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I.4. Restrictions on Views

View processing is not optimized:

  • It is not possible to create an index on a view.

  • Indexes can be used for views processed using the merge algorithm. However, a view that is processed with the temptable algorithm is unable to take advantage of indexes on its underlying tables (although indexes can be used during generation of the temporary tables).

Subqueries cannot be used in the FROM clause of a view. This limitation will be lifted in the future.

There is a general principle that you cannot modify a table and select from the same table in a subquery. See Section I.3, “Restrictions on Subqueries”.

The same principle also applies if you select from a view that selects from the table, if the view selects from the table in a subquery and the view is evaluated using the merge algorithm. Example:

CREATE VIEW v1 AS
SELECT * FROM t2 WHERE EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM t1 WHERE t1.a = t2.a);

UPDATE t1, v2 SET t1.a = 1 WHERE t1.b = v2.b;

If the view is evaluated using a temporary table, you can select from the table in the view subquery and still modify that table in the outer query. In this case the view will be materialized and thus you are not really selecting from the table in a subquery and modifying it “at the same time.” (This is another reason you might wish to force MySQL to use the temptable algorithm by specifying ALGORITHM = TEMPTABLE in the view definition.)

You can use DROP TABLE or ALTER TABLE to drop or alter a table that is used in a view definition (which invalidates the view) and no warning results from the drop or alter operation. An error occurs later when the view is used.

A view definition is “frozen” by certain statements:

  • If a statement prepared by PREPARE refers to a view, the view contents seen each time the statement is executed later will be the contents of the view at the time it was prepared. This is true even if the view definition is changed after the statement is prepared and before it is executed. Example:

    CREATE VIEW v AS SELECT 1;
    PREPARE s FROM 'SELECT * FROM v';
    ALTER VIEW v AS SELECT 2;
    EXECUTE s;
    

    The result returned by the EXECUTE statement is 1, not 2.

  • If a statement in a stored routine refers to a view, the view contents seen by the statement are its contents the first time that statement is executed. For example, this means that if the statement is executed in a loop, further iterations of the statement see the same view contents, even if the view definition is changed later in the loop. Example:

    CREATE VIEW v AS SELECT 1;
    delimiter //
    CREATE PROCEDURE p ()
    BEGIN
      DECLARE i INT DEFAULT 0;
      WHILE i < 5 DO
        SELECT * FROM v;
        SET i = i + 1;
        ALTER VIEW v AS SELECT 2;
      END WHILE;
    END;
    //
    delimiter ;
    CALL p();
    

    When the procedure p() is called, the SELECT returns 1 each time through the loop, even though the view definition is changed within the loop.

With regard to view updatability, the overall goal for views is that if any view is theoretically updatable, it should be updatable in practice. This includes views that have UNION in their definition. Currently, not all views that are theoretically updatable can be updated. The initial view implementation was deliberately written this way to get usable, updatable views into MySQL as quickly as possible. Many theoretically updatable views can be updated now, but limitations still exist:

  • Updatable views with subqueries anywhere other than in the WHERE clause. Some views that have subqueries in the SELECT list may be updatable.

  • You cannot use UPDATE to update more than one underlying table of a view that is defined as a join.

  • You cannot use DELETE to update a view that is defined as a join.


 
 
  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire