Understanding SQL Views: Creating, Updating, and Managing


SQL views are a powerful feature of relational databases that provide an efficient and secure way to access data.

They are virtual tables derived from one or more tables in the database, allowing you to structure data in a way that is more convenient for users, while also enabling you to enforce security measures.

In this article, we will discuss creating, updating, and managing SQL views, diving into the details with relevant examples and scenarios.

Creating SQL Views:

A SQL view is a virtual table that is based on the result set of a SELECT statement. Views do not store data themselves; they simply present data from underlying tables in a more organized and understandable manner.

They are particularly useful for:

  • – Simplifying complex queries 🧩
  • – Restricting access to sensitive data πŸ”’
  • – Providing a consistent interface for data access πŸŽ›οΈ

Syntax for Creating a View:

The syntax for creating a view in SQL is as follows:

CREATE VIEW view_name AS
SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
WHERE condition;


Suppose we have a table named ’employees’ with the following columns: employee_id, first_name, last_name, department, and salary.

We can create a view named ’employee_overview’ to display only the employee’s ID, name, and department:

CREATE VIEW employee_overview AS
SELECT employee_id, CONCAT(first_name, ' ', last_name) AS full_name, department
FROM employees;

Updating SQL Views:

Modifiable and Non-modifiable Views:

Not all views can be updated. A view can be updated (insert, update, or delete) if it meets specific criteria:

  • – The view must include only one base table πŸ“‹
  • – The view must not contain any aggregated functions (e.g., COUNT, SUM, etc.) 🚫
  • – The view must not have any DISTINCT or GROUP BY clauses ❌

Updating a View:

If a view is modifiable, you can update it using the standard INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statements. However, remember that updating a view also updates the underlying base table(s).


Using the ’employee_overview’ view created earlier, we can update an employee’s department with the following SQL statement:

UPDATE employee_overview
SET department = 'HR'
WHERE employee_id = 1001;

Managing SQL Views:

Altering a View:

Although you cannot directly modify the structure of a view, you can redefine it by using the CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW statement, followed by the updated SELECT statement.

To alter an existing view, you need to use the ALTER VIEW statement. Here’s an example:

ALTER VIEW employees_view
AS SELECT emp_id, emp_name, emp_salary, emp_department
FROM employees
WHERE emp_status = 'ACTIVE';

Dropping a View:

To delete a view, you can use the DROP VIEW statement, followed by the view name.

DROP VIEW view_name;

In this example, we drop the employees view from the database. Once you’ve dropped a view, it’s gone forever.


SQL Views are a powerful tool for simplifying complex queries and managing database tables.

With the CREATE VIEW statement, you can create virtual tables based on the results of SQL queries. SQL Views are updatable, which means that you can modify the data in a view using SQL statements.

Finally, managing SQL views involves dropping and altering existing views. With these basic skills, you can manage SQL Views effectively in your database.

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