Github user gatorsmile commented on a diff in the pull request:

    https://github.com/apache/spark/pull/15230#discussion_r83138864
  
    --- Diff: 
sql/hive/src/main/scala/org/apache/spark/sql/hive/HiveExternalCatalog.scala ---
    @@ -111,6 +111,10 @@ private[spark] class HiveExternalCatalog(conf: 
SparkConf, hadoopConf: Configurat
             s"as table property keys may not start with '$DATASOURCE_PREFIX' 
or '$STATISTICS_PREFIX':" +
             s" ${invalidKeys.mkString("[", ", ", "]")}")
         }
    +    // External users are not allowed to set/switch the table type.
    +    if (table.properties.contains("EXTERNAL")) {
    --- End diff --
    
    I tried Hive. Hive only accepts `EXTERNAL` if users want to change the 
table type. That means, if users do it like `external` or `ExterRnal`, Hive 
just treats it as a regular property key. 


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