QlikView for iPhone and iPod Touch application overview

While the Java version of QlikView mobile is still in beta, QlikView for iPhone and iPod Touch is now available in the iTunes store.


From the Application Store entry:

QlikView Business Intelligence software allows you to quickly and easily get answers to business questions.

QlikView for the iPhone and iPod Touch allows users to access analysis on a QlikView Server.  This is the first truly interactive mobile BI application built from the ground up for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

QlikView for the iPhone and iPod Touch requires access to a QlikView Server, which must be licensed separately.  We do, however, provide access to our public demo server, demo.qlikview.com, by default on the iPhone and iPod Touch client.  This allows uses who download this client to experience the QlikView solution without having to first buy a QlikView server.

Here is how I think it works.  (I haven't found any directions, if they exist.)  As it says above, when you install and run the application for the first time, it is already configured to connect to the QlikView demo server.


When you open a QVW, a list of the tabs is displayed with the captions of the components on the tab.  Tap one of items to open the tab.


Navigating a QlikView tab in the mobile application is vastly different from using a desktop or web client.  The components are browsed using a cover flow, and they're arranged with list boxes first, followed by charts.  The coverflow starts and ends with shortcuts to the previous and next tabs.

Here is a typical list box, with a search box, All, Possible, and Excluded buttons.  Notice the bookmark and current selections buttons in the upper right.  To clear all selections, shake the iPhone (up/down seems to work better than side-to-side) in a vaguely satisfying way.  I haven't yet figured out how to clear individual selections, nor how to select multiple items from a list box.


Selections can be made in charts in the same way as the desktop client, either clicking one slice or dragging and creating a shaded area of several slices.

chart selection

The same gestures to zoom in and out of web pages and other iPhone applications can be used to zoom in and out of charts.  However, when you zoom, if you try to drag the screen like you would to navigate to a different part of a web page, that gesture is already being used to select, so I kept accidentally selecting things.  I also didn't see any examples with text in the chart, cycle or drill groups, or quick change options.  It's entirely possible that some chart types or other components are not compatible with the iPhone client, but I'm just going on what I see in the demo apps.

One suggestion I have for this cover flow view: notice the redundancy when you have selected a chart or list box - the same image is displayed once at the top and once at the bottom.  There are two viable options here, I think.  The first is to display some information about the current component in place of the smaller image at the bottom.  For instance, it could display the full title of the chart, the totals for the expression formulas, a list of the current selections in the QVW, the chart legend (instead of using precious space at the top), cycle buttons for cycle groups or grouped expressions, or how many of the chart dimensions are currently showing, e.g. Customer (12/50).  The simpler alternative, however, would be to take advantage of the accelerometer and allow the user to change this to a landscape view, just like the cover flows of the iPod applications of iPhones and iPod Touches. [I stand corrected on landscape mode.  Please see the comments. -Mike]


It's not reasonable to expect full functionality in a mobile client, but this is pretty good, so far.  A big plus is that you can find what you need remotely in a more optimized environment than what was previously available.  I have a first-generation iPhone that is often limited to the pokey Edge network, and this is considerably faster and with better functionality than navigating the AJAX versions of QVWs in the Safari mobile browser.

TAGS: QlikView

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