Business Views are new to Crystal Enterprise 10. Business Views enable the user to abstract the complexities of the data source by creating a layer on top of the data source layer that abstracts the complexities of the data joins and fields. The end user only sees a logical grouping of available, well-named fields for use and does not have to concern himself with the intricacies of database design.
You do not have to use the Business Views as your data source. You can still connect to the data source directly and create the joins inside Crystal Reports. Using Business Views is contingent on the requirements. For example, if you are building a data warehouse with complex joins and technical field names, Business Views might be the recommended approach. If the requirement is to report from an Access database and you know the data structures and the end users will simply be consuming static reports, the additional effort of building the Business View might not be justified.
Although previous versions of Crystal Reports had functionality similar to this in the form of Dictionaries and Query files, Business Views require Crystal Reports 10 and will not function with earlier versions of Crystal Reports.
At the time of this writing, Business Views were available for the Professional and Premium editions of Crystal Enterprise. Contact Business Objects for further licensing information.