoying, big time.

    Every time I have to ETL data, i turn in my mind to the question: Why not?

    PS
    I know of Qlikview Expressor. It’s a nice tool, from what i can tell.
    But i would like that natively built-in into Qlikview scripting.

    • Hi Mihai….

      I don’t really get your point here… I have done

      Table:
      load field1, field2… resident main_table;

      left joint (Table)
      load * resident master1;

      left joint (Table)
      load * resident master2;

      left joint (Table)
      load * resident master3;

      tons of times, and to me, that is “joining 3 tables to another” or you mean something more like SQL

      Select field1, field2, …
      from main_table
      left join master1 on field1=master1.field 1 …. and so…

      If anything Qlikview’s seems clearer to me because you don’t have to specifically write over which fields will the join be made, it’s always made along the same fields.

      Given sometimes you may want to make some loading logic related to the contents of the fields from the masters but that can be arranged with a where and a clever Inner join 😉

  8. Mihai Petcu says:

    A quite annoying behavior is jump-to-cursor when you try to select text that spans multiple screens verically.

    I mean you want to copy-paste some text, you position your cursor at the start of the text and then use vertical scrollbar the get at the end of what you want to select.

    When you do leftclick, it automagically return scroll position at beginning of text and mess up your selection. It happens sometimes, depending on how long you make the leftclick or i don’t know.

    It’s the same in reload script, chart expression, macro and i think wherever you try to do this in QlikView.

  9. Alex says:

    Hey Julian,

    great post! I can absolutely agree with the mentioned issues. I always experience the same while developing new applications for my Company.

    Anothe annoying issue would be the usage of variables in the Expression editior. if you use many different variables and do not remember the names, then you have first to write the Name of the variable to get the recommendations. After you have choosen the right one, you have to add the $() to calculate the values. It would be better to get the reccomendations after opening the $(. Do you have a useful Workaround for this? Or is it also an your wish list 😉

    Greetings
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      I totally agree with you, it’s annoying how the Syntax Editor goes crazy every time you use variables! I’ve looked for workarounds repeatedly, but I usually end up writing $() in the traditional way. It’s also sad that when you use $() you kill basic functionality like Intellisense or those visual cues that indicate which parenthesis corresponds to the one next to the cursor.

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