Using extensions with Qlik Sense

Sarah Habershon
June 20, 2017

Once I felt that I had a handle on creating standard visualisations in Qlik Sense, the first thing I wanted to know was how I could incorporate the vast array of extensions that are available out there into my apps. One of my favourite types of a chart is a Sankey diagram. I’ve used one in the past to visualise the flow of sexual violence cases through the justice system, and I think they’re the best way to depict flows and volumes. My dummy dataset comprised a cohort of individuals with age group and ethnicity columns; I chose a Sankey to show the relationships and make for clear, easy filtering of further visualisations I planned to make.
Qlik Sense doesn’t include a Sankey diagram as one of its standard visualisations, so I went looking for an extension so that I could include one in my app.

Visualisation extensions allow Qlik users to extend the visualisation capabilities of Qlik Sense by using standard web technologies; extensions are plugin mechanisms that you can add to Qlik, and use just like a standard Qlik visualisation, with the same drag and drop functionality. Extensions are configured to use the same property panel as standard visualisations, and they’ll perform just as responsively on mobile devices.
Qlik Branch is a good place to start exploring open-source Qlik extensions, but a good old google does the trick just as well. I used this Sankey extension by Xavier Le Pitre.
To incorporate an extension into your app, you’ll need to have Qlik Management Console access, or cosy up to someone who does. Qlik’s has great role-based access control capability, and allows for very fine-grained assignment of permissions; you might need to have a chat with a root admin to get the necessary access. Once you’re in, navigate to the Extensions menu, and you’ll see that there’s an import button. You’ll need to download the extension you want to use to your hard drive and import it into the Extensions menu in the QMC as a zip file.
Navigate back into your app, hit refresh, and you’ll find your extension waiting for you in the custom objects menu. Here’s the one I made for my demo app.

Data is beautiful – Sarah

Sarah blogs about how data can be made aesthetic as well as informative.
Want to read more? Try … A Brief and Incomplete History of Data Visualisation – Part 1, or more from Sarah.
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