Materialized Views in the Oracle Communications Data Model

Materialized views are query results that have been stored or "materialized" in advance as schema objects. From a physical design point of view, materialized views resemble tables or partitioned tables and behave like indexes in that they are used transparently and can improve performance.

In the past, organizations using summaries spent a significant amount of time and effort creating summaries manually, identifying which summaries to create, indexing the summaries, updating them, and advising their users on which ones to use. With the advent of materialized views, a database administrator creates one or more materialized views, which are the equivalent of a summary. Thus, the workload of the database administrator is eased and the user no longer needed to be aware of the summaries that had been defined. Instead, the end user queries the tables and views at the detail data level. The query rewrite mechanism in the Oracle server automatically rewrites the SQL query to use the summary tables and reduces response time for returning results from the query.

Materialized views improve query performance by precalculating expensive join and aggregation operations on the database before executing and storing the results in the database. The query optimizer automatically recognizes when an existing materialized view can and should be used to satisfy a request.

The default Oracle Communications Data Model defines many materialized views. In the default ocdm_sys schema, you can identify these materialized views by looking at objects with the prefixes listed in the following table.


Table 3-2 Materialized View Prefixes

Prefix Description

DWA_

Aggregate tables which are materialized views.

See: Aggregate tables in Oracle Communications Data Model Reference for a list of these objects in the default data model.

"Aggregate Tables in Oracle Communications Data Model" for more information on customizing these objects,.

CB$

An OLAP cube enhanced with materialized view capabilities.

See: OLAP cube materialized views in Oracle Communications Data Model Reference for a list of these objects in the default data model.

"Characteristics of the OLAP Cubes" for information on OLAP cubes.

Note: Do not report or query against this object. Instead access the relational view of an OLAP cube (that is, the object with the _VIEW suffix).

DMV_

Materialized views created for performance reasons (that is, not an aggregate table or a cube materialized view).

See: Oracle Communications Data Model Reference to identify these objects in the default data model.


The following topics provide more information on using and creating materialized views in your customized Oracle Communications Data Model:

Types of Materialized Views and Refresh Options

Refresh option vary by the type of materialized view:

See

Oracle OLAP User's Guide for a discussion of creating materialized views of Oracle OLAP cubes.

Refresh Options for Materialized Views with Aggregates

In data warehouses, materialized views normally contain aggregates. The DWA_ tables in the default Oracle Communications Data Model are this type of materialized view.

For a materialized view with aggregates, for fast refresh to be possible:

  • The SELECT list must contain all of the GROUP BY columns (if present).

  • There must be a COUNT(*) and a COUNT(column) on any aggregated columns.

  • Materialized view logs must be present on all tables referenced in the query that defines the materialized view. The valid aggregate functions are: SUM, COUNT(x), COUNT(*), AVG, VARIANCE, STDDEV, MIN, and MAX, and the expression to be aggregated can be any SQL value expression.

Fast refresh for a materialized view containing joins and aggregates is possible after any type of DML to the base tables (direct load or conventional INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE).

You can define that the materialized view be refreshed ON COMMIT or ON DEMAND. A REFRESH ON COMMIT materialized view is automatically refreshed when a transaction that does DML to a materialized view's detail tables commits.

When you specify REFRESH ON COMMIT, the table commit can take more time than if you have not. This is because the refresh operation is performed as part of the commit process. Therefore, this method may not be suitable if many users are concurrently changing the tables upon which the materialized view is based.

Refresh Options for Materialized Views Containing Only Joins

Some materialized views contain only joins and no aggregates (for example, when a materialized view is created that joins the sales table to the times and customers tables). The advantage of creating this type of materialized view is that expensive joins are precalculated.

Fast refresh for a materialized view containing only joins is possible after any type of DML to the base tables (direct-path or conventional INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE).

A materialized view containing only joins can be defined to be refreshed ON COMMIT or ON DEMAND. If it is ON COMMIT, the refresh is performed at commit time of the transaction that does DML on the materialized view's detail table.

If you specify REFRESH FAST, Oracle Database performs further verification of the query definition to ensure that fast refresh can be performed if any of the detail tables change. These additional checks are:

  • A materialized view log must be present for each detail table unless the table supports partition change tracking. Also, when a materialized view log is required, the ROWID column must be present in each materialized view log.

  • The rowids of all the detail tables must appear in the SELECT list of the materialized view query definition.

If some of these restrictions are not met, you can create the materialized view as REFRESH FORCE to take advantage of fast refresh when it is possible. If one table does not meet all of the criteria, but the other tables do the materialized view is still fast refreshable with respect to the other tables for which all the criteria are met.

To achieve an optimally efficient refresh:

  • Ensure that the defining query does not use an outer join that behaves like an inner join. If the defining query contains such a join, consider rewriting the defining query to contain an inner join.

  • If the materialized view contains only joins, the ROWID columns for each table (and each instance of a table that occurs multiple times in the FROM list) must be present in the SELECT list of the materialized view.

  • If the materialized view has remote tables in the FROM clause, all tables in the FROM clause must be located on that same site. Further, ON COMMIT refresh is not supported for materialized view with remote tables. Except for SCN-based materialized view logs, materialized view logs must be present on the remote site for each detail table of the materialized view and ROWID columns must be present in the SELECT list of the materialized view.

Refresh Options for Nested Materialized Views

A nested materialized view is a materialized view whose definition is based on another materialized view. A nested materialized view can reference other relations in the database in addition to referencing materialized views.

In a data warehouse, you typically create many aggregate views on a single join (for example, rollups along different dimensions). Incrementally maintaining these distinct materialized aggregate views can take a long time, because the underlying join has to be performed many times.

Using nested materialized views, you can create multiple single-table materialized views based on a joins-only materialized view and the join is performed just one time. In addition, optimizations can be performed for this class of single-table aggregate materialized view and thus refresh is very efficient.

Some types of nested materialized views cannot be fast refreshed. Use EXPLAIN_MVIEW to identify those types of materialized views.

You can refresh a tree of nested materialized views in the appropriate dependency order by specifying the nested =TRUE parameter with the DBMS_MVIEW.REFRESH parameter.

Types of Indexes for Materialized Views

The two most common operations on a materialized view are query execution and fast refresh, and each operation has different performance requirements:

  • Query execution might need to access any subset of the materialized view key columns, and might need to join and aggregate over a subset of those columns. Consequently, for best performance, create a single-column bitmap index on each materialized view key column.

  • In the case of materialized views containing only joins using fast refresh, create indexes on the columns that contain the rowids to improve the performance of the refresh operation.

  • If a materialized view using aggregates is fast refreshable, then an index appropriate for the fast refresh procedure is created unless USING NO INDEX is specified in the CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW statement.

Options for Partitioning and Materialized Views

Because of the large volume of data held in a data warehouse, partitioning is an extremely useful option when designing a database.

Partitioning the fact tables improves scalability, simplifies system administration, and makes it possible to define local indexes that can be efficiently rebuilt. Partitioning the fact tables also improves the opportunity of fast refreshing the materialized view because this may enable partition change tracking refresh on the materialized view.

Partitioning a materialized view has the same benefits as partitioning fact tables. When a materialized view is partitioned a refresh procedure can use parallel DML in more scenarios and partition change tracking-based refresh can use truncate partition to efficiently maintain the materialized view.

Using Partition Change Tracking

It is possible and advantageous to track freshness to a finer grain than the entire materialized view. The ability to identify which rows in a materialized view are affected by a certain detail table partition, is known as partition change tracking. When one or more of the detail tables are partitioned, it may be possible to identify the specific rows in the materialized view that correspond to a modified detail partition(s). those rows become stale when a partition is modified while all other rows remain fresh.

You can use partition change tracking to identify which materialized view rows correspond to a particular partition. Partition change tracking is also used to support fast refresh after partition maintenance operations on detail tables. For instance, if a detail table partition is truncated or dropped, the affected rows in the materialized view are identified and deleted. Identifying which materialized view rows are fresh or stale, rather than considering the entire materialized view as stale, allows query rewrite to use those rows that refresh while in QUERY_REWRITE_INTEGRITY = ENFORCED or TRUSTED modes.

Several views, such as DBA_MVIEW_DETAIL_PARTITION, detail which partitions are stale or fresh. Oracle does not rewrite against partial stale materialized views if partition change tracking on the changed table is enabled by the presence of join dependent expression in the materialized view.

To support partition change tracking, a materialized view must satisfy the following requirements:

  • At least one detail table referenced by the materialized view must be partitioned.

  • Partitioned tables must use either range, list or composite partitioning.

  • The top level partition key must consist of only a single column.

  • The materialized view must contain either the partition key column or a partition marker or ROWID or join dependent expression of the detail table.

  • If you use a GROUP BY clause, the partition key column or the partition marker or ROWID or join dependent expression must be present in the GROUP BY clause.

  • If you use an analytic window function or the MODEL clause, the partition key column or the partition marker or ROWID or join dependent expression must be present in their respective PARTITION BY subclauses.

  • Data modifications can only occur on the partitioned table. If partition change tracking refresh is being done for a table which has join dependent expression in the materialized view, then data modifications should not have occurred in any of the join dependent tables.

  • The COMPATIBILITY initialization parameter must be a minimum of 9.0.0.0.0.

  • Partition change tracking is not supported for a materialized view that refers to views, remote tables, or outer joins.

Considerations for Data Compression with Materialized Views

Using data compression for a materialized view brings you a additional dramatic performance improvement.

Consider data compression when using highly redundant data, such as tables with many foreign keys. In particular, likely candidates are materialized views created with the ROLLUP clause.