SELECT * FROM emp WHERE empno = 7844;
So, TURNER can’t even see his own employee data—in fact, Oracle tells him that the EMP table doesn’t even exist (pretty sneaky, eh?). Yet, as soon as TURNER prefixes the EMP table with its schema owner, SCOTT, a whole world of data opens up for TURNER, as you can see in the following code block:
SELECT empno, ename, sal FROM SCOTT.emp 2 WHERE empno = 7844;
If remembering which user owns which table seems unnecessarily complicated, synonyms can be used on the database for schema transparency. Synonyms are alternative names that can be created as database objects in Oracle to refer to a table or view. You can refer to a table owned by another user using synonyms. Creating a synonym eliminates the need to qualify the object name with the schema and provides you with an alternative name for a table, view, sequence, procedure, or other objects. Synonyms are also used to shorten lengthy object names.
Two types of synonyms exist in Oracle: private synonyms and public synonyms. You can use a private synonym within your own schema to refer to a table or view by an alternative name. Private synonyms are exactly that—they are private to your schema and therefore usable only by you. A private synonym name must be distinct from all other objects owned by the same user.
Think of private synonyms as giving you the ability to develop “pet names” for database objects in Oracle. You can use public synonyms to enable all users in Oracle to access database objects you own without having to prefix the object names with your schema name. This concept of referencing database objects without worrying about the schema the objects are part of is known as schema transparency. Public synonyms are publicly available to all users of Oracle; however, you need special privileges to create public synonyms. We’ll talk more about the privilege required for creating public synonyms in the next section. For now, the following code block demonstrates how to create private and public synonyms, respectively:
create synonym all_my_emps for emp;
Synonyms do not give you access to data in a table that you do not already have access to. Only privileges can do that. Synonyms simply enable you to refer to a table without prefixing the schema name to the table reference. When resolving a database table name, Oracle looks first to see whether the table exists in your schema. If Oracle doesn’t find the table, Oracle searches for a private synonym. If none is found, Oracle looks for a public synonym.
Synonyms are dropped using the drop synonym command, as shown in the following code block:
Drop synonym emp;