Introduction to Databases for the Web: Pt. 1 - Page 11

August 16, 1998

Deleting Databases and Tables

It is also simple to delete tables and databases using GUI tools or SQL. In the case of a GUI, you will simply select a table or database from your main menu and delete it as you would a file in a file system manager.

In SQL, you would simply use the DELETE or DROP commands depending on if you were deleting a whole database or just a table in a single database.

In the case of deleting a whole database, you will use the DELETE command as follows:

DELETE DATABASE DATABASE_NAME;

The following example would delete the database MY_COMPANY:

DELETE DATABASE MY_COMPANY;

In the case of a table, you use the DROP command:

DROP TABLE TABLE_NAME;

such as:

DROP TABLE EMPLOYEES;

Essentially when you use delete and drop, you are modifying the database management system's data dictionary. It shouldn't have to be said, but I will say it...BE CAREFUL WHEN DELETING OR DROPPING!

Altering a Table

Finally, you should know that it is possible to "alter" a table after it has been created using either a standard GUI tool or by using the ALTER SQL command as follows:

ALTER TABLE  TABLE_NAME
      DROP   COLUMN_NAME, COLUMN_NAME
      ADD    COLUMN_NAME DATA_TYPE, COLUMN_NAME DATA_TYPE
      RENAME COLUMN_NAME NEW NAME
      MODIFY COLUMN_NAME DATA_TYPE;

such as the following case in which we alter the table named EMPLOYEES by dropping the E_GENDER Column and adding an E_ZIP column which will accept INTEGERS and which must be filled in for every new employee added to the table, and the E_MIDDLE_INIT column which will accept a single character as a value.

ALTER TABLE EMPLOYEES 
      DROP  E_GENDER
      ADD   E_ZIP INTEGER NOT NULL, 
            E_MIDDLE_INIT CHAR (1);







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