Introduction to BrightServer

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BrightServer is a lightweight, easy-to-use server solution which allows mobile workers to connect to the organisation’s back-end information systems. It provides a simple and efficient way to manage the flow of business data in and out of the field.

BrightServer enables BrightForms powered mobile devices to connect with server-side data sources including powerful relational databases or files based data sources at the backend. It provides a hassle free environment without necessarily implementing the complexity needed to integrate with enterprise infrastructure environments.

The main BrightServer features include:

BrightServer does not require a store-and-forward database. Your mobile solution can be a simple file based solution or it can be based on a Microsoft Access database or a large relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or DB2.

BrightServer Versions

Licensed, BrightServer is available in two versions - the standard edition, which contains the full functionality of BrightServer and may contain any number of licenced devices at and one time, and the BrightServer Xpress Edition, which is free to download and license, but contains a limited feature set and a limit to the number of devices which can be licensed on the server.

Licenses are specific to each version of BrightServer.

The complete list of Xpress Edition restrictions are as follows:

Initially, without licenses, both versions of BrightServer will operate in Demo mode, until a valid license is uploaded and configured on the server. For more information on BrightServer Xpress Edition, please refer to the BrightServer Xpress Edition chapter of this document.

BrightServer and BrightBuilder

 

BrightBuilder interacts with BrightServer in two ways:

Creating and deploying applications and server configurations, known as BSPs and BEPs respectively.

A server may have multiple BSP applications and BEP configurations active and running at the same time, with the user configuration determining which BEP logic to execute, as assigned.

Runtime concepts like user configurations are the second way BrightBuilder interacts with BrightServer. BrightBuilder is used to connect to running BrightServer Instances to configure and monitor these runtime settings - such as user configurations and jobs. This is handled by the Servers panel in BrightBuilder.

Please note, that a running BrightServer Instance is required to deploy and modify runtime settings. For more information please refer to the Installing BrightServer and Starting and Stopping BrightServer chapters of this document.

Configuring BrightServer

Along with applications running for BrightForms, BrightBuilder is also used to design and manage server configurations - specifying synchronisation sources, data set manipulations and scheduled jobs to be run by BrightServer. These definitions are contained in '.bep' project files, which when open are located under the projects panel in BrightBuilder.

These BEP files are designed to be deployed to a BrightServer instance, where they are stored for activation and/or (default) deployment via the 'Deployed Configurations' panel. Based on the configuration assigned, devices will retrieve and send data based on the sync points defined in the BEP.

Configurations may be assigned specifically to user accounts, enabling vastly different application configurations to run concurrently on the same BrightServer instance. This capability facilitates use cases such as staged upgrades and test groups on the server.

The ability to run multiple configurations on a single instance makes running BrightServer instances on a cloud server possible. It is now possible to deploy multiple server configurations to a cloud server and running them in their silos without affecting each other. Another use case that is frequently experienced is the ability to change data models from one version of an application to another. Prior to Version 8, this was not possible, requiring a new instance of a BrightServer be installed in order to handle simple schema changes. This is no longer required. BrightServer 8 or later now can handle multiple configurations seamlessly handling each configuration in their own sandboxes.

For more information, please refer to the Multiple Configurations chapter of this document.

BrightServer Administration

BrightBuilder also contains a Servers panel. The Servers window is a peer to the Projects window. While the Projects window contains all the Bright Software Project (bsp) files and BrightServer Project (bep) files, the Servers window contains registered instances of BrightServer.

You can connect to each instance of BrightServer and view Online Users, Deployed Applications and Configurations, Project or Server Job Scripts, Licensed Devices, Client Logs, Remote Tracing and also make configuration changes to running instances of BrightServer.

For more information on the Server window and BrightServer server instances, please refer to BrightServer > BrightServer Instances.

BrightServer Mobile Data Gateway has a built-in user account with the user name bsadmin and the password changeit. You can use this account to connect to server initially and start creating users, adding new licenses and changing server configuration parameters. This default system account cannot be deleted or deactivated. It is highly recommended that the password is immediately changed for security reasons.

For more information on the configuring BrightServer, please refer to BrightServer > Configuring BrightServer.

BrightServer Mobile Data Gateway

BrightServer comes installed with the BrightServer Mobile Gateway - providing end users with access to BrightWeb. Provided web access is enabled, users registered may view, access and modify records on the server directly via the deployed application and the HTTP protocol. The location of this feature is located at:

http://<BrightServer IP Address>:<BrightServer Port>/brightserver/web/

For more information, refer to the BrightWeb > Introduction to BrightWeb chapter of this document.