Change Table Names in MSSQL 2000 and NOT break stored procedures and views!

Posted on 2004-10-08
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I want to change table names by using strored procedure (or other method) for example:

EXEC sp_rename 'currentTable', 'newTable' and at the same time I want to change embedded scripts pointing to such table/s in existing stored procedures and views. Can this be done in some programmatic (sp?) way as if you use  EXEC sp_rename only the tabe name is changed and scripts in sp/views will not work unless I go through them one by one...a massive piece of work indeed in this case :(
Question by:miamati
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Expert Comment

ID: 12257470
Hi miamati,

You could generate scripts of all your objects, then write a program in vbscript or something else to parse through them all, changing the table names you find, then re run the scripts to update the objects on the database, but that would be a huge amount of work too, probably more than doing it by hand.

There is no automatic way of doing it provided by SQL server.


Expert Comment

ID: 12257512
It's tricky and unsupported but you can replace object names in the code of existing stored procedures and views by modifying system table syscomments.
I've never tried that myself but that's theoretically possible:

UPDATE syscomments
SET text=REPLACE(text,'currentTable','newTable')

I would make a backup first - it might be risky and you can end up replacing some things you did not intend to replace (for examle when "currentTable" is also part of something else, like "sp_load_currentTable" - that would be replaced as well).

You will also need to run sp_refreshview on all views as their definitions change.

Expert Comment

ID: 12257528

You're better off dumping the script to a text file and doing proper parsing using a proper programming language - doing simple search and replace is almost bound to go wrong.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

BillAn1 earned 100 total points
ID: 12257531
Any automatic scripts are as likely to cause more problems than they solve. e.g. a script can be written to run thorugh all sp's etc to do a search and replace of 'currentTable' to 'NewTable', but then you run in to the difficulty of what about if you happen to also have a reference to a table called 'CurrentTableDetail' - this will get replaced with 'NewTableDetail' if you're not careful. Impossible to track down automatically is any dynamicSQL that may generate table names dynamically etc.  

A possible alternative approach if you have a lot of references to the table is to create a view onto the table with the new name, and then alter the permissions so that users can only see the view, and not the table.

Author Comment

ID: 12257578
All comments posted gave good feedback but what I missed to explain is that I need to change ALL tables in db and respective scritps in sp/views but in my case the change would only be as follows:

from tbl:
to tbl:

This should make things simpler no as surprise replacements should be avoided?

Assisted Solution

graf0 earned 200 total points
ID: 12257632
In this case simple replacement should work fine. Just make sure that substring "abcEmployees" is not part of any other object name and try my code above (just make a backup first - just in case).
You can test for the object with substring "abcEmployees" in the name by running:
SELECT name FROM sysobjects
WHERE name LIKE '%abcEmployees%'
You can also test what will be replaced by running:
SELECT * FROM syscomments
WHERE text LIKE '%abcEmployees%'


Assisted Solution

OlegP earned 100 total points
ID: 12259323
befor renaming check where are used your table
and change after renaming by hand

      sysdepends a
      sysobjects b
       ON a.[depid]=b.[id]
      sysobjects c
      ON a.[id]=c.[id]
where   b.[name]='MyTableName'
group by c.[name],c.type

Accepted Solution

praveen_ms earned 100 total points
ID: 12260378
hi miamatI,

If you dont like GENERATING SCRIPTS AND FIND AND REPLACE and only want to do it programatically then you should write a DTS task to read the content of any depended objects using the above query and serach and replace using Replace function.

If wear your shoes I won't bother doing this I just do search and replace on one file.


GOTO SQL enterprise manage go to the database where your table and highlight any object and choose all taks-> Generate scripts and in the tab sheet select all View
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 12265051
Agree with some of the above comments--generate scripts, search and replace and run the scripts.  Don't edit/change the system tables, you're asking for trouble.  Don't rely on the sysdepends information, it doesn't always get update correctly.

Author Comment

ID: 12275070
Managed to solved issue with edit replace in external editor...however all comments proved to be useful as I had to apply them in other instances....will split the points :-)

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