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Having worked with a number of reporting and analytic platforms, I know as well as anybody, the complexity in licencing structures. Today I am going to talk through the Qlik Sense licencing model, as at April 2018, and hopefully, convey it in a simple enough manner. I’m not going to be discussing pricing, as there are too many variables within that and it’s best to speak with us or your nearest Qlik Partner for details on what would suit you best.

First off let’s go over the potential licencing options. Last year licences obtained for customers were all on a token basis. It would appear that the token structure is no longer available for new customers, however, existing customers can retain that structure.

Cores Driven Licence Structure:

Qlik Sense may also be licensed on a cores basis. When the licence is applied it throttles the number of cores that the Qlik Sense engine can operate on. This approach can be applied to a multi node environment too, so no issues there. Core based licences are best for very large implementations, and as such, I wouldn’t recommend it for a majority of the clients we work with.

Usage-Driven Licence Structure:

The primary themes in the new licence model are Professional and Analyzer users, who are licensed on either a perpetual or subscription basis. There’s little difference between perpetual and subscription basis, the only added functionality is in subscription basis which permits users to access one development and one test environment too. The Professional and Analyzer user profiles are much like one would expect, Professionals can build Apps and do all sorts of development and administration type functions. The Analyzer user is more of a consumption based user, who can read content, create stories and bookmarks, but not change anything significant.

It’s really important to note that the restriction based on the Analyzer users has to be configured by the organisation, i.e. there isn’t a default role with Qlik Sense that pares the permissions back. It’s the organisations obligation to ensure they are compliant with the caveats of the licence. I suspect that Qlik will release an Analyzer type role in the future, which would make the administrative burden significantly less.

With a usage based structure it’s important to understand how the quarantine process works:

If you have 10 licences, that equates to 10 tokens under the hood. If all 10 tokens are utilized by users, you cannot immediately remove a token from a user and give it to someone new. There is a 7 day stand down period between re-allocation.  If the user you wish to remove the token has not used Qlik for 7 days then that token may be immediately re-allocated. Typically we would create a sync between Qlik and the clients Windows AD, that way a majority of licencing management can be undertaken by a help desk. Once said user is removed from the AD group/s they will be marked as inactive on the platform.

A couple of other things that a worthy of consideration when evaluating licencing structures:

Environment Architecture:

Let’s consider standard enterprise data architectures which typically involves separated environments – generally being a configuration like development, test and production. Within Qlik Sense we have two options for provisioning this type of configuration; the first being entirely separate servers, each having their own single node instance of Qlik Sense Running. The second being a single environment with multiple nodes, potentially having a node for each environment. Each of these approaches has it’s pros and cons – for instance in a multiple server architecture, deploying between different servers involves some level of network share to export and import apps. And within a single server multi-node architecture, you have little room to validate upgrades before going ahead.

These are all baseline considerations which should be given before going too deep.

Disaster Recovery:

You can replicate / setup a disaster recovery site which mimics one or many environment/s. Qlik suggests that the site must not be live in parallel with its corresponding environment. A disaster recovery setup might be useful for testing upgrades and patches before rolling out to a multi node deployment, as any disaster recovery environment would need to be reflective of the host for compatibility reasons.

Licence Enabling File (LEF):

Qlik Sense utilizes a licencing file, which is provided by Qlik, for perpetual and subscription licences. The LEF file can be manually applied in the Qlik Management Console (QMC) if the server does not have access to the web. LEF files appear to be periodically issued, in all of the cases that I have seen they have been for 12 months.

Hopefully, that helps to give some guidance on how licencing can work for you.

Thomas – MacGyver of code

Thomas blogs about reporting platforms, data warehousing and the systems behind them.
Read Thomas’s other blog posts here.

We run regular business intelligence courses in both Wellington and Auckland.


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