Qlik Sense developer tool for Chrome now available

The Chrome extension activated in the built-in Qlik Sense client

Some years ago I developed a Qlik Sense developer tool extension, mainly to help mashup developers with the problem of finding object id’s to use in their mashup. Over time we added more features to it, so you could now access script and variables, and use it as a tool (of several) for performance troubleshooting.

But it always had the problem that you needed to add the extension to the Qlik Sense app, something that is not always possible or practical. What if we could do this without needing to add anything to the app?

That’s the reasoning behind the Qlik Sense developer tool now available in the Chrome web store. It’s still an extension, but now a Chrome extension and not a Qlik Sense extension. That means if you install it in your browser, it will always be available.

Another advantage with this approach is that it also works with Qlik Sense mashups, using Qlik Sense Capabilities API.

The Chrome extension activated in a mashup

Still you can find object id’s with the extension, and explore properties for objects, sheets and apps. You can also read the script (provided you have access rights) and the variables. And you can now see what extensions and charts are actually used in an app, something that is not easy with the standard client.

You find more information here.

A third way to run a reload from a Qlik Sense mashup

Back in 2016 I wrote a post on running a reload from a Qlik Sense mashup. To recap, I described two ways:

  1. call the Engine API method doReload(). Use this in Qlik Sense desktop, since it’s the only method available.
  2. use the repository call App reload optionally with the help of the callRepository method. This is of course only relevant in a server installation.

You’ll find code examples in my original post, and also how to know if you are running in server or desktop.

What happens when you use /app/reload ?

While this method works well in some scenarios, like when you just want to run one reload of an app ASAP, it has some limitations. Behind the scenes Qlik will create a very simple task for you, and try to start it immediately. The task will look like this:

Very basic, just an app, a name, an the default Task session timeout of a day (or 1440 minutes). No triggers, since the task is started by the REST call, no tags, no custom properties. And, perhaps most important, no retries. This means that if you create a series of reloads this way, most likely only the first few will succeed, the rest will fail since there is no engine instance available.

Another method to start a reload

But there is another way to do it. You can easily create the Task yourself, and set whatever parameters you need. Qlik Sense QRS API is really easy to work with, and the callRepository method can help you by fixing the xrfkey and wrapping the call in a javascript Promise. So creating a reload task can be made as simply as this:

This will create the reload task the way we want it and return the id for the task, whish we can use to start it. That’s just another call to the Repository like this:

And that’s it. A little more code than the second method, but much more control over what we get.

How to find out what extensions and versions are installed on your Qlik Sense server

You have been running Qlik Sense for a while in production, with multiple apps, some extensions and mashups. Or, you are just starting to work on a Qlik Sense site, where you don’t really know what has happened before. And perhaps the extensions you are using in development are missing or they seem to be of an older version. How do you find out what is on the server?

Whenever you are running Qlik Sense, whether it’s the standard built-in client or a mashup, the client will call the server to find out what extensions (including mashups) are available. This call has the format:

https://[server]/[proxy]/qrs/extension/schema (+ xrfkey in server installation)

Dump of the extension list, taken from Chrome developer console

The reply you get is in JSON format, and contains all extensions available with their id (the qext filename) plus the contents of the qext file. It’s quite readable and when you look at it in the developer console you can expand the lines you are interested in.

This will give you the extension version number, provided you keep a version number in the qext file, which of course you do.


Handle errors in your Qlik Sense mashup

While error handling in a Qlik Sense mashup is not automatic, and the documentation is not that good, it’s really not that difficult to get it right. But there are a few things you need to know.

Why do you need it?

Your mashup might work perfectly well when you are testing it. All code is verified, all object id’s refer to objects that actually exist in the app, you have solved the problem with appid’s that differ between your development environment and production. Still there are situations where you need your error handling:

  • unauthorized users: the Qlik Sense hub makes sure to only show apps the user has access to, but for mashups there is no such mechanism, so it’s up to you to handle this situation. Qlik Sense will not allow the user to actually open the app, but he will probably be able to open the mashup, so you will need to handle the situation where he has no access to the app
  • timeout: if your users are inactive, their sessions will be closed. This means that they will not be able to continue (or restart) working in your mashup without reconnecting, most likely by doing a reload of the mashup. You need to tell the user what has happened and what they should do.

Api support

To help you with this is the setOnError method. It allows you to register a function that is called whenever an error occurs. This is both for errors that are the result of a call, like opening an app that does not exist (or the user is not authorized to access), and errors that are generated from the server, like timeouts. Obviously a good start is to display the error.

qlik.setOnError(function (error) {
        // TODO:error handling
        console.log('Qlik error', error);
Or perhaps, a angular version:
//create an array for errors
$scope.errors = [];
qlik.setOnError(function (error) {
    // TODO:error handling
    console.log('Qlik error', error);
and in your template something like this:
<div ng-repeat="err in errors" class="alert">{{err.message}}</div>
Then just add a button for clearing errors ($scope.errors.length = 0 would do the trick) add some styling and you’ve got a first attempt.

Add some intelligence

But for some errors showing the error is not enough. For example if the user gets a timeout, he needs to refresh before continuing to work. If the user has no access the rest of your mashup will probably be empty (well if you show data from other sources they might be available).

To do this we need to use the error code we get with the message. As far as I know there is no official documentation of Qlik Sense error codes, but if you’ve got Qlik Sense desktop installed, you can easily find one. Just start Qlik Sense Desktop and in your browser go to:


As you might have guessed, this file contains, among other things, error code from QIX Engine. After you formatted this file, you will find something like this in it:

"ErrorCode.-128": "Internal engine error",
"ErrorCode.-1": "Unknown error",
"ErrorCode.0": "Unknown error",
"ErrorCode.1": "Some data is not correctly specified.",
"ErrorCode.2": "The resource could not be found.",
"ErrorCode.3": "Resource already exists.",
"ErrorCode.4": "Invalid path",
"ErrorCode.5": "Access is denied",
"ErrorCode.6": "The system is out of memory.",
"ErrorCode.7": "Not initialized",
"ErrorCode.8": "Invalid parameters",
"ErrorCode.9": "Some parameters are empty.",
"ErrorCode.10": "Internal error",
"ErrorCode.11": "Corrupted data",
"ErrorCode.12": "Memory inconsistency",
"ErrorCode.13": "Action was aborted unexpectedly.",
"ErrorCode.14": "Validation cannot be performed at the moment. Please try again later.",
"ErrorCode.15": "Operation aborted",
"ErrorCode.16": "Connection lost. Make sure that Qlik Sense is running properly. If your session has timed out due to inactivity, refresh to continue working.",

So there it is, error code 16 means connection lost, so if we get that we should encourage the user to refresh, perhaps display a button or something and perhaps even disable stuff that won’t work, like selections etc.
The error code from QIX engine will be in error.code in the object that is the parameter to our error funtion, so we can simply test that:

qlik.setOnError(function (error) {
     // TODO:error handling
     console.log('Qlik error', error); 
     if(error.code === 16){
        $scope.showRefresh = true;

Handle proxy errors

But we’re not quite through yet. When you install your mashup on Qlik Sense server, you’ll notice that not all error object have the ‘code’ field. That’s because proxy errors have another format. Instead of the code field, there is a method field. And they’re not in the engine.js file. Instead you need to look in:


In it you will find the proxy errors:

"ProxyError.OnEngineWebsocketFailed": "Connection to the Qlik Sense engine failed for unspecified reasons. Refresh your browser or contact your system administrator.",
"ProxyError.OnLicenseAccessDenied": "You cannot access Qlik Sense because you have no access pass.", "ProxyError.OnLicenseAccessDeniedPendingUserSync": "Your access pass credentials are being synced. Refresh your browser or contact your system administrator.",
"ProxyError.OnNoEngineAvailable": "No available Qlik Sense engine was found. Refresh your browser or contact your system administrator.", "ProxyError.OnSessionClosed": "Your session has been closed. Refresh your browser to continue working.",
"ProxyError.OnNoDataPrepServiceAvailable": "Data Profiling service is not available.",
"ProxyError.OnDataPrepServiceWebsocketFailed": "Data Profiling service connection failed. Refresh your browser.",
"ProxyError.OnSessionTimedOut": "Your session has timed out. Log back in to Qlik Sense to continue.",
So there we are, we need to handle also OnSessionClosed and OnSessionTimedOut. This gives us something like this:
qlik.setOnError(function (error) {
     //error handling
     console.log('Qlik error', error);
     if(error.code === 16 || ["OnSessionTimedOut","OnSessionClosed"].indexOf(error.method)>-1){ 
        $scope.showRefresh = true;
And that’s it, we now have error handling thats shows error messages to users and sets a flag when the user should refresh. We can then use the flag to for example display a refresh button and/or disable interactivity like selections.

Qlik Sense Generic Object IV: The lists

A Qlik Sense Generic Object can also be used to list objects in the Qlik Sense app to which it belongs. You can use it to list things like:

  • fields
  • dimensions
  • measures
  • bookmarks
  • snapshots
  • media (that is images controlled by Qlik Sense)
  • sheets
  • master objects
  • variables
  • stories

The javascript APIs provide the app.getList method, which is a wrapper that helps you get theses lists. It will create a session object for you with the list you are requesting, get that actual data in the list and call your callback function once the data is available.

List are live – your callbacks might be called several times

Just like with other Generic Objects the data might be invalidated. If you are using the javascript APIs it will then be automatically revalidated and your callback function will be called again, so you should be prepared that your callback might be called multiple times. But unlike the Hypercube and List Object the lists are not affected by the users selections. Instead they will be invalidated when the underlying data changes:

  • if the user adds a bookmark, you will get a new bookmarklist
  • if the user adds a measure, you will get a new measurelist
  • if the user adds a dimension, you will get a new dimensionlist
  • etc….

Configure the data you get in your list

The data you get in your lists is configurable. If you use the API method, you will get a default set of fields for each item in the list, but you can set the list up to suite your needs.

As an example, if you use the api method getList(‘measure’, callback), you will get a list where records look like this:

The first and second part, qInfo and qMeta, will always be there. They contain the id to use when refering to this measure and title and description use ful in a list of measures. The third part however, qData, is configurable. The default configuration just gives you tags and title one more time, but if you instead want more data about the measure, you can use your own measure list definition like this:

Under qData you provide your own mapping of the properties you want. In this case I have just specified that I want everything under qMeasure included. You can also specify individual fields.

And get output that includes more data for the measures:

And the same goes for the other lists, you can supply your own definitions and get more data included.

Run a reload from a Qlik Sense mashup

The main use of Qlik Sense mashup API is to visualize data from Qlik Sense apps and reuse visualizations in an app, allowing your users to interact with the data. But you can use it for other things to, like running a reload or interacting with Qlik Sense server.

But a Qlik Sense app can be used in two different contexts: desktop and server. While visualizations and interactions with those work the same in Server and Desktop, the server API (which is a REST API, unlike the QIX Engine API which works over the web socket. So the first thing we need to do is check our environment, are we in Server or Desktop. Luckily, there is a method for that, the isPersonalMode method.

Once we know if we are in Desktop or Server we can acct accordingly. If we are in Desktop, we can just call the doReload method. While this might work in Server too, we really shouldn’t use it. In a server environment you might very likely have different Qix Engines for interaction with the user and reloads. In fact it is very likely that the engine we are connected to does not have the right database connections for the reload, so running the reload there would fail. Instead we call the Qlik Server for the reload, and let it determine which computer should do the actual job. We can do this with the callRepository method.

This would look something like this:

You find a full working example in the Github repository.

This post is based on a session I originally held at Qonnections 2015, under the title ‘5 things you did not know you can do with the Mashup API’.

Get the selections in a Qlik Sense mashup

If you are using the Qlik Sense standard client there is a Selection toolbar displayed at the top of the page. It has lots of useful functionality, including search support, so in many cases you would want to use this in a mashup, which is perfectly possible.

But sometimes the selection toolbar does not fit in your web page or you want something more compact. In that case you can listen to selection changes yourself and visualize the selection state.


The way to get the selection state is the getList method. An example:

The reply will contain a qSelectionObject with:

  • qBackCount and qForwardCount, the number of steps forward and backward that is possible
  • a qSelections array, with on entry for every field that is selected
  • the array entries will contain qField – the field name,  qTotal – total number of different values in the field and qSelectedCount – the number of selected values

Using this you can make your own visualization of selection state, or perhaps hide and show visualizations based on selection states.

Using tabs in a Qlik Sense mashup

The Qlik Sense Mashup API (also known as Capabilities API or simply qlik.js) allows you to inject Qlik Sense charts with full interactivity into your web page with just a few lines of code. It also allows you to dynamically define hypercubes, lists or simple expressions, send them to Qlik calculation engine and get results back, so you can visualize the data yourself. If you use the APIs all this would be well known to you. But there is more.. Let’s have a look at some more advanced things you can do.

Show visualizations in a tab

Sometimes you want a user interface that is a bit more advanced than just showing visualizations when the page is loaded. For example you might want to show the visualization in a tab, something like this:


This examples uses jQuery tabs, but you could use any tabs implementation, the basic ideas are the same. What you need to do to make this work:

  • when the user wants to add a new visualization, call the getObject method, with the html element and the id of the visualization as parameters
  • when the user switches between tabs, you need to call the resize method, to make sure that the visualization displayed is updated.

A code example. Note that much of this is actually more jQuery than qlik, the only part that is really qlik is the two methods calls:

You’ll find a working example in the Github repository. Note that the key to this is only two calls:

  • call getObject the first time the user wants to see a new chart, not when the page loads
  • call resize whenever the user changes tabs