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The Data Tier

Every organization has data in a wide variety of sources: databases, applications, XML files, Excel spreadsheets, EJBs, and so on. Crystal Enterprise provides unparalleled access to data in a wide variety of formats. Although data access was covered in Chapter 1, “Creating and Designing Basic Reports,” several architectural concepts around this topic merit our attention. First, Crystal Enterprise 10 includes Crystal Business Views, which provide a level of abstraction above data sources, greatly simplifying report writing and data security. Second, you will explore some of the most common sources of data.

Crystal Business Views

Rather than connect directly to data sources, an organization can use Crystal Business Views to simplify data access. Using the Business Views (BV) Semantic layer speeds report development because the report developer bypasses several typical steps of report development: connecting to the data source, choosing tables, joining tables, and adding calculations. Instead, by choosing the BV, the report developer sees a complete set of fields logically organized around business problems and areas.


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