This article was written by Clive Bearman and originally appeared on the Qlik Blog here: https://www.qlik.com/blog/five-questions-about-qlik-cloud-data-services-and-hybrid-data-delivery
Today marks a major event in Qlik’s transformational journey to the cloud because our first data service is now generally available. It’s a significant milestone since we’ve not only delivered a new data service, but we’ve also enhanced our Active Intelligence vision and are laying the foundation for future data service innovation. However, before I get too carried away with what’s coming, let’s answer the five most asked questions about the new data service.
1. What are Qlik Cloud Data Services?
It’s no secret to Qlik observers that we’ve embraced the customer and market shift towards cloud computing. Our customers and prospects demanded it and Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS was launched. Since then, we’ve acquired and organically developed various technologies that have expanded our cloud portfolio. In fact, our vision is to deliver a whole raft of cloud services that make it easier for you to work with data throughout your enterprise. The general term for a suite of related data services is EiPaaS (Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service) and Qlik Cloud Data Services is the umbrella name for Qlik’s EiPasS offering. Qlik’s EiPaaS is accessed from Qlik Cloud and it uses many of the foundational services like catalog and Qlik Cloud Analytics.
2. What is Hybrid Data Delivery?
Hybrid Data Delivery is the first Qlik Cloud Data Services offering that is designed to replicate data in real time from on-premises source systems directly into Qlik Cloud. The service automatically ingests on-premises data into your tenant, catalogs the data and transforms it into a QVD format immediately ready for consumption by Qlik analytics without the need for job scheduling or scripting. What’s more, these QVD files are automatically and continually updated whenever the source data changes without any manual intervention. They are quite literally active. Hence, we call them ActiveQVD’s. Consequently your analytics apps will always have the most up-to-date data for action and insight, whenever you need it.
3. How does data delivery work and what makes it a ‘hybrid’ cloud service?
The architectural ins-and-outs of Hybrid Data Delivery are out of scope for this article, but click our Qlik Community Innovation Blog for the technical background. Suffice to say the new service borrows heavily from our market leading, high performance, change data capture technology with a bunch of new components running in Qlik Cloud. You simply define and control your ingest pipeline within Qlik Cloud, and the data is automatically delivered in QVD format into your Qlik tenant.
Incidentally “hybrid” is a word that’s often overused and there’s some confusion as to what it really means. We define hybrid as a service that has functionality that spans the on-premises data center and the cloud. There are some components located in your data center and others that are in the cloud. In our case the on-premise component is currently an upgraded version of Qlik Replicate that acts as the data gateway. The cloud components are of course Qlik Cloud. Also, since the data is moved from on-premises to the Qlik cloud that’s hybrid too. A final note. Future versions of the service will allow you to automatically move, then catalog and store data in other cloud platforms such as Azure Synapse and Snowflake too.
4. Where do I find the Hybrid Data Delivery Service?
Starting today Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS customers will see a new “Data Services” icon in the switcher menu of their tenant.
Clicking the icon will take you to the new Qlik Cloud Data Services home (below). From here you can explore the new user interface, watch getting started videos and read the documentation.
However, you’ll need a Qlik Replicate configured before you can start delivering on-premises data to your Qlik Cloud tenant.
5. What On-premises Data Can I Access?
I suspect you’re wondering what types of on-premises data can be deliver to your analytics apps? Unsurprisingly prospects and customers commonly request data from enterprise databases. Therefore, the most popular enterprise DBMSs like Oracle, MS SQL Server, IBM DB2, Postgres and MySQL are supported. Overtime we’ll certify other data sources like on-premises data warehouses, NOSQL databases etc. but we start by certifying enterprise relational sources. In the future we plan to support a plethora of SaaS applications too, so stay tuned for more details.
Every company is either building or re-evaluating their data and analytics infrastructure, but many still struggle to incorporate data from their historical enterprise infrastructure and applications which leaves an informational void. The new hybrid data delivery service, part of Qlik Cloud Data Services, can fill that gap by automatically supplying on-premises enterprise data in near real-time to business critical Qlik analytics applications.