Qlik Sense announced the addition of check in/ check out to their statement of direction, a huge step forward in applying Continuous Integration to your BI practice. At a technical level, Continuous Integration is the process that monitors the project’s source code repository. When a change is detected, a clean copy of the source is pulled, rebuilt, and regression tests are run on it. Any errors are quickly made visible, so developers can detect issues at a much faster pace. This process saves you money because defects and incompatibilities cost less to fix when they are caught within minutes of their introduction.
Continuous Integration is a commonly applied methodology in software development, but not that widespread in the BI practice. However, successfully implementing change is key in creating the most accurate and reliable Qlik implementation possible. The harmony between check in/ check out and version control can be aligned to the good old American classic- peanut butter and jelly. Two great spreads alone, but together they invent a new flavor.
Allow Qlik Sense’s check in/check out functionality to be the peanut butter in our culinary example. The check in/check out functionality is autological and we are curious how Qlik is going to apply it in their platform.
In the current Qlik environment, different users can check out the same application at the same time and override each other’s changes when publishing it. Obviously, there are some standard versioning tools that could help prevent the override but they put a huge burden on the BI tool and introduce bureaucracy. Check in/check out should allow users to literally check out a Qlik app so nobody else can work on it. Once they are finished with their edits, they check it back in as part of the publication. so that other people have the ability to work on it. Check in/check out will improve the workflow because users are not overriding each other’s work and communication within the team is improved.
Now we add the jelly- zero touch version control. Your organization prevents people from working on the same apps, but it does not have a clear understanding of who has worked on what, and when. For several reasons, it is crucial that you are able to record all the changes made.
First of all, version control is essential for root cause analysis. When a problem comes to the surface, you need the tools and information to understand what was causing the problem, how long it has existed, and how to solve it.
Second, version control allows you to roll back when a mistake is made or something is deleted by accident.
Finally, version control plays a crucial part in providing audit information. Your Qlik application reports critical financial (and other business) information that needs to be audited internally or by external organizations. The entire history of the app is contained in one place. It is also reportable through a Qlik app! Compliance to audit requirements will never be easier.
Quick & Easy Sandwich
Check in/check out and version control is a pairing that should create efficiency and a safety net without creating overhead. Peanut butter and jelly not only tastes good, it’s also great in a pinch when I don’t have time for breakfast.