Semantic layer

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A semantic layer is a business representation of corporate data that helps end users access data autonomously using common business terms. Developed and patented by Business Objects, it maps complex data into familiar business terms such as product, customer, or revenue to offer a unified, consolidated view of data across the organization.

By using common business terms, rather than data language, to access, manipulate, and organize information, it simplifies the complexity of business data. These business terms are stored as objects in a universe, accessed through business views.

Universes enable business users to access and analyze data stored in a relational database and OLAP cubes. This is claimed to be core business intelligence (BI) technology that frees users from IT while ensuring correct results.

Business Views is a multi-tier system that is designed to enable companies to build comprehensive and specific business objects that help report designers and end users access the information they require. Business Views is intended to enable people to add the necessary business context to their data islands and link them into a single organized Business View for their organization.

Semantic layer maps tables to classes and columns to objects