One In-memory Solution Fits All: QlikView Stands Out with Unique Approach and Broad Applicability

In 1993, Swedish-based Qlik Technologies launched a desktop data management solution that soon evolved so that both the application and data resided entirely in RAM memory, converting the solution into one of the first in-memory based applications. Today the QlikView solution boasts approximately 28,000 customers in more than 100 countries. In this report, TEC data management analyst Jorge García gives an overview of the history, highlights, strengths, and challenges of QlikTech’s flagship in-memory data discovery application.

About the Creators of QlikView (QlikTech)

Qlik Technologies Inc., or simply QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK), is a software company founded in 1993 in Sweden and currently based in Radnor, Pennsylvania. It was started by Björn Berg and Staffan Gestrelius, who had the idea of developing a software solution capable of creating proper and meaningful data relations to mimic how the brain works. As a result of this effort, they came up with a desktop solution called QuikView (QUIK stands for Quality, Understanding, Interaction, and Knowledge). The application was used first to access information from different databases and make data associations and analysis as well as provide intuitive and attractive data visualizations.

During the natural evolution of QuikView, Håkan Wolgé and Berg made an important change in the solution’s design structure by making an application in which both application and data reside entirely in RAM memory, converting QuikView into an in-memory based application. In 1996 this in-memory solution became QlikView—still QlikTech’s flagship product almost 20 years later.

By 1999 QlikView was already deployed in a respectable number of medium to large organizations, and dozens of small ones, and was being used to navigate and perform analysis through complex and large sets of data, steadily becoming an important player in the business intelligence (BI) and data discovery spaces. The company’s solution continued to grow in popularity, and today, QlikTech has approximately 28,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

Due to the generalist nature of QlikView, QlikTech’s target markets are not confined to specific industries and geographies, as the software vendor offers a solution that generally meets the needs of different types of business users, focusing on a wide number of industries and lines of business ranging from financial services, retail, and manufacturing to health care and technology. QlikTech´s list of customers within different industries includes: Carrefour, the Yorkshire Police Department, and Qualcomm, providing solutions for organizations in the consumer packaged goods, financial services, health care, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, and technology industries.

With a presence around the globe and offices in many major cities, QlikTech has become an important player in the BI, data discovery, and data management arenas.  

QlikView and Its Approach to Data Discovery

The QlikView Business Discovery platform—aka QlikView, is an enterprise application that, based on an in-memory computing architecture, can be used for performing extensive and intensive analysis of information, including generalpurpose types of reporting, forecasting, dashboarding, and data visualization operations. The application allows end users to interact directly with the data. QlikView is a general purpose software application. Users can use it not just as a pure business software application for data analysis, but also in several other fields (e.g., science, engineering, academic research, art, etc.) that have a need for the capabilities QlikView offers, such as speed of processing, extensive search and data discovery features, and others that bring the potential of real-time or near real-time data analysis.

Deployment Models

QlikView has the flexibility to be deployed on-premise via server and desktop versions and on cloud servers. The solution can be used by organizations of many sizes as QlikTech offers licenses for single users and for large enterprises with many users. QlikView’s application can also be used with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as mobility is a development area of great interest for QlikTech.

To meet different organizational and personal needs, QlikView offers several manners of deployment for different uses:

  • Personal. QlikView’s Personal Edition can be downloaded for free for personal use. It contains almost all of QlikView’s development capabilities with some minor restrictions with respect to sharing built analysis applications and sharing applications with other QlikView Personal Edition users.
  • Local (Desktop). QlikView can also be deployed in a standalone desktop configuration, enabling a small number of users to share the complete development environment.
  • Server. QlikView’s Server edition is for those organizations that need to deploy QlikView across the enterprise. The server-based QlikView deployments support from 1 to 50 users.
  • Enterprise. QlikView’s Enterprise Edition enables the clustering of multiple QlikView servers and enables QlikView’s Publisher to allow scaling and support thousands of users, providing resilience, failover, and full QlikView analysis capabilities across the QlikView platform.

Figure 1: Schematic of a standalone desktop configuration of QlikView. © QlikTech 

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