6.11 Object View Manipulations

You can update, insert, and delete data in an object view using the same SQL DML you use for object tables. Oracle updates the base tables of the object view if there is no ambiguity.

Views are not always directly updatable.

A view is not directly updatable if the view query contains joins, set operators, aggregate functions, or GROUP BY or DISTINCT clauses. Also, individual columns of a view are not directly updatable if they are based on pseudocolumns or expressions in the view query.

If a view is not directly updatable, you can still update it indirectly using INSTEAD OF triggers. To do so, you define an INSTEAD OF trigger for each kind of DML statement you want to execute on the view. In the INSTEAD OF trigger, code the operations that must take place on the underlying tables of the view to accomplish the desired change in the view. Then, when you issue a DML statement for which you have defined an INSTEAD OF trigger, Oracle transparently runs the associated trigger.


In an object view hierarchy, UPDATE and DELETE statements operate polymorphically just as SELECT statements do: the set of rows picked out by an UPDATE or DELETE statement on a view implicitly includes qualifying rows in any subviews of the specified view as well.

For example, the following statement, which deletes all persons from Person_v, also deletes all students from Student_v and all employees from the Employee_v view.


To exclude subviews and restrict the affected rows to just those in the view specified, use the ONLY keyword. For example, the following statement updates only persons and not employees or students.

UPDATE ONLY(Person_v) SET address = ...

See Also:

6.11.1 Nested Table Columns Updated in Views

You can modify a nested table by inserting new elements and updating or deleting existing elements. Nested table columns that are virtual or synthesized, as in a view, are not usually updatable. To overcome this, Oracle allows INSTEAD OF triggers to be created on these columns.

The INSTEAD OF trigger defined on a nested table column (of a view) is fired when the column is modified. Note that if the entire collection is replaced (by an update of the parent row), the INSTEAD OF trigger on the nested table column is not fired.

6.11.2 INSTEAD OF Triggers to Control Mutating and Validation

You can update complex views with INSTEAD OF triggers.

INSTEAD OF triggers provide a way to update complex views that otherwise could not be updated. They can also be used to enforce constraints, check privileges, and validate DML statements. Using these triggers, you can control mutation that might be caused by inserting, updating, and deleting in the objects created though an object view.

For instance, to enforce the condition that the number of employees in a department cannot exceed 10, you can write an INSTEAD OF trigger for the employee view. The trigger is not needed to execute the DML statement because the view can be updated, but you need it to enforce the constraint.

Example 6-8 shows how to implement the trigger by means of SQL statements.

Example 6-8 Creating INSTEAD OF Triggers on a View

-- Requires Ex. 6-2, Ex. 6-4, and Ex. 6-6 
  dept_var dept_t;
  emp_count integer;
  -- Enforce the constraint
  -- First get the department number from the reference
  UTL_REF.SELECT_OBJECT(:NEW.deptref, dept_var);

  SELECT COUNT(*) INTO emp_count
    FROM emp
   WHERE deptno = dept_var.deptno;
  IF emp_count < 9 THEN
     -- Do the insert
     INSERT INTO emp (empno, empname, salary, deptno) 
        VALUES (:NEW.empno, :NEW.ename, :NEW.salary, dept_var.deptno);