Original Table and Field Names

Databases accessed directly often expose cryptic unfriendly table or column names. We also generate relationship items with simple names, pointing to the table name at the other end of the relationship, eventually made unique with a _1/2/3… suffix. Both models and queries get by default an internal unique cryptic name (that you cannot change) and a visible customizable alias.

Here is what a query on the original empdept sample database may look like:

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Custom Aliases

The good news is we worked hard to allow you to customize any of these elements with your own aliases. An alias is always saved in your system database, never in the remote connected database. In fact, you may never ever change anything on the remote connected database, that’s by design.

Let’s have a complete makeover of our two tables in a model diagram. Collapse all relationships, then change shape titles with Edit Alias contextual command. Change then all shape items, including relationship items, with the similar Edit Alias command. On the left there is what you started with, on the right there are the two tables with new more friendly aliases:

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Alias Change Propagation

The beauty is such changes in the model automatically propagate to all stored queries and models in your system databases, including your open documents. Just switch back to your previous query and you’ll have a pleasant surprise: new aliases propagated everywhere and there is nothing left to do for you, to get the new look:

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New aliases replaced everywhere the database names. However, original names will still be automatically used in generated SQL (because your database knows nothing about your aliases). Aliases are prone to less restrictions then table and column names. They may contain spaces, be case sensitive, have no length limit. Whenever you want to go back to the original database name, just leave the edit field empty.