Updating Materialized Views Automatically and Incrementally

Yugo Nagata

SRA OSS, Inc. Japan

Chief Scientist

12:05 (UTC+3) , english

Materialized view is a feature to store the results of view definition queries in DB in order to achieve faster query response. However, the data in the view gets stale after underlying tables are modified. Therefore, view maintenance is needed to keep the contents up to date. PostgreSQL has REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW command for updating a materialized view, but this command needs to recompute the contents from scratch, so this is not efficient in cases where only a small part of a base table is modified.

Incremental View Maintenance (IVM) is a technique to maintain materialized views efficiently, which computes and applies only the incremental changes to the materialized views instead of recomputing. This feature is required for updating materialized views rapidly but not implemented on PostgreSQL yet.

Therefore, we developed IVM on PostgreSQL and are proposing to implement this as a core feature. The patch is now under discussion on the hackers mailing list. Our implementation allows materialized views to be updated automatically and incrementally when a underlying table is modified. You don't need to write your own trigger function for updating views. As a result of continuous development, the current implementation supports some aggregates, subqueries, self-join, outer joins, and CTEs (WITH clauses) in a view definition query. The result of performance evaluation using TPC-H queries shows that our IVM implementation can update a materialized view more than 200 times faster than re-computation by REFRESH command.

In this talk, we will describe our IVM implementation and its features.