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atomic_refresh

Complete Refresh of Materialized Views: Atomic, Non-Atomic and Out-of-Place

Recently, and more than once, I have found myself explaining exactly how an Oracle database performs a complete refresh of a materialized view, and what are the implications.  So I thought I would set it out in a blog post.
I am only looking at the case where it is not possible to incrementally refresh using on a materialized view log because the materialized view joins tables together, groups data, or breaches one of the other restrictions (see General Restrictions on Fast Refresh).