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Materialized View vs. Tables: What are the advantages?

Both materialized views and tables are database objects used to store data in a structured format. However, they differ in how they store and manage data, and their advantages depend on the use case and specific requirements of a system.

Here are some advantages of materialized views:

  1. Faster query performance: Materialized views precompute and store the results of a query, making it faster to retrieve data than querying the original tables. This is particularly useful for complex queries involving joins and aggregations.

  2. Reduced database load: By storing the results of a query in a materialized view, the load on the original tables is reduced, improving overall database performance.

  3. Reduced network traffic: Since materialized views store precomputed data, there is less need to transfer data across the network when queries are executed. This can result in faster response times and less network congestion.

  4. Improved data consistency: Materialized views can be configured to automatically refresh data at specific intervals or based on specific events, ensuring that the data in the view is always up-to-date with the source tables.

On the other hand, here are some advantages of tables:

  1. Flexibility: Tables are more flexible than materialized views, as they can be modified at any time by inserting, updating, or deleting data. Materialized views, on the other hand, are read-only and cannot be modified directly.

  2. Better data control: Tables provide more control over data than materialized views. For example, tables can have constraints, triggers, and indexes that help ensure data integrity and improve query performance.

  3. Easier to manage: Tables are easier to manage than materialized views, as they do not require additional maintenance tasks such as refreshing or rebuilding.

In summary, materialized views are best suited for scenarios where query performance is critical, and data consistency is important, while tables are better suited for scenarios where data flexibility and control are a priority.

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