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5/16/2007
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QlikTech Upgrade Supports Broader BI Deployments

Beefed up scalability, collaboration and "what-if" analysis capabilities highlight QlikView 8 release.

Are you trying to spread BI to hundreds if not thousands of users, including partners and customers outside the firewall? QlikTech says many customers want to do just that, so its just-released QlikView 8 business intelligence software packs new features to support those deployments. A major point release, QlikView 8 also offers improved collaboration functionality and it adds "actional analysis" that lets users test what-if scenarios.

The scalability improvements start with a built-in Web server that eliminates the need to use IIS (though you can still use Microsoft's Web server if you prefer). QlikView 8 also adds a Web-based control panel for the QlikView Server while developers save time with newly automated generation of Ajax and Java clients. To simplify administration of large numbers of QlikView reports, QlikTech has synchronized the release of the QlikView Server and QlikView Publisher (in this release and going forward), and both components now share the same install and can be directly accessed from the QlikView client.

QlikView 8 fosters collaborative analysis by letting users share document objects, bookmarks and reports. These features let users open reports and analyses in the same view and selection state seen by collaborators, yet users remain connected to the QlikView security model, so they'll only see the information they're entitled to see. Bookmarks can be saved as a visible, virtual part of the master application, and users can share or keep private new graphs, sheets and objects they add to a document.

“We do a lot of collaborative analysis – talking with our territory managers," states QlikTech customer Steve Stroupe, project manager at Colonial Supplemental Insurance. "[The upgrades] allow us to not only discuss the state of the business, but also to manage and report on it at the same time.”

To support forward-looking "what-if" analysis, QlikView 8 incorporates "placeholder fields" that let you either hold data in memory or enter new data to be distributed across aggregations. "Previously you had to reload changed data to see the delta, but now you can simply enter figures or even stream data into the placeholder field and immediately see the impact," explains Heinrich Breen, senior product development manager. "If you're doing budgeting, you could have people edit their own numbers and perform ad hoc analyses."

QlikTech's in-memory database technology takes advantage of the latest advances in hardware, with optimized parallel processing for quad-core CPUs. Depending on hardware and deployment variables, QlikView 8 is said to be 30 percent to 90 percent faster than the previous version. One benchmark test involving a 100-million-record query that took 14 seconds with QlikView 7 running on a dual-core processor now takes only 2.3 seconds in QlikView 8 running on a quad-core processor, says Breen. The upgrade also features new data visualization types including "funnel" and Pareto charts, heat maps and multiple-gauge displays. QlikView 8 entered beta testing in February and was released on May 8.

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