Category Archives: Qlik Sense Business

Qlik Sense Business vs. Azure SQL Database

What are we doing?

In today’s blog, I am going demonstrate how to connect to an Azure SQL Database from Qlik Sense Business, for the first time

Scenario

The scenario we have today is a customer call Bobs Room Bookings, who has an Azure SQL Database which holds the data for their ERP system. They want to be able to use Qlik Sense Business to import and interrogate all of their data.

Steps

So, lets go…

1) Log into Qlik Sense Business, and either create or open an App

2) Browse to the Data Load Editor

3) From the right hand menu, click “Create new connection”

4) Search for SQL, and you will notice a variety of SQL like connections. The one we are interested in is “Azure SQL Database”

5) Enter the connection details and username/password for your database,

Server: carlh.database.windows.net
Database: carlh1
Username: Azure
Password: IAmNotTellingYou

6) Click “Test Connection”

Uh-oh…

Error Message “Please check the values for Username, Password Host or other Properties”
General Error. Cannot open the host ‘carlh’ requested by this login. Client with IP Address “xxx” is not allowed to access the server.

Oh dear, quite a grizzly error message has appeared.

Problems problems problems…

So, what does this mean…?

Well, it means that the Qlik Sense Business tenant (i.e. <yourname>.<your region>.qlikcloud.com) does not have access to your Azure tenant. Even though Qlik Sense Business and Azure are both Cloud and SaaS solutions, there is some configuration required to allow both parties to talk to one another.

It should be as simple as pie to get two Cloud solutions to talk, but, as we are ‘technically’ accessing a data source from a private network, the private network being Azure, we need to allow both parties to talk in a safe and secure manner.

This diagram explains the problem – we are getting a Connection Failed error, as the IP Address from Qlik Business Cloud is not in the Azure Firewall.

Don’t panic, its quite a simple fix!

Firstly, we need to identify which Region your Qlik Sense Business tenant resides in, and grab the IP addresses required for Azure. See the Qlik Help guide here > https://help.qlik.com/en-US/cloud-services/Subsystems/Hub/Content/Sense_Hub/LoadData/connect-data-sources.htm

My tenant is carlh.eu.qlikcloud.com, so I need the 3 IP addresses listed in second section

With this information in hand, we need to head over to the Azure tenant where your Azure SQL Database lives. If you login to your Azure Portal (https://portal.azure.com/), and find the SQL Server in question – see below for what mine looks like

From the top left, search for Firewall and select “Firewalls and virtual networks”

Enter the three IP addresses from above into the Client IP Address section half way down the page. Enter a friendly name, so future you doesn’t curse past you too much. For simplicity, I’ve called my three rules Qlik Business 1, 2 and 3.

Once done, click Save.

If you jump back to Qlik Business Cloud, and click on Test Connection again, you should see…

“Connection succeeded” 😊

At this point, you can click on Create, and you are ready to import data from your Azure SQL Database.

In Summary

We have gone through the steps to setup connectivity between Qlik Sense Business and an Azure SQL Database.

An Azure SQL Server can have multiple Databases, however, you only need to configure the Azure Firewall for the first time you try and import data from a particular Azure SQL Server.

Have you struggled with this? Let me know in the comments.

Qlik Sense Business – you what?

Hello all, today I am mostly talking about Qlik Sense Business… You what? Qlik Sense Business? Yes, Qlik Sense Business.. let me explain!

This is blog one of many I am planning on Qlik Sense Business. I hope to explore the functionality, and comparing and contrasting with Qlik Sense Enterprise and other solutions.

Anyway, on with today’s blog

Who is Qlik Sense Business?

Qlik Sense Business is Qlik’s newest SaaS solution which brings you all that you love about Qlik Sense, and puts it in the cloud, ‘as a service’

What is Qlik Sense Business?

Qlik Sense Business (or QSB for short) is Qlik Sense Enterprise, but hosted by Qlik on their SaaS (Software as a solution) platform, based on top of Kubernetes architecture – I believe the cool kids call this K8s?.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know about Kubernetes or anything like that, this is a simple to use, quick to get up and running with, Business Intelligence platform.

QSB doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of standard Qlik Sense Enterprise, however, only drops API integrations, managed spaces, access to “value-added” products such as NPrinting and Alerting. You still get the core Qlik associative engine, with self service creation and ETL as well as global search, insight advisor, mobile access, and everything else you’d expect from a Qlik Sense product. 

There is a seamless upgrade path to Qlik Sense Enterprise, which means once you’ve hit the capacity limits*, or want to look at different deployment methods, you can simply upscale without having to rewrite or ‘do anything’ – just the click of a button. I have to say, the capacity limits are quite high, which is good, and surprising for an entry level product. Well done Qlik! 

*App size in memory 1.25GB, storage on disk (250GB), 50 reloads per day and 3 reloads concurrently.

Where can I find Qlik Sense Business?

QSB is a SaaS solution, and can be found the Qlik website. No software is required, just you, your data, and an internet connection – https://www.qlik.com/us/products/qlik-sense

How much does Qlik Sense Business cost?

QSB starts at $30/user/month, or for fellow Brits £23.75/user/month. There is tiered pricing available too, meaning, more you buy, the cheaper it can be! If that doesn’t tempt, there is also a 30 day free trial…

When can I use Qlik Sense Business?

QSB is available now, go for it. You might, also, wish to engage with a Qlik Partner, to help with configuration

How do you get started with Qlik Sense Business?

Head on over to https://www.qlik.com/us/products/qlik-sense and click “Try It Free”. Once you’ve got your tenant setup, its super simple to get going. On the main landing page, you can ‘start your journey’ by analysing sample data, or analyse your own files by uploading a spreadsheet or connecting to a SaaS/cloud data source

Clicking on ‘analysing sample data’ imports a data model, and launches the Insights Advisor, and allows you to explore and ask those questions of your data… For example… “top sales by customer” will auto generate insights, data, and charts for you – very cool, very easy to do.

To add the automatically generated chart to a sheet, click Add to sheet, which will take you into edit mode. From here, you can start to add more objects to craft your dashboard! Ps – notice, no code was used in the gif below, all drag and drop, all using the AI and Qlik’s cognitive engine…

Why would *you* use Qlik Sense Business?

If you are new to the Qlik ecosystem, and want to give it a try, using the 30 day free trial, then this is a great way to get started quickly and cheaply – if your data sources are mostly cloud based. On premise data sources such as a SQL Server running Sage 200 would require firewall configuration, to allow your Qlik Sense Business tenant to talk to your server.

Qlik Sense Business is a direct replacement for using Qlik Sense Desktop – as this is no longer available as a freemium product**. You get the vast majority of functionality with QSB, so this is not a cut down version, the good stuff is not hidden behind an expensive paywall (like other providers…).

Why would *I* use Qlik Sense Business?

Well, being honest, in my professional life, I currently don’t – apart from as an environment for learning – however, I can see there becomes a time where all Qlik prospects start out on Qlik Sense Business, for Proof of Concept / Seeing is Believing type events, and once the time is right, migrates over to Qlik Sense Enterprise.

But, for me, this isn’t quite how it works in practice 🙂

To finish…

I hope you found that useful, stay tuned for more blogs re Qlik Sense Business

**Qlik Sense Desktop is kinda still free, if you do this: