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In a database, a view is the result set of a stored query on the data, which the database users can query just as they would in a persistent database collection object. This pre-established query command is kept in the database dictionary. Unlike ordinary base tables in a relational database, a view does not form part of the physical schema: as a result set, it is a virtual table computed or collated dynamically from data in the database when access to that view is requested. Changes applied to the data in a relevant underlying table are reflected in the data shown in subsequent invocations of the view. In some NoSQL databases, views are the only way to query data.
Views can provide advantages over tables:
Views can represent a subset of the data contained in a table. Consequently, a view can limit the degree of exposure of the underlying tables to the outer world: a given user may have permission to query the view, while denied access to the rest of the base table.
Views can join and simplify multiple tables into a single virtual table.
Views can act as aggregated tables, where the database engine aggregates data (sum, average, etc.) and presents the calculated results as part of the data.
Views can hide the complexity of data. For example, a view could appear as Sales2000 or Sales2001, transparently partitioning the actual underlying table.
Views take very little space to store; the database contains only the definition of a view, not a copy of all the data that it presents.
Depending on the SQL engine used, views can provide extra security.