Crystal Reports - Now on Any Device, From Anywhere!
Crystal Reports on the web or on a mobile device. It is one of those things that everyone wants and needs, yet deploying it is difficult, very expensive, or both.
Crystal Reports on a Mac. This one is even more of a unicorn. If there isn't a web delivery method available, then the typical solution is to install a Windows virtual machine on the Mac and you can run the reports from there. In other words, more and more hoops to jump through, both for IT and for the end user.
Well, all of that was true yesterday. But starting today, things are different.
Imagine the world where you don't need to install anything on the end user's system. Where it takes 15 minutes to deploy the entire system. Where it doesn't matter what the device is or what the operating system is. Where it doesn't matter if the user is inside or outside of your network. Where you centrally manage reports, and you can deploy a Crystal Report as quickly as it takes to copy a file. Where you have no web servers to maintain and no software to support.
Hello, new brave world. Let me introduce you to Bezlio for Crystal Reports!
What Is Bezlio?
Bezlio for Crystal Reports is a brand new SaaS app that allows you to share reports with any user, on any device, that is running any operating system. You and your users can log into Bezlio and navigate to a list of Crystal Reports that are available. Just select the report you want to run, enter any parameters, and see the results displayed right on your screen...even if you are on an iPhone, an Android device or a Mac!
How Does It Work?
Check out this video on the entire process, from installation to running and executing Crystal Reports in Bezlio.
As an administrator, set-up doesn't get much easier. First, you install a small Bezlio application, called BRDB (Bezlio Remote Data Broker) behind your firewall within your corporate network. This application will communicate with the cloud component of Bezlio, which runs on Microsoft's Azure environment. The end users all authenticate and link to the cloud portion of Bezlio.
Back inside of your network, you need only point the configuration inside of BRDB to a system folder on your corporate network. Drop your Crystal Reports RPT files into this folder, and you have literally finished the deployment! Within 15 minutes you can be pulling up all of your reports on any device. Bezlio eliminates the need to install a Crystal viewer like Logicity and configure database connectors on every user's PC. It also removes the barriers to deploying Crystal Reports, well, anywhere! Bezlio gives your users instant access to reports from any device with a browser.
One of the primary things that hold back mobile data deployments is security. Bezlio handles security with acumen. Bezlio does not store any data in the cloud, and you do not need to open any ports in your firewall. All communications between BRDB and end-users is token-based, and all data communications use AES254-level encryption. You have the ability to fine-tune user permissions, specifying the exact data and reports to which each user should have access.
Going Beyond Crystal Reports
Traditional web-based Crystal delivery solutions work for Crystal Reports and maybe, at best, a few other reporting technologies. But, what if you could use Bezlio for more than Crystal Reports. What if you could read any data from your ERP or CRM without Crystal Reports? Check. What if you could blend those data sources together into mash-ups that provide views into your business you've never had before? Check. What if you could write interactive apps that would allow you to read data from multiple sources? Check. And what if you could write data back to your ERP or CRM, entering records, and executing business logic from the same browser window? Checkmate!
Bezlio provides a foundation for all of your mobile data deployments, from this point forward. Think beyond Crystal Reports. For example, we have an entire suite of apps dedicated to sales teams that mash-up ERP data with CRM data, no matter where you have stored that data! Better yet, if you enjoy writing a bit of code, then you can build your own apps inside of Bezlio and deliver any data stored inside of your network to any mobile user. Best of all, all of the functionality and security features that make Bezlio for Crystal Reports incredible are available for any app deployed on the Bezlio platform.
You have no reason not to try this out! We offer a 30 day free trial on Bezlio, giving you an opportunity to try this in your own live environment. Join an upcoming webinar to learn more about the full scope of what can be done on the Bezlio platform.
About the Author
Eli J Remington
Eli is the web marketing director and a partner at SaberLogic, a professional services firm that provides custom development, programming services, integration consulting and technical support for Infor ERP VISUAL and Epicor ERP. SaberLogic also specializes in Crystal Reports development, custom programming and custom web development. Follow Eli on Google+ and Linkedin.