MySQL: Views vs Stored Procedures

Since MySQL started supporting stored procedures, I’ve never really used them. Partly because I’m not a great query writer, partly because I often work with DBAs who make those choices for me, partly because I’m just comfy with What I Know.

In terms of doing data selection, specifically when considering a select that is essentially a de-normalization (joins) and aggregate (avg or max, subqueries w/counts, etc) selection of data, what is the right choice in MySQL 5.x? A view? Or a stored procedure?

Views I’m comfortable with – you know what your SELECT query is supposed to look like so you just create that, make sure it indexed and whatnot, then just do a CREATE VIEW [View] AS SELECT [...]. Then, in my application, I treat the view as a read-only table – it represents a de-normalized version of my normalized data.

What are the disadvantages here – if any? And what would change (gains or losses) if I moved that exact same SELECT statement into a stored procedure?

I’m hoping to find some good ‘under the hood’ info that has been difficult to find while googling this topic but really I welcome all comments and answers.


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Method 1

In my opinion, Stored Procedures should be used solely for data manipulation when the same routine needs to be used amongst several different application or for ETL between databases or tables, nothing more. Basically, do as much in code as you can until you run into the DRY principle or what you are doing is simply moving data from one place to another within the DB.

Views can be used to provide an alternate or simplified “view” into the data. As such, I would go with a view as you are not really manipulating the data as much as finding a different method of displaying it.

Method 2

Not sure if it’s an either/or choice. Stored procedures can do a wide variety of things that views would struggle (think populating data in temp table then running cursor on it and then doing aggregation and returning a result set).

Views on the other hand can hide complex sql / access rights and present a modified view of the schema.

I think both have a place in the scheme of things and both are useful for a successful schema implementation.

Method 3

I use views for de-normalisation or output formatting and stored procedures for filtering and data manipulation (things that require parameter inputs) or iteration (cursors).

I often access a view inside a stored procedure when both de-normalisation and filtering are required.

Method 4

One thing to note, at least with mysql view results are stored in a temporary table and unlike most decent database engines this table is not indexed, so if using to just simplify queries, view are great when your program is going to grab all of the results from the view, however if your then searching the results of that view, based on parameters it is incredibly slow especially if there are millions of records to sift through and even worse if the view is built on top of other views and so on.

A stored procedure however you can pass those search parameters in and run the query directly against the underlining (indexed) tables. the downside is the results will need to be fetched every time the procedure is run, which may also occur with a view anyway depending on server configuration.

so basically if your using a view try to minimise the number of results (if you then need to search it) else use a stored procedure.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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