QlikTech Continues BI Industry Leadership with QlikView 9
June 16, 2009 Alex Woodie
QlikTech, arguably the fastest growing company in the business intelligence market the last few years, further etched its mark on the BI market last week with the debut of QlikView version 9. The new release, which doesn’t run on i OS but will work with DB2/400 data, offers support for two of the IT industry’s most compelling trends: cloud-based computing and free tools.
It’s hard not to like QlikTech, as the Swedish-born vendor has uprooted many of the BI market’s sacred cows since it stormed onto the scene in the early 2000s. By coupling an intuitive front-end interface with an in-memory associative databases running on industry-standard Intel hardware–instead of more complicated multi-dimensional databases running on RISC iron that had been the industry norm–QlikTech introduced BI to a new class of users, and enabled them to get value out of their BI initiatives much quicker.
The result is an unparalleled success in the BI market over the last few years. In early 2009, the company announced that revenues in 2008 increased by 50 percent to $120 million, and that its customer base grew by 45 percent to 10,585. QlikView beat out BI bigwigs Business Objects (SAP), Cognos (IBM), Hyperion (Oracle) and Microstrategy in a review of BI and performance management tools by Aberdeen earlier this month. It also carried home the title “most performant BI platform” in a Gartner review. Heady stuff.
Now QlikTech is looking to continue that momentum. With QlikView 9, QlikTech has delivered more than 100 new features, including a new cloud deployment option via Amazon‘s Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) platform. By letting Amazon host the QlikView environment on its servers, businesses can further reduce their investment in servers, operating systems, and associated infrastructure costs before getting started with QlikView.
With the commercial open source movement nipping at the heels of proprietary software vendors like QlikTech, it made sense for the vendor to get in on the action with some free software of its own. QlikView Personal Edition is a free version of the QlikView Desktop that allows anybody to get started with the tool. It’s not open source, but it could help satisfy the need for free BI tools, and potentially seed the market with a new crop of career-ready QlikView developers in the future.
QlikView 9 also brings enhancements in the areas of scalability and performance. The QlikView in-memory database can be updated continuously, enabling users to analyze the latest data. Meanwhile, new load balancing features and optimization techniques help to ensure that complex queries run efficiently in clustered environments.
This release also eliminates the previous limit of two billion rows per data set, thereby enabling it to compete more effectively with other BI vendors. In terms of manageability, administrators gain a new control panel with the QlikView Enterprise Management Console (QEMC) that shows resource usage for all servers and components in a single console.
QlikView has added several new visualizations with QlikView 9, including charting features such as spark lines, whiskers, trellis charts, and live chart backgrounds. The vendor, which is based in Irvine, California, also added a new global search functionality that allows a user to search every QlikView field simultaneously, from anywhere in the application, with just one click.
The new release also includes the previously announced mobile BI interface for the Apple iPhone. In addition to the iPhone, there are QlikView apps that run on the BlackBerry, all Symbian-based smartphones, and any other phone capable of running Java.
QlikTech CEO Lars Björk says the BI industry is in the midst of a major transition. “Time to value and usability are now the defining forces influencing adoption,” he says in a press release. “Our dramatic growth to date is a testament to that fact. In contrast, traditional BI providers are experiencing significant revenue declines, and surviving on maintenance and services fees.”
Björk continues: “QlikView 9 is ideal for companies frustrated with failed attempts to implement BI from vendors such as SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, and Oracle. More and more understand the value of switching to QlikView because of its dramatically higher project success rate.”
QlikView 9 is available now. QlikView Personal Edition can be downloaded at www.qlikcommunity.com.