CarbonData Materialized View

Quick example

Start spark-sql in terminal and run the following queries,

  CREATE TABLE maintable(a int, b string, c int) stored as carbondata;
  INSERT INTO maintable SELECT 1, 'ab', 2;
  SELECT a, sum(b) FROM maintable GROUP BY a;
  // NOTE: run explain query and check if query hits the mv table from the plan
  EXPLAIN SELECT a, sum(b) FROM maintable GROUP BY a;


Materialized views are created as tables from queries. Users can create limitless materialized views to improve query performance provided the storage requirements and loading time is acceptable.

Materialized view can be refreshed on commit or on manual. Once materialized views are created, CarbonData's MVRewriteRule helps to select the most efficient materialized view based on the user query and rewrite the SQL to select the data from materialized view instead of fact tables. Since the data size of materialized view is smaller and data is pre-processed, user queries are much faster.

For instance, fact table called sales which is defined as.

  CREATE TABLE sales (
    order_time timestamp,
    user_id string,
    sex string,
    country string,
    quantity int,
    price bigint)
  STORED AS carbondata

Users can create a materialized view using the CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW statement.

    SELECT country, sex, sum(quantity), avg(price)
    FROM sales
    GROUP BY country, sex


  • Group by and Order by columns has to be provided in the projection list while creating a materialized view.
  • If only single fact table is involved in materialized view creation, then TableProperties of fact table (if not present in a aggregate function like sum(col)) listed below will be inherited to materialized view.
  • Creating materialized view with select query containing only project of all columns of fact table is unsupported. Example: If table ‘x’ contains columns ‘a,b,c’, then creating MV with below queries is not supported. 1. SELECT a,b,c FROM x 2. SELECT * FROM x
  • TableProperty given in Properties will be considered for materialized view creation, even though if same property is inherited from fact table, which allows user to provide different table properties for materialized view.
  • Materialized view creation with limit or union all CTAS queries is unsupported.
  • Materialized view does not support streaming.

How materialized views are selected

When a user query is submitted, during the query planning phase, CarbonData will collect modular plan candidates and process the ModularPlan based on registered summary data sets. Then, a materialized view for this query will be selected among the candidates.

For the fact table sales and materialized view agg_sales created above, following queries

  SELECT country, sex, sum(quantity), avg(price) FROM sales GROUP BY country, sex
  SELECT sex, sum(quantity) FROM sales GROUP BY sex
  SELECT avg(price), country FROM sales GROUP BY country

will be transformed by CarbonData's query planner to query against materialized view agg_sales instead of the fact table sales.

However, for following queries

  SELECT user_id, country, sex, sum(quantity), avg(price) FROM sales GROUP BY user_id, country, sex
  SELECT sex, avg(quantity) FROM sales GROUP BY sex
  SELECT country, max(price) FROM sales GROUP BY country

will query against fact table sales only, because it does not satisfy materialized view selection logic.

Loading data

Loading data on commit

In case of WITHOUT DEFERRED REFRESH, for existing table with loaded data, data load to materialized view will be triggered by the CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW statement when user creates the materialized view.

For incremental loads to the fact table, data to materialized view will be loaded once the corresponding fact table load is completed.

Loading data on manual

In case of WITH DEFERRED REFRESH, data load to materialized view will be triggered by the refresh command. Materialized view will be in DISABLED state in below scenarios.

  • when a materialized view is created.
  • when data of fact table and materialized view are not in sync.

User should fire REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW command to sync all segments of fact table with materialized view, which ENABLES the materialized view for query.

Command example:


Loading data to multiple materialized views

During load to fact table, if anyone of the load to materialized view fails, then that corresponding materialized view will be DISABLED and load to other materialized views mapped to the fact table will continue.

User can fire REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW command to sync or else the subsequent table load will load the old failed loads along with current load and enable the disabled materialized view.


  • In case of InsertOverwrite/Update operation on fact table, all segments of materialized view will be MARKED_FOR_DELETE and reload to mv table will happen by REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW, in case of materialized view which refresh on manual and once the InsertOverwrite/Update operation on fact table is finished, in case of materialized view which refresh on commit.
  • In case of full scan query, Data Size and Index Size of fact table and materialized view will not be the same, as fact table and materialized view have different column names.

Querying data

Queries are to be made on the fact table. While doing query planning, internally CarbonData will check for the materialized views which are associated with the fact table, and do query plan transformation accordingly.

Users can verify whether a query can leverage materialized view or not by executing the EXPLAIN command, which will show the transformed logical plan, and thus the user can check whether a materialized view is selected.


Running Compaction command (ALTER TABLE COMPACT)[COMPACTION TYPE-> MINOR/MAJOR] on fact table will automatically compact the materialized view created on the fact table, once compaction on fact table is done.

Data Management

In current implementation, data consistency needs to be maintained for both fact table and materialized views.

Once there is materialized view created on the fact table, following command on the fact table is not supported:

  1. Data management command: DELETE SEGMENT.
  2. Schema management command: ALTER TABLE DROP COLUMN, ALTER TABLE CHANGE DATATYPE, ALTER TABLE RENAME, ALTER COLUMN RENAME. Note that adding a new column is supported, and for dropping columns and change datatype command, CarbonData will check whether it will impact the materialized view, if not, the operation is allowed, otherwise operation will be rejected by throwing exception.
  3. Partition management command: ALTER TABLE ADD/DROP PARTITION. Note that dropping a partition will be allowed only if the partition column of fact table is participating in all of the table's materialized views. Drop Partition is not allowed, if any materialized view is associated with more than one fact table. Drop Partition directly on materialized view is not allowed.
  4. Complex Datatype's for materialized view is not supported.

However, there is still way to support these operations on fact table, in current CarbonData release, user can do as following:

  1. Remove the materialized view by DROP MATERIALIZED VIEW command.
  2. Carry out the data management operation on fact table.
  3. Create the materialized view again by CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW command.

Basically, user can manually trigger the operation by re-building the materialized view.

Show Materialized Views

Command syntax:

  SHOW MATERIALIZED VIEWS [ON TABLE [db_name.]table_name]

SHOW MATERIALIZED VIEWS command will display the information about all the materialized views created on the database or on the carbon table. The current information includes:

| Column Info | Description | |-----------------------------|----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Database | Materialized view database name | | Name | Materialized view name | | Status | ENABLED / DISABLED | | Refresh Mode | FULL / INCREMENTAL refresh to MV | | Refresh Trigger Mode | ON_COMMIT / ON_MANUAL refresh to MV provided by user | | Properties | Table properties of the materialized view |

Time Series Support

Time series data are simply measurements or events that are tracked, monitored, down sampled, and aggregated over time. Materialized views with automatic refresh mode supports TimeSeries queries.

CarbonData provides built-in time-series udf with the below definition.

  timeseries(event_time_column, 'granularity')

Event time columns provided in time series udf should be of TimeStamp/Date type.

Below table describes the time hierarchy and levels that can be provided in a time-series udf, so that it supports automatic roll-up in time dimension for query.

| Granularity | Description | |----------------|-------------------------------------------------------| | year | Data will be aggregated over year | | month | Data will be aggregated over month | | week | Data will be aggregated over week | | day | Data will be aggregated over day | | hour | Data will be aggregated over hour | | thirty_minute | Data will be aggregated over every thirty minutes | | fifteen_minute | Data will be aggregated over every fifteen minutes | | ten_minute | Data will be aggregated over every ten minutes | | five_minute | Data will be aggregated over every five minutes | | minute | Data will be aggregated over every one minute | | second | Data will be aggregated over every second |

Time series udf having column as Date type support's only year, month, day and week granularities.

Below is the sample data loaded to the fact table sales.

  order_time,          user_id, sex,    country, quantity, price
  2016-02-23 09:01:30, c001,    male,   xxx,     100,      2
  2016-02-23 09:01:50, c002,    male,   yyy,     200,      5
  2016-02-23 09:03:30, c003,    female, xxx,     400,      1
  2016-02-23 09:03:50, c004,    male,   yyy,     300,      5
  2016-02-23 09:07:50, c005,    female, xxx,     500,      5

Users can create materialized views with time series queries like the below example:

  SELECT timeseries(order_time, 'minute'),avg(price)
  FROM sales
  GROUP BY timeseries(order_time, 'minute')

And execute the below query to check time series data. In this example, a materialized view of the aggregated table on the price column will be created, which will be aggregated every one minute.

  SELECT timeseries(order_time,'minute'), avg(price)
  FROM sales
  GROUP BY timeseries(order_time,'minute')

Find below the result of the above query aggregated over a minute.

  |UDF:timeseries(order_time, minute)     |avg(price)      |
  |2016-02-23 09:01:00                    |3.5             |
  |2016-02-23 09:07:00                    |5.0             |
  |2016-02-23 09:03:00                    |3.0             |

The data loading, querying, compaction command and its behavior is the same as materialized views.

How data is aggregated over time?

On each load to materialized view, data will be aggregated based on the specified time interval of granularity provided during creation and stored on each segment.


  1. Retention policies for time series is not supported yet.

Time Series RollUp Support

Time series queries can be rolled up from an existing materialized view.

Query RollUp

Consider an example where the query is on hour level granularity, but the materialized view with hour level granularity is not present but materialized view with minute level granularity is present, then we can get the data from minute level and aggregate the hour level data and give output. This is called query rollup.

Consider if user create's below time series materialized view,

  SELECT timeseries(order_time,'minute'),avg(price)
  FROM sales
  GROUP BY timeseries(order_time,'minute')

and fires the below query with hour level granularity.

  SELECT timeseries(order_time,'hour'),avg(price)
  FROM sales
  GROUP BY timeseries(order_time,'hour')

Then, the above query can be rolled up from materialized view ‘agg_sales’, by adding hour level time series aggregation on minute level aggregation. Users can fire the EXPLAIN command to check if a query is rolled up from an existing materialized view.

NOTE: 1. Queries cannot be rolled up, if the filter contains a time series function. 2. Roll up is not yet supported for queries having join clause or order by functions.