QlikView application fails with "Cannot read BIFF file" error

  • 7017908
  • 02-Aug-2016
  • 16-Sep-2016


Novell Client 2 SP4 for Windows
Client for Open Enterprise Server 2 SP4 IR3


After upgrading to Novell Client 2 SP4 for Windows or later, you may see the "Cannot read BIFF file" error when trying to read .xls files using a QlikView script when the .xls files are located on an OES server.

Pre-Novell Client 2 SP4 configurations work fine.

After executing a command such as:

"c:\Program Files\QlikView\qv.exe" "<some_network_path>" /r

A qv.exe error such as the following is displayed:

Cannot read BIFF file
FieldName as ZFieldName,
FieldDescription as ZFieldDescription,
FieldTables as ZFieldTables
FROM [<name_of_file>.xls] [biff embedded labels, table is [sheet1$]]


Fixed in Client for Open Enterprise Server 2 SP4 (IR4) or later.


A Micro Focus bug related to the operation of the "Large NCP Read and Write" feature is causing the problem.

Additional Information

Beginning with Novell Client 2 SP4 for Windows and the July 2015 maintenance update for OES 11 SP2, we implemented two new APIs designed to improve performance when reading and writing files from a Novell file server:
  • NCP 87,72 (Read with 64-bit offset and 32-bit read size)
  • NCP 87,73 (Write with 64-bit offset and 32-bit write size) 
In some cases, these NCPs will be used instead of NCP 87,64 and NCP 87,65 when the Novell Client determines that the Novell file server supports the new APIs (i.e. when the server returns a value of "3" for the 64BitOffsetsSupportedFlag in NCP 23,17). Novell Client 2 SP4 will continue to work as usual with existing shipping servers with legacy servers.

As a result of these improvements, if file reads and writes are for large amounts of data, up to 1MB TCP transfers will occur in response to a single NCP 87,72 or NCP 87,73 request.  This results in a performance increase when large file copies / large file reads or writes are being performed, as compared to the previous 64KB limit.