Views

Views are a great solution for abstraction. PostGraphile supports reading from and writing to views; however PostgreSQL lacks the powerful introspection capabilities on views that it has on tables, so we cannot easily automatically infer the relations. However, you can use our "smart comments" functionality to add constraints to views which will make them a lot more table-like (giving them a primary key so you can get a nodeId, adding foreign key references between views and other views or tables, setting columns as non-null).

Abstract Business Logic

We can prepare certain queries in advance and expose the results through GraphQL. For example, say we want just the Comedy films from our films table, we can create a view that contains this specific film type.

CREATE TABLE app_public.films (
  id serial PRIMARY KEY,
  name text,
  release_year int,
  kind text
);

CREATE VIEW comedies AS
    SELECT *
    FROM app_public.films
    WHERE kind = 'Comedy';

And query this view as if it were a normal table:

{
  comedies(first: 20) {
    name
    releaseYear
  }
}

Flatten joined tables

Views enable you to expose a simple "flattened" object built from multiple tables.

CREATE TABLE app_public.person (
  id serial PRIMARY KEY
);

CREATE TABLE app_public.address (
  person_id int PRIMARY KEY REFERENCES app_public.person,
  country text,
  street text,
);

CREATE VIEW person_view AS
  SELECT person.id, address.country, address.street
  FROM app_public.person person
  INNER JOIN app_public.address
  ON person.id = address.person_id;

The GraphQL query using this view is flatter than the query using the underlying tables:

query Before {
  person {
    id
    address {
      country
      street
    }
  }
}

query After {
  personView {
    id
    country
    street
  }
}

NOTE: you can use smart comments to change the GraphQL field name

Authorization

Authorization can be enforced using views as well, for example, exposing some data only to authenticated users:

CREATE TABLE app_public.person (
  id serial PRIMARY KEY
);

CREATE TABLE app_public.personal_data (
  id serial PRIMARY KEY,
  secret1 text,
  secret2 int,
  person_id references app_public.person (id)
);

CREATE VIEW personal_data_view
  WITH (security_barrier, check_option = 'cascaded');
  AS
    SELECT personal_data.*
    FROM app_public.personal_data personal_data
    WHERE person_id = current_user_id()

(current_user_id() here is a function that might return something like nullif(current_setting('jwt.claims.user_id', true), '')::int)

API Layer

Using views, one can create an access layer that will remain consistent even while making changes to the underlying tables - for example when splitting tables or combining them. Note that simple name changes can be solved using smart comments without the need for views.