Crystal Enterprise Business Views helps you better manage reporting across multiple data sources and applications by simplifying data access, change management, and data-level security processes. An optional service in Crystal Enterprise, Business Views allow you to integrate data from disparate sources, handle promotion/demotion between development and production environments, and control security at both the row and column level.
The Business View Manager allows you to simplify data access for your report designers by insulating them from the raw data structures. You can build connections to multiple data sources, join tables, alias field names, create calculated fields, and then surface this simplified structure as a Business View in Crystal Enterprise. Your report designers can then connect to Crystal Enterprise and use the Business View as the basis for their report, rather than accessing the data directly and building their own queries.
You can think of Business View Manager like an alternate mini version of Universe Designer. Just like you can throw in 10s of tables in Designer to create a Universe and use that universe to build DeskI or WebI reports, you can do the same thing using Business View Manager by throwing in 10s of tables or custom SQL to create a ‘Business View’ and use that in Crystal Reports.
The client tier includes SAP Business Objects applications (such as Crystal Reports and the Report Application Server) that access the Business Views that are stored and organized in the business tier. Business Views administrators control and define security and access to specific objects within the various Business Views.
Report designers using Crystal Reports see only the tables and fields that they have access to, as defined within the specific Business View. For example, a report designer in the company’s sales department can access only regional sales data, and thus, design a report with sales-specific information, even though the data store also contains employee-specific information. Thus, depending on how the report is created and designed, a manager running the same report (or another report) has access to the additional information on employees within the company. All of the security and access information is handled by the Business View Manager.
- Business View Manager
You can use this designer to specify different Data Connections, to set security, and to control access to the data found within the different data sources in the data tier. This thick-client designer is the only part of Business Views that you interact with directly. End users access the data specified within the Business View Manager through their SAP Business Objects client application, such as SAP Crystal Reports (via the SAP Business Objects repository) or through the Report Application Server.
- Data Connection
Data Connections specify and define the data sources for a Business View; they define how these data sources are made available to users. Thus, a Data Connection is a connection object, and you can apply security to this object. Each Data Connection contains
information that describes the physical data source, such as the server and data being accessed, the logon credentials, and the type of server being accessed.
- Dynamic Data Connection
A Dynamic Data Connection is a collection of pointers to various Data Connections. An administrator or user is able to select which Data Connection to use through a parameter. When users refresh reports that are based on a Dynamic Data Connection, they are prompted to specify which of the available Data Connections to use.
- Data Foundation
A Data Foundation consists of collections of tables and fields. Default table joins are defined at this level. You can secure Data foundations using the standard SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence platform security model, which includes View and Edit rights. The primary use of Data Foundations is for data abstraction: administrators control which tables and fields users can or cannot access when these users are designing or viewing a report.
- Business Element
A Business Element is roughly equivalent to an OLAP dimension or logical view; that is, this object is a logically related collection of data fields that are based on a Data Foundation. These fields can be organized into a hierarchical structure within the Business Element. The most common example is a hierarchical structure that contains the following fields: Country, State or Province, and City. Business Fields
in Business Elements can be aliased to support data abstraction and to facilitate report design. Administrators can secure Business Elements through the standard View and Edit rights.
- Business View
Business View is a logical collection of Business Elements. Users see Business Views as abstract database connections and the contained Business Elements as virtual tables that, in turn, contain Business Fields. Administrators can secure Business Views through the standard View and Edit rights. End users can access Business Views through applications such as SAP Crystal Reports and the Report Application Server.
A Business View consists of the following objects:
• One or more Data Connections
• One optional Dynamic Data Connection
• One Data Foundation
• One or more Business Elements
The data tier consists of data sources, such as multiple databases on different machines that provide the data for the business tier. Business Views supports a wide range of corporate databases.