Qlik Chat

The vision of democratising data, making everyone explore and find insights from corporate data is one of the biggest drivers behind Qlik Sense. But what happens when you find the insights you have been looking for? How do you share that with your peers? We have seen some great examples which allow you to share links with your selections (using app API) or take a snapshot and share it via email. But that is lacking the true intuitiveness that we are so used to from a platform. We also have seen extensions such as Lets comment and few other similar chat/commenting options, but they require 3rd party services that business will have to setup and sign up to.

This made me think, wouldn’t it be great if I can build a simple solution that leverages Qlik’s (QSE on Windows) existing setup to run and provides with the means to comment/chat from within Qlik Sense? That way the users do not need to leave the platform to share their thoughts/findings and all information will be contained in one place.

With that idea, I started looking at how I can achieve this. And that gave birth to Qlik Chat! A chat/commenting solution for Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows, which uses the existing setup (PostgreSQL database) Qlik Sense is based on and delivers the capability to share links and comments on a dashboard, creating a more engaging data space for the business. Stay in one place, avoid emails and get all your data related questions/answers in one platform. This can be setup with very little configuration and with no additional cost to the business.

What is Qlik Chat?

Qlik Chat enables comments/chat feature for Qlik Sense applications. It utilises the existing PostgreSQL server that QSE on Windows uses to store all the comments/chat contexts. No need to install a new database server or set up a new data service in order to run this. There are 2 elements to this –

  1. A node.js REST API based on express.js framework.
  2. A Qlik Sense visualisation extension for the Qlik Sense Client.
Qlik Chat Architecture
Qlik Chat Architecture

How to Install

Just head over to Qlik Branch or my GitHub repository and download the qlik-chat repository to your Qlik Sense server. Follow the instructions on README.md. You may have to install node.js on the Qlik Sense server if you do not have it installed already. Apart from that, no additional software is required to run this.

Qlik Chat
Qlik Chat

What’s next

This API can capture chart/object level comments. A new Qlik Sense chat extension can be built to add the commenting option/icon on context menu for all charts/object and an “object id” can be passed on to the API to capture it. The provided extension is only an example, to show how the API works. I would like to build a cross browser compatible version with more options in the future. I welcome anyone who would like to contribute to this project and develop those capabilities.

Enjoy the new chat/comment feature on Qlik Sense and if any issues – I can easily be reached here or via my twitter account.

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