Getting Started With
Bezlio for Crystal Reports
Are you thinking...now what? Are you ready to get started with Bezlio but wondering how to go from the point of setting up your account to viewing your first Crystal Report on your mobile device?
Set your stopwatch for 15 minutes...and GO!
The Admin Stuff:
Install Bezlio and Link to Your Crystal Reports
Fantastic! Now that your Bezlio account is set-up, the next step is to connect your account to your system and the the Crystal Reports you want to run.
Step 1: Set Up Your Data Connection
The first thing we need to do is to generate some security codes within your new Bezlio account so that we can create a secure connection between your Crystal Reports and your mobile devices.
Within Bezlio, click on the ‘Data’ link in the left-hand navigation bar. This will load the ‘Data Connections’ panel.
From within here, click the ‘Add Connection’ button.
On the next screen, fill in the ‘Connection Name’ field with a name that would be meaningful to represent the data or system you intend to connect to.
Typically we suggest just making this your company name or your name with no spaces.
Also on this screen click the radio button for ‘Bezlio Remote Data Broker’ and then press the ‘Add Connection’ button.
After a few moments, Bezlio will assign you a special code for the connection ID and the connection token.
We will come back to this screen in a few moments.
Step 2: Download & Install Bezlio Remote Data Broker (BRDB)
Now we need to download and install the software that will execute the Crystal Reports when requested from your mobile device.
Next, click the button labeled ‘Download BRDB’ and save the resulting file to a location on your computer.
Execute the installer downloaded from the previous step and accept all of the defaults.
NOTE: The only dependency to be aware of is that BRDB needs to have .NET Framework version 4.6.1 installed.
Step 3: Download and Install Crystal Reports Runtime (If Required)
NOTE: If you don't already have Crystal Reports or a Crystal Reports viewer installed, we will need to install the runtime software to allow you to run Crystal Reports on your computer. If you can already run Crystal Reports on this system, then you can skip to step #4.
On its own, Bezlio cannot run Crystal Reports. So we need to install a Crystal Reports viewer or runtime.
Click the button below to go to our Crystal Reports desktop viewer solution, Logicity. The download is free!
After the download is complete, install the exe file.
Step 4: Start the BRDB Service
Now that everything is installed, we need to start the BRDB software as a "service" on your system.
Since your system is going to act as a "server", BRDB needs to always be running in the background. To accomplish this, we will configure BRDB to run as a service.
Navigate to the ‘Services’ control panel (on modern versions of Windows, click the Start button, type ‘Services’, and click on the icon that results). You will see a long list of services. Search for 'Bezlio Remote Data Broker’, select it and then click the play button in the upper toolbar. You can also right-click on the service and and press ‘Start’.
BRDB will now run as a permanent service on your computer.
Step 5: Configure Connection to BRDB
Next, we need to enter those connection codes from step 1 into BRDB so that it knows your Bezlio account is the only trusted connection it is allowed to make from a mobile device.
When the page loads, click the ‘Maintain’ drop-down and then select ‘Trusted Connections’.
On the ‘Trusted Connections’ screen, press the ‘Add Trusted Connection’ button.
Here is where we need to fill in the ‘Connection ID’ and ‘Connection Token’ as noted on step 1. Copy and paste those into the correct fields and click ‘Save Trusted Connection’.
Step 6: Configure the Crystal Reports Plugin
Next, we need to tell BRDB where to find the your Crystal Reports that you want to run from your mobile device. We also need to enter the credentials to any databases that you will need to access when running those reports.
We need to find a specific file on your computer called 'CrystalReports.dll.config'. You will likely find this file in the following folder:
C:\ Program Files (x86) \ Bezlio Remote Data Broker \ Plugins
Right click on this file and open with Notepad.
While this file looks scary, there are really only two important areas that we need to edit and enter new information into:
Where Are Your Crystal Reports?
The 'rptFileLocations' section defines the folders of Crystal Reports files you wish to make available to your mobile devices. Enter the paths in the following way, making sure to add double slashes around all the folder names:
What Are the Credentials for the Databases?
If your databases are password protected, the 'connections' section defines the credentials that each of your reports need in order to run.
Enter the server name, server address, database name, username, and password for each data source.
For the latest documentation on how to properly configure these plugins go to https://github.com/bezlio/bezlio-plugins.
The Front End:
Set-up the Mobile Interface for Crystal Reports
Now that all of the back-end connections are done, we are ready for the fun part. Let's set-up the last piece in the portal interface to run Crystal Reports from your mobile device!
Step 1: Install the Bezlio Crystal Reports App
First, we need to install the Bezlio web app for Crystal Reports.
Within http://portal.bezl.io, click the gears icon below your name in the left-hand navigation menu.
Press the ‘Create Bezl’ tab.
What in the world is a Bezl?
A "Bezl" is a term for a specific display of your data, just as a watch face has a bezel around its important data. In this case, the Bezl is displaying Crystal Reports.
You will see a screen with tabs labeled, "Apps", "Templates", "Import" and "Custom".
Click on the first tab and you will see an app called "Crystal Reports Viewer". Click the SELECT button.
The screen will refresh and you will see your new Bezl created and listed.
Step 2: Create a Panel (Page) to Display Your Crystal Reports
Now, we need to create a place in the in the interface to display our Crystal Reports Bezl.
The Bezlio portal is made up of two basic components: Panels and Views.
A "Panel" is a separate page in the portal. You can have as many panels as you want.
A "View" is a section of the panel that displays the Bezl data. You can have as many views as you need on each panel, although it makes sense to not load up panels with too many views as this can affect the load speed and usability.
In the left menu, click the "Add Panel" button.
Give your panel a name, maybe something as simple as "Crystal Reports".
Step 3: Create a View in Your Panel To Run Your Crystal Reports
Click the "Create View" link from the drop-down list next to the panel name.
Give the view a name, something relevant such as "Sales Reports". Click the "Create View" button and a blank window will appear on the panel.
Step 4: Assign the Crystal Reports App to Your New View
Inside of the view is a blue button called "Select Bezl". Click this button and then click to select the Crystal Reports Viewer app we created in step 1.
A window will appear to the right and then simply select the blue "Select Bezl" button.
It is time to run your first Crystal Report!
Log into the Bezlio Portal on your mobile phone or tablet.
Navigate to your new Crystal Reports panel and you should see a list of the reports that are in the file folders that you specified.
Select the report you want to run, enter parameters if required, and enjoy true Crystal Reports mobility!
If you are having any issues setting up your Bezlio for Crystal Reports, drop us a line and we'd love to help out!