There comes a time in the life of any database administrator or developer when he or she will need to rename a MySQL table. And this is where the MySQL RENAME TABLE command comes in as well as the ALTER TABLE command statement. So in this quick guide, we’ll show you how to rename a table in MySQL using the MySQL RENAME TABLE and ALTER TABLE commands.
In the first place, the ability to be able to rename a MySQL database is one every MySQL user should be familiar. And as the case maybe you will come across situations where you’re required to rename an existing MySQL table. Specifically, this could be as a result of changes in business requirements, systems upgrade, data migration, or anything. Consequently, MySQL provides a simple command statement that can be used to rename one or more tables at a time and in a jiffy.
So Let’s dive in and learn more.
What Is MySQL Rename Table
Whenever you want to rename a table in a MySQL database, all you need to do is to run the RENAME TABLE command. This command is a very simple and effective for renaming a MySQL database table. And here is what it looks like:
RENAME TABLE oldTableName TO newTableName;
The first thing to remember is that the table being renamed is locked during the execution of the RENAME TABLE command. As such, the process is done atomically.
How to Rename Table in MySQL
So just in case if you’re still wondering how to rename a table in MySQL, the command provided above is all you need. However, it’s important to note that you’re not just limited to renaming one MySQL table. In fact, you can rename one or more tables at a time in MySQL.
In order to rename more than one MySQL table, you’ll need to adjust the above command slightly as follows:RENAME TABLE oldTableName1 TO newTableName1, oldTableName2 TO newTableName2,....;
Also, it’s important to bear in mind that you cannot rename a MySQL table that doesn’t exist. So the table (i.e. oldTableName1 or oldTableName2) being renamed MUST exist in the MySQL database and the new table (i.e. newTableName1 or newTableName2) must not exist. Notable, if the new name you’re giving to the new table is already in use then the command will not run successfully.
Likewise, in case if you’re wondering about views – yes, you can also rename them using the same RENAME TABLE command mentioned above.
Now, it’s vital to make sure that the table being renamed is not in a locked state. And no active transactions running on them – this is crucial to prevent failure of the command.
How To Rename Temporary MySQL Tables
When it comes to renaming temporary MySQL tables, you’ll come to find out that the RENAME TABLE command, as described above, will not work. So, in this case, you have to use the ALTER TABLE command to rename the temporary table.
So let’s look at what the ALTER TABLE command looks like when it comes to temporary tables:ALTER TABLE oldTableName1 RENAME TO newTableName1;
Once you run the above command, the MySQL temporary database table name will be renamed to the new name.
What Happens To Security Privileges When Renaming A Table?
Now, let’s briefly discuss the security implications of renaming a MySQL database table. If the old table had certain security privileges granted to it, those security privileges are not automatically inherited by the new table (i.e., when renamed). There you need to manually migrate all the security privileges granted to the old table over to the newly renamed table.
Impacts & Considerations When Renaming a MySQL Table
As with anything, you must do a thorough evaluation and understand the implications of renaming a table in your MySQL databases. For instance, if there are web applications using and manipulating data in the table; then you need to have a plan in place to ensure all references to the old table name in the web application are updated to the new table name.
Furthermore, if you have instances of database objects triggers, stored procedures and views as well as some kind of foreign key constraints referencing the old table name; then you need to ensure that all those objects are updated as well to ensure there’s no break down in your application’s performance.
In summary, as you can see, it’s pretty simple and straightforward to rename a MySQL table. The MySQL Rename Table command comes in very handy for this task as well as the ALTER TABLE command.
Notably, it’s important to keep in mind the impact of renaming a MySQL table and perform a thorough study of the implication. And this is to ensure that all views, triggers, stored procedures and foreign key constraints referencing the old table name are adjusted accordingly to the new table name.