Database views

Why views?

  • Abstraction

The relational data queries can be quite complex sometimes, leading to many joins or calculations. Instead the same complex query can be written as a view and the application can make a simpler query to the view instead of the table with joins. Column names can be aliased to make it suitable for the application needs, abstracting the original table.

  • Permissions

Views are also used to apply granular permissions for underlying tables. Views can be made accessible to users while the underlying tables are not directly accessible. This allows the DBA to give users only the data they need, while protecting other data in the same table. Hasura lets you define permissions for views.

  • Legacy Code & Database Refactoring

Views help place logic in a single location, so that you do not have to change it all over the code base. Suppose you make a modification to your underlying schema, your application can still keep using the same query, provided the view is also aligned to the data structure. Eventually though, you might have to make the changes in your code base if it gets too complex.

Creating views

Consider a sample schema with an article and an author table. Let us create a view in SQL that shows average rating of authors. The SQL looks like:

CREATE VIEW author_average_rating AS
  SELECT, avg(article.rating)
  From author, article
  WHERE = article.author_id

Create the view in the database by running the above sql query as described here.

You can now make queries, create relationships, etc. on the created view as you would with a normal table.

Views are read only!

Views are like read-only logical tables on the database. So that means that Data API requests to select will work, but you cannot insert/update/delete items from the view.