This blog provides show notes for our October 29, 2020 webinar, “Embed Cloud and Enterprise Report Data in Your Apps Securely.” The webinar is presented by Syncfusion developer Sankarlingam M. A recording of the webinar is embedded below. The Q&A portion of the webinar is provided at the end of this blog.
This webinar covers the following topics:
- What is embedded reporting?
- Why should you choose Bold Reports for your embedding scenarios?
- What are the benefits of using embedded reporting?
- How can you integrate RDL reports from Bold Reports Server?
- Multiple ways to embed reports.
What is an application?
First, we must establish what an application is. For the purposes of this webinar, an application is a software application that runs on a private server or in the cloud on a web, Windows, or mobile platform, and is accessible over the internet.
Reporting in your application
The right reporting can have a significant impact on an organization, fundamentally changing the way people perform their jobs and how decisions are made. Reporting can:
- Increase productivity.
- Improve employee satisfaction.
- Improve business analysis and decision-making.
- Increase communication and collaboration.
There are two approaches to building a reporting solution in your application:
- Invest a significant amount of money and create an IT team.
- License software from a reporting vendor. The vendor can provide:
- A cloud-based solution.
- An on-premises solution.
What is embedded reporting?
Embedded reporting allows you to view reports from within your application. Users can view and analyze data in the context they’re familiar with. They don’t have to switch applications or environments to make data-driven decisions. The embedded reporting solution provides a single point of access to whoever needs it.
Another benefit of an embedded solution is that it is completely customizable. You can tailor each page and each widget of a report page as needed.
Setting up Bold Reports for embedding
Setting up the Bold Reports Embedded solution is a three-step process:
- Install and configure the Bold Reports Report Server. Add users and groups to it.
- Design reports as needed and publish them to the Report Server.
- Embed the reports into your applications.
Embedding options in Bold Reports
Bold Reports supports several methods for embedding reports in your application.
- iFrame embedding: Embed reports directly into your app with embed code.
- Deep embedding: Embed Report Viewer directly into your application with:
- Username and password.
- Username and embedded secret key (generic approach).
- Embed Report Designer: Embed our WYSIWYG Report Designer into your application to design interactive reports.
iFrame embedding details
Bold Reports iFrame embedding is simple. All it requires is setting some embedding options and inserting embed HTML code into your application. It provides two visibility options:
- Public visibility: Authentication is not required for public reports.
- Private visibility: Accessible to users in Bold Reports who have read permissions.
When the user attempts to open the report in the application, they will be prompted for login credentials.
Deep embedding details
Deep embedding integrates Bold Reports components into your app by referencing the necessary resources (scripts, CSS, etc). It avoids requiring login credentials to view the report.
After referencing the resources, dynamically generate a token based on the logged-in username and password, or the logged-in username and embed secret. Then, pass the dynamic report properties such as a token, report path, or item ID, and render the report.
Embedding Report Designer details
Like the deep embedding approach, all this requires is referencing the necessary resources. After that, you integrate the report service (cloud or on-premises) component into your app, and you’re ready to go.
Why embedded reporting?
Here are some of the major reasons an embedded reporting solution can be the right choice for your business analytics reporting needs:
- Cloud-neutral: Azure/AWS/GCP or even on-premises.
- Supports white labelling to represent your application.
- SSO: Authenticated and data stays secure.
- Flat monthly pricing per application. Not based on user count.
And here are some benefits particular to the Bold Reports Embedded Reporting solution:
- Embed reports securely.
- Includes customization, designer embedding via redistribute plan.
- Data isolation based on the logged-in user.
- Schedule reports from your app to get email alerts.
This webinar covered the basics of embedded reporting, and how it works with Bold Reports. We hope you enjoyed this webinar and that you’ll keep an eye out for future Bold Reports webinars.
Recommended resources (related links):
How do you configure the Cloud Report Server that stores the reports?
The Cloud Report Server is hosted in an Azure web app and the reports are stored in blob storage.
How do you manage the Cloud Report Server—i.e. create URLs, upload reports, configure data sources, etc.?
We can manage the server using REST APIs. We have exposed APIs for all CRUD operations. They are available in our documentation. Report Server provides UI options for all the create and configure actions.
How do I create the Cloud Report Server portal?
You can find a getting started guide here: help.boldreports.com/cloud-reporting/administrator-guide/getting-started/.
What is the technical difference between Embedded and the Reports SDK?
Embedded: You can access the Embedded Report Server and Report Viewer, Report Designer, and Report Writer. It is an end-to-end solution for report management.
Reports SDK: You can access the Report Viewer and Report Writer controls alone, only for previewing and exporting the report.
For a multitenant, multi-SQL database that is accessed through a common web application, how would I calculate the license cost and how would I keep the tenants’ reports separated?
For on-premises (Enterprise Reporting), we do not charge per tenant. You can create n number of tenants.
For Cloud Reporting, you are allowed to create a single tenant. For each tenant, we have separate DB entries. We charge based on the number of report creators (a creator is someone who has permission to create reports). Pricing is available at https://www.boldreports.com/pricing.
I noticed in your website instructions for the SDK based on .NET Core 2.1. Do you have updated docs based on .NET Core 3.1 and 5.0?
The steps are the same for both .NET 3.1 and 5.0. We support .NET Core 2.1+ and are sure to update the docs as soon as possible from our side should any changes occur.
Is the Reporting SDK in the Syncfusion toolkit the same thing as the Bold Reports SDK?
The Syncfusion Reporting SDK is a previous iteration of what is now the Bold Reports Viewer SDK. We no longer provide any new features and enhancements in the Syncfusion Reporting SDK. We can do it from the Bold Reports website as part of a Bold Reports Cloud subscription and published a help document on our help site.
Can SSRS RDL files be migrated directly to Embedded Bold Reports Server?
Yes. You can migrate them seamlessly.
Do you have any deep-dive videos on the SDK and Report Builder?
Not at this time.
I am looking at embedding the reports into my application using your service for report storage and generation.
To do this with Cloud Reporting, you need to create a tenant in the Cloud Report Server and call our web API service to access and view reports in your application. Your RDL files will be stored inside the newly created tenant. You can call our service from your application, create a new web API service for the report processing, or keep the report in this service itself and host it along with your application. Or, you can host the Bold Report Server in your on-premises server.