Can you update data through a Snowflake view? Why or why not?

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Can you update data through a Snowflake view? Why or why not?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 7, 2023
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Yes, you can update data through a Snowflake view under certain conditions. Snowflake supports updatable views, which allow you to perform data modifications (INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE) on the view itself, and these changes are then reflected in the underlying tables. However, there are some limitations and requirements to consider:

1. **Simple Updatability:** Views are updatable if they meet certain criteria. The view must be based on a single table (not a join or subquery) and must not include certain constructs like DISTINCT, GROUP BY, HAVING, etc.
2. **Primary Key or Unique Key:** The underlying table must have a primary key or a unique key defined on it. This is necessary for Snowflake to determine which rows to update or delete when changes are made through the view.
3. **Column Constraints:** The view's columns must be directly mapped to the underlying table's columns. Computed columns, expressions, or transformations can't be updated directly through the view.
4. **Limited to One Table:** As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, updatable views in Snowflake are limited to updating data in a single underlying table. You can't use views to update data in multiple tables using a single view.

Here's an example of creating an updatable view and performing an update through the view:

```sql
sqlCopy code
-- Create an updatable view
CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW UpdatableEmployee AS
SELECT EmployeeID, FirstName, LastName, Salary
FROM Employees
WHERE Department = 'Sales';

-- Update data through the view
UPDATE UpdatableEmployee
SET Salary = Salary * 1.1
WHERE EmployeeID = 123;

```

In this example, the **`UpdatableEmployee`** view is based on the **`Employees`** table and includes only employees from the 'Sales' department. The **`UPDATE`** statement modifies the salary of an employee through the view. This change will be reflected in the underlying **`Employees`** table as well.

Keep in mind that while updatable views can be convenient, they have limitations and may not be suitable for all scenarios. It's important to carefully consider your use case and ensure that your view meets the requirements for updatable views in Snowflake. Always refer to the latest Snowflake documentation for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding updatable views.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 7, 2023

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