Qlik’s Introduction of Qlik Application Automation
Back in October of 2020, Qlik announced the acquisition of Blendr.io. Qlik has been working hard to incorporate it into the Qlik Cloud Environment. It has been rebranded “Qlik Application Automation” (QAA) and was released this past Monday (9/28).
It wasn’t clear how Qlik was going to integrate Blendr.io into the Qlik platform until earlier this year when we received a glimpse of what was to come and early access to kick the tires.
To sum it up, we are very excited about the potential to use Qlik Application Automation (QAA) to accomplish many tasks and integrations.
QAA is a key component to Qlik’s Active Intelligence since it can enable dynamic actions and business process through workflows and tasks that can integrate with Qlik Sense AND external systems through a series of connectors.
What is it?
Qlik Application Automation (QAA) is a visual, no-code approach for automating workflows. It allows users to drag and drop blocks that provide integration and actions with many applications (Qlik and non-Qlik).
There are other tools like this on the market. For example, IFTTT (If This Then That), Zapier, PieSync and Microsoft Flow. The advantage of this tool is the native Qlik integration to all aspects of Qlik while also providing tight integration to other systems through connectors. With the initial release 30 connectors will be available with more being released each month.
Below is a sample integration that executes a reload of an application and, upon success, executes a second reload. A Teams message is sent if the first reload fails.
There are many ways to execute an Automation:
- Scheduled Execution
- Triggered (Triggered through API, User Action or Alerting)
- Webhooks (aka. API Execution)
These methods of execution allow for many types of use cases. Here are a few, of the many, we’ve thought of:
1.Create Task Chaining like Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows
One of the limitations of Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS was there was task chaining options in the Qlik Management Console. QAA will provide that ability while offering more robust control.
For example, a user could create a workflow that connects to an external system (i.e. Hubspot) and executes a process to extract data, then connects to Qlik and kicks off a reload. If the reload fails, the logic can create an issue in Jira, send a Teams message and sends an email.
Here is a picture of that kind of Workflow:
2. Export Application (with or without Data) to an S3 Bucket
Many of our clients want to implement a mechanism to archive copies of their Qlik Applications out of the Qlik Cloud for backup/recovery and/or source control. This is a use case we are currently exploring leveraging Qlik Application Automation to accomplish.
3. Integration with other Workflow Systems
Many of our clients have scheduled activities where they need to schedule the timing of jobs and allow time for them to complete with a buffer in case they run long. Since automations in Qlik can be executed via a Webhook (API) call, Qlik Cloud can be more tightly integrated to other existing workflows. Through integration, the workflows could work together and not be time based, but executed as part of an integrated workflow.
Those are just 3 examples, but there are many potential uses for QAA and they will only increase over time as Qlik expands the number of connectors available.
For an overview video with another use case example, please watch this Qlik introduction to Qlik Application Automation (about 7 ½ minutes).