Mastering QlikView Book Review
Stephen Redmond is a QlikView expert, as indicated by his book Mastering QlikView in which he clearly illustrates myriad advanced techniques from data modeling and performance tuning to expression writing and visualization best practices. While there is a disclaimer in the beginning of the book that the content caters to more advanced QlikView developers, I believe that Mastering QlikView is a must-read for anyone endeavoring to create QlikView applications. Though having in-depth knowledge of the tool does help to provide more context to the optimization portions, Redmond does an excellent job of giving the reader a basic overview of each chapter’s content prior to delving into more detail; it doesn’t read at all like a technical manual, but more like a tutorial.
Mastering QlikView starts with a very technical-heavy performance tuning and optimization guide with detailed instructions on how to debug any QlikView application for slow behavior; the section on using JMeter for user simulation is particularly well-written and explains each step carefully without assuming foreknowledge of the tool itself. Redmond also explains how to most efficiently acquire test data and provides links to sources he uses when testing a QlikView environment. He then goes on to detail the process of data modeling, theories on data warehousing, and performance testing on the front end – he even includes a guide on how to use Expressor to optimize the ETL process.
What struck me most about this book is that it not only answers the question of “How?” but also the question of “Why?”. Redmond gives sound reasoning and empirical proof of the benefits of using a variety techniques for each topic he covers. The section on data visualization is imperative for any developer to have in his or her back pocket in order to understand how and why users interact with QlikView applications (or really anything) the way that they do – he uses an example of a door with a handle that says “PUSH”, a situation to which I’m sure all of us can relate.
Mastering QlikView is a great addition to any QlikView developer’s bookshelf – even the most sophisticated developer would certainly come away with something new or at the very least a better understanding of QlikView. I will certainly be referring back to this book in my future engagements and would recommend that any QlikView developer, novice or expert, keeps Mastering QlikView close at hand while creating QlikView applications.