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Forts are client-hosted virtual appliances, maintained by Qlik, meaning that the fort updates itself, and Qlik will use this capability to push new versions and patches to a fort. A virtual appliance is a virtual machine that is completely pre-configured and maintained by Qlik, including the operating system, tools, and software services that run on it. Qlik Cloud and Forts work together as a single solution. Forts cannot be used without the Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS edition of Qlik Cloud.

The following image shows an example where a company has a Qlik Cloud tenant in Ireland, in the EU region. The company also has three forts in different countries in the EU region. The forts are virtual appliances that are located together with the company data. Qlik Cloud is hosted by Qlik, the forts are hosted by the customer, but Qlik maintains both the tenant and Forts.

Hosting and maintenance of Forts

How the components in a Forts deployment are hosted and maintained

To read about the benefits of Qlik Forts, please see our webpage: Qlik Forts.

How Forts work

The following image shows the basic idea behind Forts. While your tenant on the Qlik Cloud instance can use data sources that are accessible over public internet, Forts are deployed behind a firewall so that they can access your private data sources. When opening a Forts app in Qlik Cloud, you are redirected to the fort and can work with the app in the same way as an app stored on Qlik Cloud. Forts do not require incoming connections from Qlik Cloud, you work with the data where the data is.

All of the data loaded into an app that resides on a fort will remain on the fort and the clients that are connected to the fort (typically through a private network connection). Therefore, customer data is never transferred to Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS or any other third-party services and is not required to travel over the public internet.

Data secured in forts behind a firewall

How customer data is secured behind a firewall in Forts

Forts apps are managed in spaces in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS, just like any other apps. The difference compared to a regular app is that the app is stored in your cloud or private data center.

The following image shows the steps when a user opens an app in a Forts space in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS. The user is redirected to a fort, which is behind a firewall in the same location as the data. The user experience is very similar to working with an app present in a regular space in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS. When an app needs to pull data, for example, during a reload, that takes place in the fort, instead of in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS.

Users have a single point of entry to all apps, through the hub in Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS. Forts spaces are identified by their green icon color, regular app spaces icons are blue or red.

You can have several spaces using one fort, but only one fort per space.

Sequence of events when a user opens a Forts app

Steps involved when opening a Forts app
  1. A user opens Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS.

  2. The user opens an app in a Forts space.

  3. The user is redirected to the fort, behind a firewall.

Tip noteThe redirect can be observed in the address bar, where the URL is changed.