Enterprise Keyboard Deployment

Enterprise Keyboard 3.2


Enterprise Keyboard (EKB) versions available as an .apk file can be downloaded and deployed to compatible devices and configured on those devices using Zebra StageNow and the UI Manager service or through a company's own enterprise mobility management (EMM) system (if supported by that system). This guide covers the basic procedures for mass-deployment of the Enterprise Keyboard apk file and layouts made with Enterprise Keyboard Designer (EKB Designer or EKD), Zebra's Windows-based tool for creating custom key layouts for EKB.

Zebra strongly recommends testing apps, configuration files and deployment settings on a working device before general deployment.


  • EKB installation package (.apk)
  • StageNow or a compatible EMM system
  • EKD layout definition file (optional)

About EKD Files

Data for custom key layout(s) is stored in the custom key-layout definition file, an encrypted file generated by Enterprise Keyboard Designer that contains information about key locations, key-value assignments, etc. for each key layout created. This single file can contain as many as 20 layout groups, each of which defines one layout.


  • Enterprise Keyboard 3.2 (or higher) must be installed and set as the default input method on the device to display layouts made with EKD.
  • Apps on the device can access only a single EKD project file; all layouts required for a device MUST be stored in that single file.
  • Only one keyboard or custom key layout can be displayed on the device screen at a time. When a custom key layout is displayed, all other keyboards are hidden, including the standard Enterprise Keyboard alpha-numeric layout.
  • To display an EKD layout, it must be called by an app using intents (see EKB APIs section).
  • EKD project files can be decrypted on the device only by Enterprise Keyboard and Enterprise Browser.
  • The layout definition file must be stored in the /enterprise/device/settings/ekb/config/ folder on the device.
  • Do NOT deploy empty key layout files; they can cause Enterprise Keyboard to behave unpredictably.
  • The "Switch-Scan" Press Action sometimes displays a layout other than the expected EKB "scan" layout.
  • When using DataWedge to switch layouts, the EKB fixed layout is sometimes shown briefly or until the focus changes again.
  • When custom layouts are displayed, all EKB settings, preferences and functions are suspended.

Mass-deploy EKB/EKD files

  1. In StageNow or compatible EMM, create an installation package containing EKB .apk and/or EKD layout definition file(s).
    By default, EKD layout definition files are saved in the \Downloads directory of the host-computer user on the system on which they were created. For example:
  2. Deploy EKB to the the root directory of the target device(s).
  3. If included, deploy layout definition file to:
  4. After all device downloads complete, launch EKB.
  5. Configure EKB as the default input source.
  6. Restart the device.

Upon restart, EKB is the default keyboard and custom key layouts are available for use.

See the EKB API Guide for layout usage info.

Also See