Django - How to rename a model field using South?


I would like to change a name of specific fields in a model:

class Foo(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField()
    rel  = models.ForeignKey(Bar)

should change to:

class Foo(models.Model):
    full_name     = models.CharField()
    odd_relation  = models.ForeignKey(Bar)

What's the easiest way to do this using South?

12/19/2015 8:58:45 AM

Accepted Answer

You can use the db.rename_column function.

class Migration:

    def forwards(self, orm):
        # Rename 'name' field to 'full_name'
        db.rename_column('app_foo', 'name', 'full_name')

    def backwards(self, orm):
        # Rename 'full_name' field to 'name'
        db.rename_column('app_foo', 'full_name', 'name')

The first argument of db.rename_column is the table name, so it's important to remember how Django creates table names:

Django automatically derives the name of the database table from the name of your model class and the app that contains it. A model's database table name is constructed by joining the model's "app label" -- the name you used in startapp -- to the model's class name, with an underscore between them.

In the case where you have a multi-worded, camel-cased model name, such as ProjectItem, the table name will be app_projectitem (i.e., an underscore will not be inserted between project and item even though they are camel-cased).

12/9/2015 10:48:00 AM

Here's what I do:

  1. Make the column name change in your model (in this example it would be myapp/
  2. Run ./ schemamigration myapp renaming_column_x --auto

Note renaming_column_x can be anything you like, it's just a way of giving a descriptive name to the migration file.

This will generate you a file called myapp/migrations/ which will delete your old column and add a new column.

Modify the code in this file to change the migration behaviour to a simple rename:

class Migration(SchemaMigration):

    def forwards(self, orm):
        # Renaming column 'mymodel.old_column_name' to 'mymodel.new_column_name'
        db.rename_column(u'myapp_mymodel', 'old_column_name', 'new_column_name')

    def backwards(self, orm):
        # Renaming column 'mymodel.new_column_name' to 'mymodel.old_column_name'
        db.rename_column(u'myapp_mymodel', 'new_column_name', 'old_column_name')

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