Free Qlik Web Connectors

Quick Intelligence were long standing partners of Industrial Codebox and re-sellers of their QVSource product. At Qonnections this year it was announced that ICB were being purchased by Qlik. This month QVSource re-launched under the name Qlik Web Connectors, with a number of free ‘Standard’ connectors. In this post I look at some of what you can do with this product without licencing premium connectors.

Background

With the purchase and re-branding of QVSource there were bound to be some changes. Those of you familiar with the product will be pleased to hear that the functionality of the product remains the same, and the UI is very much like when I blogged about it on the release of the web version of QVSource. If you are not yet familiar with the product, this use case given in this post about connecting to a secure intranet page with QVSource should give you a good feel for why you may need this product.

So, where do the changes lie in the new version?

One of the neat features of QVSource, as it was, was that when you purchased any connector you got a number of extra connectors included and you also got the ability to test any beta connectors that were in development. The result of the move to Qlik is both good and bad, to give the bad news first – the beta connectors have been removed and at present it is not possible to get access to them. Hopefully this will change in future, perhaps with some closed NDA betas. Moving swiftly to the good news though, there is an expanded list of ‘Standard’ connectors, and these are available at no cost. Simply download the product from Qlik’s download site (here) and you can start using the Standard connectors straight away for free.

Qlik Standard Connectors

The rest of the post is focused on these Standard connectors, and what you can do with them.

Qlik Notification Connector

One of the frustrations I have had with Qlik Sense is that the QMC does not have the ability to send alerts on failures during reloads. This has been available in QlikView since before I started using it. Alerts are also not available out of the box yet.

It would appear that Qlik have decided to plug this gap by making the Qlik Notification Connector available as a Standard connector within Qlik Web Connectors. During the load script you can now send emails, via SMTP with dynamic content and with attachments. By coupling this with data written using the STORE statement powerful alerting is now possible from the load script, in both QlikView and Qlik Sense.

Qlik SMTP Setup

In order to plug the gap of the QMC not sending alerts, an app could be created which parses the load log files and then sends an email listing any failures that have occurred since the last run of the log parser via Qlik Web Connectors.

Qlik FTP/SFTP Connector

Qlik FTP SetupThis could be a hugely useful connector in some scenarios, indeed we looked at implementing QVSource at a client purely for this functionality, and it is now included as a Standard connector. Using this connector data can be downloaded from a FTP site prior to it being loaded into QlikView or Qlik Sense, allowing for data to be loaded from even more sources. Data can also be uploaded as part of a load, perhaps shipping a QVD created on one server across to a different server to be used there.

As you would expect, the ability to specify passwords for both FTP and SFTP is present and correct.

Qlik Mailbox Connector

Qlik POP3 IMAP SetupThis connector allows you to issue POP3 and IMAP statements and have them run during your Qlik load script. You can download email messages and attachments and pull those into your Qlik application. Whilst it may not be practical or beneficial to load all of your emails into an application for analysis (or perhaps it is?) the connector does open up some opportunities.

By setting up a specific email account you can provide automation to your Qlik load script via email. Perhaps you have a monitoring tool which can raise alerts via email? Have this send alerts to an address your Qlik load script is watching and your Qlik app can display these alerts. Or perhaps you have an incremental load, but you want users to request full reloads at will, have the user send an email and when the Qlik load script spots the mail it can change from incremental to full reload.

There are, of course, many other possibilities of automation using email.

Qlik Dropbox and Google Drive Connectors

These two connectors allow you to authenticate and interact with two of the most common cloud storage providers. Both of the connectors allow you to download specified files from these providers to a location local to where the script is being run. This means files that have been placed in these secure stores can then be loaded into your QlikView app. Both also allow you to get lists of files in order to enumerate around files.

The DropBox connector also allows you to upload files to DropBox, and the Google Drive connector has some additional options around updating Google Spreadsheets from the load script – which could make it very useful.

Qlik Google Calendar Connector

Qlik Google Calendar SetupThis is one of the connectors that here at QI we use to drive our business. To give our consultants a simple way to log time they just enter information into Google Calendar. QlikView then picks up data from each of the calendars, via this connector, and then builds a complete list of what time has been spent and what needs to be billed on the back of it. Each of the components is very simple, but with the different parts working together an elegant solution can be produced.

If you are looking to build a similar app be wary of the way that the data from Google deals with events that span multiple days, as you will need to deal with this in your load script.

Final Notes

As well as the Standard connectors listed above, there are a couple more Standard connectors and a whole host of Premium connectors. These allow you to connect to many different on-line data sources including Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft Dynamics and Google Big Query. The premium connectors are licensed on a subscription basis and are available through the same channels as QlikView and Qlik Sense licences. Contact your Qlik partner or Qlik account manager for more details.

It is worth mentioning that if you are upgrading from QVSource to Qlik Web Connectors you will need to make some adjustments to your load scripts. This is mostly due to the old brand name of QVSource being removed from URLs and connector names. The version numbers on connectors are also being removed, which should make things simply moving forward. The changes required to the load script are documented in the Release notes for Qlik Web Connectors 2.0.0. Note that the subsequent release notes mention more recent changes, but are not as thorough in their description of upgrading from QVSource.

Annoyingly it is still required that you put Qlik Sense into ‘Legacy’ mode in order to use Qlik Web Connectors. The rationale behind this is that Sense has a library of connections which are managed and governed. The web connectors however tend to be most useful when parameters are passed into the URL. This is not allowed in Qlik Sense by default. Changes to settings are presently required to enable this functionality, but hopefully now it is a Qlik product something will change in Sense to allow this type of load to happen by default. The setting change is documented on the Qlik Web Connectors Help.

At Quick Intelligence we were big fans of QVSource and the work that Chris and Darren had done putting it all together (not to mention the legendary support). It is great to see the product is still in good health (even if it does have a new name) and that both Chris and Darren are both now on staff at Qlik – hopefully able to keep a watchful eye on their product.

By |2017-07-17T12:17:58+00:00July 26th, 2016|Announcements, Load Script, Qlik Sense|22 Comments

About the Author:

Steve is owner and principal consultant at Quick Intelligence. He is a Qlik Luminary, Qlik Community MVP and Technical Editor of a number of QlikView Books.

22 Comments

  1. Alex Walkerlker July 26, 2016 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I was of the understanding that you only got access to the “free” Standard connectors when you purchased at least one of the Premium connectors. Have you tested just downloading and running the standard connectors with no licence applied? Interested to know as it’ll affect how we talk about it.

    That said, I was also of the understanding the Beta connectors would be included in the first Qlik Web Connectors release, but that didn’t end up being the case!

    • Steve Dark July 26, 2016 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Hi Alex,

      It worked for me without a licence – I tried it because Qlik were dragging their heels getting us our partner licence. It may be that it was a residual thing from having the old QVSource licence present, but I doubt it. The description on Qlik Market certainly suggests that it is open for anyone to use.

      What I’ve heard is that there are no plans to make the beta connectors available again, but there are certainly those that would like to see them.

  2. Jacob Agastin July 26, 2016 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Steve, what is the “Private key file” and “remote directory path” in FTP/SFTP connector?

    • Steve Dark July 26, 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Hi Jacob, The remote directory path is the path on the FTP server that you are reading or writing from or to. The private key file is the file that corresponds to the public key file on a SFTP server. Full details of this are given in the Qlik Web Connectors help – which is all accessible from within the product or on the web.

  3. Jacob Agastin July 26, 2016 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Thank You very much, Steve. I appreciate it.

  4. Stefan Stoichev July 26, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    do you know what are the options if we want to build our own connectors in this case?

    • Steve Dark July 29, 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Stefan,

      As far as I am aware there is no way of writing your own connector to sit within Qlik Web Connectors – but given how things have moved with Widgets in Sense and Extensions in both QlikView and Sense, perhaps this will get opened up in future.

      What Qlik Web Connectors do effectively is turn a complicated, authenticated, API connection into a simple URL that can be opened by the Qlik load script. If you wanted to create your own connector you would just have to do the same thing, write the code to make the connection and expose the resultant data as a HTTP stream using a web service.

      For the sources where there is a Qlik Web Connector there is a significant saving in time, where you don’t need to author complicated code, test, respond to changes in the APIs or worry about the security in the way you expose the data – that is all taken care of by the product.

  5. Niklas Hedborg October 19, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hi,

    I can just confirm that the version downloaded from Qlik Market allows access to the Standard Connectors without any installed license (old or new).

    Not sure for how long that is, but e.g. being able to connect to a Google Spreadsheet should in my view be as easy/cheap/free as connecting to an Excel-file, so hope Qlik keeps it this way.

    • Steve Dark October 19, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

      That is correct, totally free with no need to even make Qlik aware that you are using it. Hopefully more connectors will appear on the standard list, as well as the paid. Previously there were a number of beta connectors as part of QVSource which hopefully will re-appear.
      I don’t see any reason why the free connectors will be revoked, as it is a good way of getting people used to using the product before making an investment in one of the Premium connectors, and also it does plug a couple of gpas that do need to be plugged.

  6. Jerry ogwa May 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Please, could you share the download link for the new version of the web connector? I was unable to download it through Qlik portal since I am not direct client to Qlik.

    Thank you

  7. shruthi November 2, 2018 at 7:34 am - Reply

    Hi can you help me how qiksensereports can send through mails and if we get any issues in data load editor
    for data then it should display some alert messges is it possible in qliksense.
    if possible please share me any links

    • Steve Dark November 2, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Hi, we have an app that we licence that connects to the Tasks REST connection and looks for fails (along with a number of other checks) at the end of the checks a HTML file is written using the STORE statement (see this post for details on this part). Finally, if errors are found, QWC is used to send the HTML file to an address via the SMTP Connector. The reason that we licence this is it takes a bit of time to get it packaged, sent and configured and supported for each client. If you would be interested in using this please get in touch. Sending a data table from the load script is a good blog topic, which I will look to write soon. Subscribe to be notified of when this is done.

      • shruthi November 2, 2018 at 10:04 am - Reply

        Thanks for your Response , but through qlik web connectors (qlik notification connector )is it possible to send automatic mails

        • Steve Dark November 2, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

          Yes. You just need to code the logic into your load script and use the connector to send mail. Use the QWC GUI to build your query string and then copy and paste it into your app.

        • Steve Dark November 4, 2018 at 9:42 pm - Reply

          Here you go, I’ve put together a new blog post explaining how to do just that: https://www.quickintelligence.co.uk/send-data-from-qlik-load-script/

  8. ALI SALMAN April 29, 2019 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Is it possible that i can do SMTP set up via GMAIL as i was tried a lot but could not find any solution ?

    Actually i want to generate email notification once QlikView/QlikSense load is done so i have tried the same my local with configuration of gmail.

    Can you advise if i doing something wrong any step ?
    i have following the below to do so,
    * Installed Qlik Web Connector
    *Then visit ‘Standard Tab’
    *Select ‘Qlik SMTP Connector’
    *In Send Email,i have filled up given Parameter i.e SMTP Server/PORT & User Credentials

    • Steve Dark April 29, 2019 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      In the Qlik Web Connectors web page you want to send a test email by filling in the parameters, as you have done. Once you have got the test email sending you can copy the script for Sense or QlikView from the web interface and paste this into the app. Where you have the message in the URL you will need to replace this with the message you want to send at the end of the load.

      I’ve given further details on using the Web Connectors (in this case IMAP, but the principle is the same) in this article on routers Netgear Router Logs in Qlik Sense.

  9. Cameron Scully May 8, 2019 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Is the notification connection still supported? I don’t see it in the documentation and I just downloaded the latest version and it’s not in the standard list

    • Steve Dark May 8, 2019 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Cameron,
      It’s still there, it’s just been renamed SMTP Connector. I’ve done a subsequent blog post on the use of this connector here. Hope that helps.
      Steve

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