Welcome to a coffee break post where I quickly write up something on my mind that can be written and read in less time than a coffee break takes.

Recently, while exploring possible options for converting our existing ETLs to working with Postgres, I found myself asking the question “can you update a table using a view that has been created on that table?” and the answer is Yes for both Postgres and SQL Server, which I learned after doing some research.

In Postgres, there is a concept of an updatable view, which is essentially a very simple view, that usually doesn’t include a join to a second (or third or more) table. There are other qualifications for what makes a view updatable, but it is generally the fact that the query creating the view is very simple. If a view meets these criteria, you can in fact update the base table using a query to the view.

For example, if you have a table called employee, then you create a view on top of that table which selects most but not all the columns from the base table, with the view being called v_employee, you can then run this query and it will update the data in employee.

UPDATE v_employee
SET full_name = 'George Smith'
WHERE emp_id = 15;

This concept is intriguing to me, and could also be really useful in updating our ETLs more quickly after we convert to Postgres, so I thought I would share this fun little fact with everyone.