Qlik Sense Server vs. Qlik Analytics Platform

A compilation of the basic information about Qlik Analytics Platform and the Qlik Sense Server so your company knows which one to choose. 

Qlik Sense Server and Qlik Analytics Platform (QAP) are both based on the QIX associative data engine and offer similar functionality.  That said, their intended use cases (and associated licensing costs) are different. So which should you choose? Before deciding, several factors should be considered:

  • Are you selling it as an OEM solution?
  • How many users are you looking at supporting? 
  • What are the needs of your end users?

These are questions you need to ask to decide which option is best for your situation.

How are they similar?

Qlik Sense Server and QAP are both built off the QIX data engine, the unique associative indexing engine that put Qlik Sense on the map and has recently been integrated with QlikView 12. This means most of the fundamental functionality is identical. Specifically, both offer Qlik’s data in-memory capabilities, the ability to utilize Qlik Sense’s Open API, and the QMC to manage and govern the environment.

QAP has every feature that Qlik Sense Server has, including extensions and mashups. In addition, they both use the .QVF file format. The notable differences between the two are the lack of the hub in QAP and the licensing structure.

What about the hub?

Qlik Sense comes with a powerful portal that allows users to view dashboards already created for them, copy existing content into their own “my work” section, and share those insights and dashboards with other users. QAP does not. 

Instead, dashboards that are loaded into QAP can be accessed directly through an internet browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer, or embedded in other websites.  Because the hub is not present, applications need to be created in Qlik Sense desktop or in a separate Qlik Sense server instance before loading into QAP. 

Keep in mind that all application administration and management is performed through the back-end Qlik Management Console (QMC) whether QAP or Qlik Sense; it is not done on the hub.


The other way QAP is different than Qlik Sense is how the license functions. In short, each Qlik Sense token can be applied to allow:

  • One user unlimited access to the server OR
  • Any number of users ten user-hours of access between them, with a minimum consumption of one user-hour per access. 

What that functionally means is that if you have a lot of users that access your Qlik Sense server with a high frequency they can use a large volume of licenses up really quickly. 

QAP has the option of licensing by the core with a four core minimum; your server can support as many users as the hardware will allow. Token based licensing for QAP is also available for OEM Partners. 

Note: QAP is only available at the moment for OEM partners and not for internal use.

What does this mean?

If you are using Qlik Sense as an OEM solution, QAP may fit your use case better than Qlik Sense Server.  In such a scenario you will most likely be embedding Qlik in an external site and will be serving a large number of users who are using the applications periodically, so the unlimited licenses will be a major benefit while the hub will not be used. The ability for users to build their own content and distribute is not as key as the need to simply access and consume the content.

In situations where collaboration throughout the organization is important, with heavy distribution of dashboards internally within your organization, you will most likely be using the hub to develop and access them, meaning QAP will not meet your needs due to the missing hub. In organizations with a relatively low user base, it is more economical to go with several tokens vs. the core-based pricing of QAP.


For example, a financial analysis company distributing charts to their clients would choose QAP over Qlik Sense Server because the charts are being embedded in a proprietary portal.  Their large user volume would be expensive to license in Qlik Sense, but because each uses limited CPU processing power licensing by cores is cheaper than licensing each one of them. 

However, a consulting company like us will want to use Qlik Sense internally because the hub allows us to collaborate across the organizations and constantly update and share new content.  We have a relatively low volume of Qlik Sense users, but they tend to be “power users” who require a lot of processing power and need the ability to load in their own data sets and take advantage of all the features Qlik Sense offers. 

Additional Resources

Qlik Sense Summary   |   QAP Summary   |   Qlik Sense Licensing   |   QAP Licensing   |   QAP Restrictions

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