Types of Views
You can create standard views, indexed views, and partitioned views.
Combining data from one or more tables through a standard view lets you satisfy most of the benefits of using views. These include focusing on specific data and simplifying data manipulation. These benefits are described in more detail in Scenarios for Using Views.
An indexed view is a view that has been materialized. This means it has been computed and stored. You index a view by creating a unique clustered index on it. Indexed views dramatically improve the performance of some types of queries. Indexed views work best for queries that aggregate many rows. They are not well-suited for underlying data sets that are frequently updated. For more information, see Designing Indexed Views.
A partitioned view joins horizontally partitioned data from a set of member tables across one or more servers. This makes the data appear as if from one table. A view that joins member tables on the same instance of SQL Server is a local partitioned view.
The preferred method for partitioning data locally is through partitioned tables. For more information, see Partitioned Tables and Indexes.
When a view joins data from tables across servers, it is a distributed partitioned view. Distributed partitioned views are used to implement a federation of database servers. A federation is a group of servers administered independently, but which cooperate to share the processing load of a system. Forming a federation of database servers by partitioning data is the mechanism that lets you scale out a set of servers to support the processing requirements of large, multitiered Web sites. For more information, see Creating Partitioned Views.