I work with QlikView, which provides the leading Business Intelligence solutions QlikView and Qlik Sense. These are terrific products, but they currently only run on Windows. However, it is possible to run them on a Mac using VmWare Fusion or another virtual machine.
I use a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM, which makes for a great development system. I also use a 500 GB SSD disk. This combination is very fast and has high performance. It is important for QlikView, which is an in-memory product.
I do not recommend anything less than 8 GB of RAM. QlikView shines with a lot of memory, and you want to spend your time solving problems, not waiting for it to do its work.
We will configure the Mac to be capable of either of:
- Booting into Windows directly. In this mode, you will be using all the RAM and other resources of your Mac. Use this mode when you have very large data sets and need to use every ounce of performance you can get.
- Optional: Running Windows and QlikView using VmWare Fusion. In this mode, you will be running both Mac OS X and Windows at the same time. Performance will be acceptable for 80% – 90% of ordinary QlikView development. You will find that QlikView will start to slow down when working with very large data sets. However, you will be able to use Mac OS X and your Mac software at the same time.
Obtain a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. At the time of this post, it is very difficult to find a legitimate licensed copy of Windows 7. If unsuccessful, you can buy and download Windows 8 from the Microsoft Store. I recommend buying the download version of Windows 8.1 Professional.
- Boot your Mac into OS X.
- Partition the Mac’s hard drive with Boot Camp Assistant using Apple’s instructions. Install Windows 8.1 Professional.
- Make sure to activate your copy of Windows.
- Make sure to download and install all Windows updates, making as many reboots as necessary. You should plan that this will take at least a few hours, although you can do other things in the meantime.
- Recommended: Visit ninite.com and download the excellent Ninite installer. This will allow you to download, install, and later update several Windows applications with one click. I have found the following applications relevant and useful for QlikView development:
- Chrome, Firefox, WinDirStat, Classic Start, Notepad++, WinMerge, 7-Zip, Foxit Reader, Everything (a search app)
- Install QlikView Desktop Client and Qlik Sense.
- Install any other Windows-only applications that you desire.
Running Windows and QlikView in a virtual machine
- Reboot into Mac OS X.
- Buy and download VmWare Fusion. A 30-day trial version is available.
- Follow these instructions to have VmWare Fusion recognize and run your Bootcamp partition.
- Tweak the settings for the virtual machine. Everybody’s preferences are different, and you may have to experiment to find out what works optimally for your hardware. These are the settings that I use:
- Sharing > Shared Folders = Off
- Processors and Memory: I use only 1 processor core and 6144 MB of RAM.
- Take a look at the other settings, e.g Printers and change them to match your working environment.
- Start the VmWare Fusion virtual machine and test it.
- It is likely that you will be prompted to activate Windows with Microsoft a second time. This is normal and should be necessary only once.
If you need maximum performance and full usage of RAM, restart Mac OS and reboot into Windows.
To minimize problems, make a practice of shutting down Windows cleanly, especially if you are switching between the virtual machine and booting up Windows directly.