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Modifying Base Tables from Table Expressions

Itzik Ben-Gan continues a series on table expressions:

This article is the eleventh part in a series about table expressions. So far, I’ve covered derived tables and CTEs, and recently started the coverage of views. In Part 9 I compared views to derived tables and CTEs, and in Part 10 I discussed DDL changes and the implications of using SELECT * in the view’s inner query. In this article, I focus on modification considerations.

As you probably know, you’re allowed to modify data in base tables indirectly through named table expressions like views. You can control modification permissions against views. In fact, you can grant users permissions to modify data through views without granting them permissions to modify the underlying tables directly.

You do need to be aware of certain complexities and restrictions that apply to modifications through views. Interestingly, some of the supported modifications can end up with surprising outcomes, especially if the user modifying the data isn’t aware they’re interacting with a view. You can impose further restrictions to modifications through views by using an option called CHECK OPTION, which I’ll cover in this article. As part of the coverage, I’ll describe a curious inconsistency between how the CHECK OPTION in a view and a CHECK constraint in a table handle modifications—specifically ones involving NULLs.

As always, it’s well worth the read.