Views can index documents of multiple collections and enable sophisticated information retrieval possibilities, like full-text search with ranking by relevance

Views allows you to perform complex searches at high performance. They are accelerated by inverted indexes that are updated near real-time.

A View is conceptually a transformation function over documents from zero or more collections. The transformation depends on the View type and the View configuration.

Views are powered by ArangoDB’s built-in search engine. See ArangoSearch for details.

View types

Available View types:

You need to specify the type when you create the View. The type cannot be changed later.

View names

You can give each View a name to identify and access it. The name needs to be unique within a database, but not globally for the entire ArangoDB instance.

The namespace for Views is shared with collections. There cannot exist a View and a collection with the same name in the same database.

The View name needs to be a string that adheres to either the traditional or the extended naming constraints. Whether the former or the latter is active depends on the --database.extended-names startup option. The extended naming constraints are used if enabled, allowing many special and UTF-8 characters in database, collection, View, and index names. If set to false (default), the traditional naming constraints are enforced.

The extended naming constraints are an experimental feature but they will become the norm in a future version. Check if your drivers and client applications are prepared for this feature before enabling it.

The restrictions for View names are as follows:

  • For the traditional naming constraints:

    • The names must only consist of the letters A to Z (both in lower and upper case), the digits 0 to 9, and underscore (_) and dash (-) characters. This also means that any non-ASCII names are not allowed.
    • View names must start with a letter.
    • The maximum allowed length of a name is 256 bytes.
    • View names are case-sensitive.
  • For the extended naming constraints:

    • Names can consist of most UTF-8 characters, such as Japanese or Arabic letters, emojis, letters with accentuation. Some ASCII characters are disallowed, but less compared to the traditional naming constraints.
    • Names cannot contain the characters / or : at any position, nor any control characters (below ASCII code 32), such as \n, \t, \r, and \0.
    • Spaces are accepted, but only in between characters of the name. Leading or trailing spaces are not allowed.
    • . (dot), _ (underscore) and the numeric digits 0-9 are not allowed as first character, but at later positions.
    • View names are case-sensitive.
    • View names containing UTF-8 characters must be NFC-normalized . Non-normalized names are rejected by the server.
    • The maximum length for a View name is 256 bytes after normalization. As a UTF-8 character may consist of multiple bytes, this does not necessarily equate to 256 characters.

    Example View names that can be used with the extended naming constraints: España, 😀, , كلب, @abc123, København, München, Бишкек, abc? <> 123!

While it is possible to change the value of the --database.extended-names option from false to true to enable extended names, the reverse is not true. Once the extended names have been enabled, they remain permanently enabled so that existing databases, collections, Views, and indexes with extended names remain accessible.

Please be aware that dumps containing extended names cannot be restored into older versions that only support the traditional naming constraints. In a cluster setup, it is required to use the same naming constraints for all Coordinators and DB-Servers of the cluster. Otherwise, the startup is refused.

You can rename Views (except in cluster deployments). This changes the View name, but not the View identifier.

View identifiers

A View identifier lets you refer to a View in a database, similar to the name. It is a string value and is unique within a database. Unlike View names, ArangoDB assigns View IDs automatically and you have no control over them.

ArangoDB internally uses View IDs to look up Views. However, you should use the View name to access a View instead of its identifier.

ArangoDB uses 64-bit unsigned integer values to maintain View IDs internally. When returning View IDs to clients, ArangoDB returns them as strings to ensure the identifiers are not clipped or rounded by clients that do not support big integers. Clients should treat the View IDs returned by ArangoDB as opaque strings when they store or use them locally.

Views API

The following descriptions cover the JavaScript interface for Views that you can use to handle Views from the arangosh command-line tool, as well as in server-side JavaScript code like Foxx microservices. For other languages see the corresponding language API.

The following examples show the basic usage of the View API. For more details, see:

Create a View

Create a View with default properties:

view = db._createView("myView", "arangosearch", {});
Show output

Get a View

Get the View called myView by its name:

view = db._view("myView");
Show output

Get the View properties;
Show output

Set a View property{cleanupIntervalStep: 12});
Show output

Link a collection to a View:{links: {colA: {includeAllFields: true}}});
Show output

Add another link to the View:{links: {colB: {fields: {text: {}}}}});
Show output

Remove the first link again:{links: {colA: null}});
Show output

Drop a View

Show output