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Re: GSoC - proposal - Materialized Views in PostgreSQL

From: "Florian G(dot) Pflug" <fgp(at)phlo(dot)org>
To: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: Heikki Linnakangas <heikki(dot)linnakangas(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, Andrew Dunstan <andrew(at)dunslane(dot)net>, pavelbaros <baros(dot)p(at)seznam(dot)cz>, Greg Smith <greg(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: GSoC - proposal - Materialized Views in PostgreSQL
Date: 2010-04-12 02:13:34
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
On 11.04.10 20:47 , Robert Haas wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 10:26 AM, Heikki Linnakangas
> <heikki(dot)linnakangas(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>  wrote:
>> Robert Haas wrote:
>>> 2010/4/10 Andrew Dunstan<andrew(at)dunslane(dot)net>:
>>>> Heikki Linnakangas wrote:
>>>>> 1. Keep the materialized view up-to-date when the base tables
>>>>> change. This can be further divided into many steps, you can
>>>>> begin by supporting automatic updates only on very simple
>>>>> views with e.g a single table and a where clause. Then extend
>>>>> that to support joins, aggregates, subqueries etc. Keeping it
>>>>> really limited, you could even require the user to write the
>>>>> required triggers himself.
>>>> That last bit doesn't strike me as much of an advance. Isn't
>>>> the whole point of this to automate it? Creating greedy
>>>> materialized views is usually not terribly difficult now, but
>>>> you do have to write the triggers.
>>> Yeah, I agree.
>> It doesn't accomplish anything interesting on its own. But if you
>> do the planner changes to automatically use the materialized view
>> to satisfy queries (item 2. in my previous email), it's useful.
> But you can't do that with a snapshot view, only a continuous updated
> one.

If continuous updates prove to be too hard initially, you could instead
update the view on select if it's outdated. Such a materialized view
would be a kind of inter-session cache for subselects.

The hard part would probably be to figure out how to decide whether the
view is outdated or not, and to deal with two concurrent transactions
trying to use an outdates view (and both trying to refresh it). What
makes the second problem hard is that you wouldn't want one of the
transactions to wait for the other to complete, because this is not how
SELECTs traditionally behave.

best regards, Florian Pflug

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