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Oracle® Database Administrator's Guide
11g Release 2 (11.2)

Part Number E17120-05
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Managing Synonyms

This section describes aspects of managing synonyms, and contains the following topics:

About Synonyms

A synonym is an alias for a schema object. Synonyms can provide a level of security by masking the name and owner of an object and by providing location transparency for remote objects of a distributed database. Also, they are convenient to use and reduce the complexity of SQL statements for database users.

Synonyms allow underlying objects to be renamed or moved, where only the synonym needs to be redefined and applications based on the synonym continue to function without modification.

You can create both public and private synonyms. A public synonym is owned by the special user group named PUBLIC and is accessible to every user in a database. A private synonym is contained in the schema of a specific user and available only to the user and to grantees for the underlying object.

Synonyms themselves are not securable. When you grant object privileges on a synonym, you are really granting privileges on the underlying object, and the synonym is acting only as an alias for the object in the GRANT statement.

See Also:

Oracle Database Concepts for a more complete description of synonyms

Creating Synonyms

To create a private synonym in your own schema, you must have the CREATE SYNONYM privilege. To create a private synonym in another user's schema, you must have the CREATE ANY SYNONYM privilege. To create a public synonym, you must have the CREATE PUBLIC SYNONYM system privilege.

Create a synonym using the CREATE SYNONYM statement. The underlying schema object need not exist, nor do you need privileges to access the object for the CREATE SYNONYM statement to succeed. The following statement creates a public synonym named public_emp on the emp table contained in the schema of jward:

CREATE PUBLIC SYNONYM public_emp FOR jward.emp

When you create a synonym for a remote procedure or function, you must qualify the remote object with its schema name. Alternatively, you can create a local public synonym on the database where the remote object resides, in which case the database link must be included in all subsequent calls to the procedure or function.

See Also:

Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for syntax and additional information about the CREATE SYNONYM statement

Using Synonyms in DML Statements

You can successfully use any private synonym contained in your schema or any public synonym, assuming that you have the necessary privileges to access the underlying object, either explicitly, from an enabled role, or from PUBLIC. You can also reference any private synonym contained in another schema if you have been granted the necessary object privileges for the underlying object.

You can reference another user's synonym using only the object privileges that you have been granted. For example, if you have only the SELECT privilege on the jward.emp table, and the synonym jward.employee is created for jward.emp, you can query the jward.employee synonym, but you cannot insert rows using the jward.employee synonym.

A synonym can be referenced in a DML statement the same way that the underlying object of the synonym can be referenced. For example, if a synonym named employee refers to a table or view, then the following statement is valid:

INSERT INTO employee (empno, ename, job)
    VALUES (emp_sequence.NEXTVAL, 'SMITH', 'CLERK');

If the synonym named fire_emp refers to a standalone procedure or package procedure, then you could execute it with the command

EXECUTE Fire_emp(7344);

Dropping Synonyms

You can drop any private synonym in your own schema. To drop a private synonym in another user's schema, you must have the DROP ANY SYNONYM system privilege. To drop a public synonym, you must have the DROP PUBLIC SYNONYM system privilege.

Drop a synonym that is no longer required using DROP SYNONYM statement. To drop a private synonym, omit the PUBLIC keyword. To drop a public synonym, include the PUBLIC keyword.

For example, the following statement drops the private synonym named emp:


The following statement drops the public synonym named public_emp:


When you drop a synonym, its definition is removed from the data dictionary. All objects that reference a dropped synonym remain. However, they become invalid (not usable). For more information about how dropping synonyms can affect other schema objects, see "Managing Object Dependencies".

See Also:

Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for syntax and additional information about the DROP SYNONYM statement