We are in the middle of October 2019 and right on the last day of previous month we got spoiled with the release of Qlik Sense September 2019. This prompted me to look few weeks back and review new bells and whistles of already well settled NPrinting September 2019. So what does release notes say about this version? What’s new?
- Filters support Select Excluded
- Qlik Sense sheets can be added as images
- Objects in Qlik Sense containers are supported
The above list seems to be quite short for a new release, but is it really? In my humble opinion improvements brought to latest NPrinting are aiming mainly at filling feature gap. They also bring few little features which can be very helpful in report development.
1. “Select excluded” feature in filters was not the biggest problem to overcome if you were experienced Qlik developer. You could easily come up with solution by applying flag directly in load script or with creating an expression with advanced set analysis in it to apply filter using “Advanced Search” functionality which I described here. This was however challenge to less experienced NPrinting users and I guess number of exactly the same questions appearing on community made R&D think that it will be worth bringing. At the end it was also a “feature gap” to NPrinting 16.x. Just to prove my point here are some of those posts:
2. “Qlik Sense sheets can be added as images”. Finally – this one was coming up often from customers who kept asking: “… so in NPrinting I can just select sheet and have it sent as an image to recipient…..?” This question was usually followed by an awkward pause and I tend to respond: “yes… and no… you know – we use workarounds to achieve it…” So now, I will be able to shorten my answer to just “sure!!!”, which is great! Now, on more serious side, this feature speeds up simple report generation process. You don’t have to worry about aligning individual objects on your template as well as image scaling and rendering. It seems to be equivalent of “Sheet entity report” which is supported in QlikView. Although I will rarely use it, I think it is a great to have it in a sleeve for quick easy deployments and quick wins! If someone wants to have sophisticated report one can always built them using Pixel Perfect or any other template.
3. “Objects in Qlik Sense containers are supported”. Initially I had a mixed feelings about this, but I don’t anymore. I love it! I was always vocal about using dedicated applications to support NPrinting reports. I still believe this is the best practice, but sometimes you just want to sneak in few objects which users should not see (or at least should not see at first glance), but which are used in Nprinting as a data source. This is especially useful in reports designed for OnDemand use. You may need slightly modified object, it needs to be in the same Qlik Sense app and you don’t want users to see it. For this you can use container! Container allows you to embed in it multiple objects and you can configure it so at first glance it looks like there is only a single object in the sheet (by hiding tab row and header names). NPrinting will still allow you to use those objects in reports so you don’t have to worry about hiding them.
You may ask – is it worth upgrading? I say – yes, it is. There are also other improvements which I did not mention here and which make this product better including better logging, performance and bug fixes.
With the “Qlik NPrinting” closing the gap to old good “QlikView NPrinting” it becomes clear that it is time to migrate existing deployments to new version, the sooner – the better! I do not know how long “QlikView NPrinting (aka v16.x)” will be supported, but in my head I am already counting days until support finishes.