What is the difference between a stored procedure and a view?

A view represents a virtual table. You can join multiple tables in a view and use the view to present the data as if the data were coming from a single table.

A stored procedure uses parameters to do a function… whether it is updating and inserting data, or returning single values or data sets.

Creating Views and Stored Procedures – has some information from Microsoft as to when and why to use each.

Say I have two tables:

  • tbl_user, with columns: user_id, user_name, user_pw
  • tbl_profile, with columns: profile_id, user_id, profile_description

So, if I find myself querying from those tables A LOT… instead of doing the join in EVERY piece of SQL, I would define a view like:

CREATE VIEW vw_user_profile
  SELECT A.user_id, B.profile_description
  FROM tbl_user A LEFT JOIN tbl_profile B ON A.user_id = b.user_id

Thus, if I want to query profile_description by user_id in the future, all I have to do is:

SELECT profile_description FROM vw_user_profile WHERE user_id = @ID

That code could be used in a stored procedure like:

    @ID int
    SELECT profile_description FROM vw_user_profile WHERE user_id = @ID

So, later on, I can call:

dbo.getDesc 25

and I will get the description for user_id 25, where the 25 is your parameter.

There is obviously a lot more detail, this is just the basic idea.

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