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#Feature Friday – Self-Service Hub

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Welcome to a new #Feature Friday!

In response to the uncertainties presented by Covid-19, businesses all over the world were forced to abruptly shift from mostly office-based work life to a situation where potentially all workers are operating from home.

In this time, distributed decision-making and more flexible reporting structures can be a challenge to keep all decision-makers in the loop.

In particular, as Finance has become central, and strategic, to the survival of businesses during unforeseen and challenging times, now CFOs are faced with an unprecedented task:

  • How do they coordinate questions on critical projects when a quick stop by a coworker’s desk is out of the question?
  • How do they share complex financial information with stakeholders across departments when they cannot call a team huddle in the company conference room?
  • How do they keep a firm handle on spending decisions when they are being made in multiple “offices” spread across different time zones?

The solution: They need technological support from intuitive BI tools like Qlik® and start using digital tools like reporting automation with Mail & Deploy. So they minimise any loss in information, productivity and morale and upgrade their reporting processes to get better information distributed easier and faster— and at a substantially lower cost.

In this context, we would like to point out the following Mail & Deploy feature:

The Self-Service Hub

The user-friendly Mail & Deploy Hub supports viewing, downloading, subscribing and storing available reports. This makes it even easier to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest results.

Decision-makers explore, view, download, and subscribe to reports online via one secure and centralized portal. It is easier and more convenient for the users – and less busywork for IT.

The Mail & Deploy Hub is an integrated HTTP web server that allows users to access a website with their browsers and request report documents and task executions on-demand in less than a minute.

Please note:
The Hub is an optional component of Mail & Deploy; it is not required to enable it.
Mail & Deploy Hub


The configuration of Mail & Deploy Hub

You can configure the Mail & Deploy Hub in the Mail & Deploy Server Control Panel. There you can choose whether you want the hub to be enabled and on which port and relative URL path it should run. Mail & Deploy Hub – if enabled – is started whenever the server service is started.

The following conditions have to be met in order to be able to access Mail & Deploy Hub:

➢ Mail & Deploy Hub must be enabled (in the Control Panel).

➢ The repository must be configured to be accessible in Mail & Deploy Hub (in the Hub Settings).

➢ The user needs to be a Mail & Deploy user in the given repository with an access level of Hub Consumer or higher.

➢ The user needs to have the required hub authorization.

➢ The computer from which the hub is accessed needs to have a network connection to the computer that runs Mail & Deploy Server. The port on which the HTTP server of the hub is running must not be blocked by any firewall in between.

Another requirement of course is that the server service is running, because it hosts the HTTP web server that is required to access the hub.

Hub authorizations

By default users do not have the authorization to run any on-demand report request or task execution; users (or user groups) need to be explicitly authorized to be able to submit these requests. These authorizations are called Hub Authorizations.

Basically, a hub authorization gives a single user or user group the right to request an on-demand report or task execution through the hub.

There are two types of hub authorizations:

Report authorizations
This type of authorization can be used to grant one user or user group the right to request a report on-demand and optionally to subscribe to a report through the hub.

Task authorizations
This type of authorization can be used to grant one user or user group the right to request the execution of a task through Mail & Deploy Hub.

Access to the Hub

Mail & Deploy Hub can be accessed by using a standard web-browser such as Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Firefox etc. In order to access the hub, the correct URL needs to be entered; the general form of the URL is http://<servername>:<port>/<relativeurlpath>. However, the following rules need to be considered:

➢ The port can be omitted if it is set to be the default HTTP port 80.

➢ The relative URL path can be omitted when it is empty.

Hub Overview

In the Hub, you have the following menu you can choose from:

General

  • Repository Selection
    If the user with which you log in to the hub has access to more than one repository, a page will be displayed that allows you to select the repository with which you want to work. In order to switch to another repository, you can simply click the option Switch Repository in the left menu. If the user with which you log in to the hub only has access to a single repository, you will automatically be redirected to the home page

  • Home
    After entering the repository, you will get to the home page; this page displays:

    – the newest report documents that have been added to your report library
    – the most recent exceptions that occurred when executing on-demand report requests, report subscriptions or task executions that are associated with the user currently logged on

Reports

  • Available Reports
    This page displays a list of all reports to which the currently logged on user has access to. For each available report, the name and description are shown in the table.

    Below the description, there is an option to perform a one-time request of a report document and – if the hub authorization of the user allows subscriptions – to create a subscription.

    If you want to perform a one-time request of a report, you can click the hyperlink Request Now which can be found immediately below the description of the report.

    This will open a new page where you can set further attributes like parameters, name, description, file type, culture, distribute by e-mail to, e-mail addresses, add to my library and file path.
Requesting Report Documents

The Mail & Deploy Self-Service Hub empowers the individual users with the report-building through the possibility to set specific parameters. The input could be a list, free text or a fix choice using user customer properties.

  • Subscriptions
    This page lists all subscriptions for the creation of report documents. Basically a subscription is the regular creation and distribution of a report document; in other words: it is similar to a report document request which will be executed on a regular basis.

    You can create a subscription by clicking Create Subscription in the list of available reports.

    After clicking Create Subscription, a new page will open which allows you to enter all the attributes as if you would request a single creation and distribution of a report document. In addition to that, further attributes can be set like time zone, start date, end date and frequency.
Please note:
Whether a subscription for a specific report may be created depends on the authorization of the user.
  • Library
    This page lists all report documents contained in your library. The table that will be displayed is organized by report, which means that there is one row per report for which there is at least one report document in your library; the table has the columns report and latest report document.

  • History
    This page displays all report document requests and executions based on report document subscriptions; the table contains the newest entries first and has the columns date, status, type and details.

Tasks

  • Available Tasks
    This page lists all tasks for which you are authorized to request an execution through Mail & Deploy Hub. The table contains the name and description of each task. Just below the description, there is a link Request Execution that will bring you to the page that enables you to request the execution of that task.

  • History
    This page lists all historic task execution you have requested; the table contains the newest executions at the top and contains the columns date, status and details.

From the Mail & Deploy Hub it is possible to start tasks that can also accept parameters.

The Mail & Deploy Hub enriches your Qlik® environment with self-service reports and gives users with and without a Qlik® license easy access to data and insights. So decision-makers can make data-driven business and operational decisions regardless of their technical background.

Why not get a demo and experience the power of Mail & Deploy for yourself? Request a webinar or start with a test version!

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