We have long been big fans of Qlik Sense Cloud. You can build full BI apps, in your browser at no cost – and I find I can start it up quicker than Sense Desktop. Recently a new button has appeared in the UI, heralding the arrival of Qlik Sense Cloud Plus.
What Is Qlik Sense Cloud
For those of you who have not yet tried it out, Qlik Sense Cloud is a version of Sense you can run in a browser, with no installation. You simply need to sign up for a Qlik account (if you don’t already have one) at https://qlikid.qlik.com/#/register. Then simply sign in and then go to http://www.qlikcloud.com/.
From here you can upload data sets and build applications over them. You can also load data from the free sets that are available from Qlik DataMarket.
Qlik have provided a number of Getting Started resources which will help you with building applications. Once created you can share applications or individual charts with others, as we did in our previous blog post.
What Is Qlik Sense Cloud Plus
Today I received in my YouTube feed a new video from Mike Tarallo at Qlik, announcing some new features in the Qlik Sense Cloud, for a subscription fee. You can watch the video here:
As yet I have not been able to find a huge amount more information on the service, or what direction it may take in the future, but it is an exciting step forward – opening up more functionality at a very low cost.
Where Do I Sign Up?
To sign up you simply log into the standard Qlik Sense Cloud and click the Upgrade button at the top of the screen:
From here you get a screen showing you what extra you get with Qlik Cloud Plus, more on that in a bit:
At the bottom of the Cloud Plus column is a Subscribe button, which takes you to a payment screen.
This screen describes the subscription model, i.e. that the amount you pay will be taken monthly until you cancel the subscription, there are T&Cs to accept (as you would expect) and then the option of PayPal or Credit Card payment:
The PayPal process was simple and painless, just like buying anything else on-line. There are a couple more sets of terms to accept on the next screen, before you opt to process the payment. A confirmation screen is shown and you are offered to go back to Qlik Sense cloud:
Back in the Cloud you can see the confirmation that the Plus payment has gone through, with a changed icon:
What Do You Get Extra?
The advantages of the Plus subscription, according to the screen as you sign up, are: an Unlimited number of shares, apps of up to 75MB in size (three times more than the free version), a whopping 10GB of storage for data files and access to the Essentials package on Qlik Data Market. I’ve not yet explored what extra I get in the Data Market subscription, but I am looking forward to looking around.
The two major limitations of the free Qlik Sense Cloud are still evident though. Whilst I can now share my Cloud with as many people as I want (provided they have also signed up for a Qlik account) it is still the case with Plus that all individuals you share with can see everything that you share with anyone – more granular sharing is a must to make this really useful. Hopefully once the subscription model has bedded in there may be a separate tier where this is possible. Similarly, you are still constrained to using data from Data Market or files you have manually uploaded – a simple enough task but not something that can be automated. The ability to access files from outside the Sense Cloud, or to automate the upload, would really add to the convenience of the tool.
The lifting of some of the limitations around size and sharing makes Sense Cloud more than the sandbox it was previously. It doesn’t quite go far enough though to replace a proper Qlik Sense implementation for any serious use, as far as I can see.
This makes the third column of the features comparison window very interesting though… All of the things which are part of a full on-premise Sense install are present and correct, and there is the option to have all that in the Cloud. All limitations around document size and storage space are gone. As is the need to upload data to the Cloud first, it would appear. In order to get a full Sense Server in the cloud you need to contact Qlik to find out more. The pricing for this hasn’t yet found it’s way to partners, as far as I can see. My guess is that it will be in line with getting an on-premise licence, but if it is getting hardware and managing boxes that is stopping you moving forward with Sense then this may be a good way forward for you.
Any More Information?
I have been hunting around for more details on the new subscription offerings, but not been finding much. When I find more publicly available information I will add it to the comments on this post. If anyone else can offer more insights then please do share them below also.
Whilst this upgrade may not be as impressive as I thought it might when I saw the title of the video in my email earlier (I’m always an optimist!) it is another sign that Qlik are forward looking and are innovating at an ever increasing pace.
This can only be a good thing for us all.