Github user cloud-fan commented on a diff in the pull request:
    --- Diff: 
sql/core/src/main/scala/org/apache/spark/sql/execution/command/ddl.scala ---
    @@ -225,6 +225,11 @@ case class AlterTableSetPropertiesCommand(
         val catalog = sparkSession.sessionState.catalog
         val table = catalog.getTableMetadata(tableName)
         DDLUtils.verifyAlterTableType(catalog, table, isView)
    +    // Not allowed to switch the table type.
    +    if (properties.contains("EXTERNAL")) {
    --- End diff --
    Then should we put this check in 
`HiveExternalCatalog.verifyTableProperties`? I think it's a hive specific 

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