This is the documentation for Cloudera Impala 1.4.1.
Documentation for other versions is available at Cloudera.com.

CREATE VIEW Statement

The CREATE VIEW statement lets you create a shorthand abbreviation for a more complicated query. The base query can involve joins, expressions, reordered columns, column aliases, and other SQL features that can make a query hard to understand or maintain.

Because a view is purely a logical construct (an alias for a query) with no physical data behind it, ALTER VIEW only involves changes to metadata in the metastore database, not any data files in HDFS.

CREATE VIEW view_name [(column_list)]
  AS select_statement

Statement type: DDL

Views, ALTER VIEW Statement, DROP VIEW Statement

Usage notes:

The CREATE VIEW statement can be useful in scenarios such as the following:

  • To turn even the most lengthy and complicated SQL query into a one-liner. You can issue simple queries against the view from applications, scripts, or interactive queries in impala-shell . For example:
    select * from view_name;
    select * from view_name order by c1 desc limit 10;
    The more complicated and hard-to-read the original query, the more benefit there is to simplifying the query using a view.
  • To hide the underlying table and column names, to minimize maintenance problems if those names change. In that case, you re-create the view using the new names, and all queries that use the view rather than the underlying tables keep running with no changes.
  • To experiment with optimization techniques and make the optimized queries available to all applications. For example, if you find a combination of WHERE conditions, join order, join hints, and so on that works the best for a class of queries, you can establish a view that incorporates the best-performing techniques. Applications can then make relatively simple queries against the view, without repeating the complicated and optimized logic over and over. If you later find a better way to optimize the original query, when you re-create the view, all the applications immediately take advantage of the optimized base query.
  • To simplify a whole class of related queries, especially complicated queries involving joins between multiple tables, complicated expressions in the column list, and other SQL syntax that makes the query difficult to understand and debug. For example, you might create a view that joins several tables, filters using several WHERE conditions, and selects several columns from the result set. Applications might issue queries against this view that only vary in their LIMIT, ORDER BY, and similar simple clauses.

For queries that require repeating complicated clauses over and over again, for example in the select list, ORDER BY, and GROUP BY clauses, you can use the WITH clause as an alternative to creating a view.

If you connect to different Impala nodes within an impala-shell session for load-balancing purposes, you can enable the SYNC_DDL query option to make each DDL statement wait before returning, until the new or changed metadata has been received by all the Impala nodes. See SYNC_DDL for details.

Examples:

create view v1 as select * from t1;
create view v2 as select c1, c3, c7 from t1;
create view v3 as select c1, cast(c3 as string) c3, concat(c4,c5) c5, trim(c6) c6, "Constant" c8 from t1;
create view v4 as select t1.c1, t2.c2 from t1 join t2 on t1.id = t2.id;
create view some_db.v5 as select * from some_other_db.t1;

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