George Woods

Sr. Cloud Solution Architect - Corporate Team at Microsoft

Comparing time to production for On-Prem QlikView vs Power BI in the Cloud

13 Dec 2018

A request that I received yesterday, made me think of how things work in the on-prem vs cloud world. The request was for a new Windows server, so they could install the QlikView software. Disclaimer: Most of this post is about the time to usage from on-prem to cloud, but I also am trying to sprinkle in some reasoning to the requestor of why Power BI is a better option than QlikView.

Below is a timeline of the activities.

10/23 – request submitted for Windows server for QlikView install

12/11 – 1hr meeting set up to discuss server and QlikView install

12/11 – 4 hours goes by with numerous emails about who should be in the meeting

12/11 – I receive an email, after I have gone home for the day, to talk with the requestor

12/12 – My day is taken up by production issues and cannot reach out until later that night. A few emails are sent back and forth with the requestor to discuss pros and cons of QlikView and Power BI

12/13 – At the time of writing this, 12 hours has passed since last communication. They are not in the US.

Let’s compare our timelines if we continue down the path of installing a Windows Server and QlikView vs using Power BI

So far 51 days or 1224 hours
has passed since the initial request was put in.

If we continue with the QlikView install, then the request will need to be approved by the Infrastructure team, they approve these once a week, then assigned to someone to create the server. Let’s add a week for that. After the server is built, someone will need to install the QlikView software. Let’s add a few hours for that and based on the install instructions online, a few hours may not be enough.

So now we are up to 58 days or 1392 hours
for the QlikView install. Even if we want to be nice and drop the days and hours from the initial time the request was made until the meeting was set up, we would be at 9 days or 216 hours
from initial meeting to approval and install.

**To compare the hours, days or weeks here, just doesn’t seem fair to QlikView.

**With using Power BI, these users can be setup with a developer account, they download the software to their PC and are up and running within 10 minutes.

So, at any point in the timeline above we could stop and have them already running in Power BI. Even if we just go from my last contact with them last night, if they would have agreed, they would have already had their development environment and could be developing for 12 hours. I know that this is not the same process for everyone, but the key is that you can be up and running in very little time.

Unfortunately, even without looking at the timeline, we need to take a look at why they want QlikView and the benefits of Power BI.

Reasons behind using QlikView

  • We spent last few months learning QlikView and building a prototype
  • Management has seen our prototype and like it
  • The team is strongly motivated and if we change now their motivation could be compromised
  • If we launch now, we could be in production in 20 days (we already know from the timeline above that another 7 days will be wasted for server and software install, so hitting that 20 days, would be 20 days after installation)

Benefits of Power BI

  • A developer can be up in running in minutes
  • Not just a reporting tool, it’s Analytics power house
  • No need for separate hardware
  • All upgrades are done by monthly updates. No need to take outages
  • New features are constantly being added
  • User friendly tool
  • Security is already configured
  • No special certificates are needed
  • We already have developers in our company familiar with the tool and can assist
  • Online community is continually growing and extremely helpful
  • No need for Infrastructure, Security or any other IT groups involvement
  • No lengthy approval processes
  • Easy integration with other Microsoft products
  • Real time analytics