19.3.1 Management of RANGE and LIST Partitions

Range and list partitions are very similar with regard to how the adding and dropping of partitions are handled. For this reason we discuss the management of both sorts of partitioning in this section. For information about working with tables that are partitioned by hash or key, see Section 19.3.2, “Management of HASH and KEY Partitions”. Dropping a RANGE or LIST partition is more straightforward than adding one, so we discuss this first.

Dropping a partition from a table that is partitioned by either RANGE or by LIST can be accomplished using the ALTER TABLE statement with a DROP PARTITION clause. Here is a very basic example, which supposes that you have already created a table which is partitioned by range and then populated with 10 records using the following CREATE TABLE and INSERT statements:

mysql> CREATE TABLE tr (id INT, name VARCHAR(50), purchased DATE)
    ->     PARTITION BY RANGE( YEAR(purchased) ) (
    ->         PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1990),
    ->         PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1995),
    ->         PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (2000),
    ->         PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2005)
    ->     );
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> INSERT INTO tr VALUES
    ->     (1, 'desk organiser', '2003-10-15'),
    ->     (2, 'CD player', '1993-11-05'),
    ->     (3, 'TV set', '1996-03-10'),
    ->     (4, 'bookcase', '1982-01-10'),
    ->     (5, 'exercise bike', '2004-05-09'),
    ->     (6, 'sofa', '1987-06-05'),
    ->     (7, 'popcorn maker', '2001-11-22'),
    ->     (8, 'aquarium', '1992-08-04'),
    ->     (9, 'study desk', '1984-09-16'),
    ->     (10, 'lava lamp', '1998-12-25');
Query OK, 10 rows affected (0.01 sec)

You can see which items should have been inserted into partition p2 as shown here:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tr
    -> WHERE purchased BETWEEN '1995-01-01' AND '1999-12-31';
+------+-----------+------------+
| id   | name      | purchased  |
+------+-----------+------------+
|    3 | TV set    | 1996-03-10 |
|   10 | lava lamp | 1998-12-25 |
+------+-----------+------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

To drop the partition named p2, execute the following command:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tr DROP PARTITION p2;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec)
Note

The NDBCLUSTER storage engine does not support ALTER TABLE ... DROP PARTITION. It does, however, support the other partitioning-related extensions to ALTER TABLE that are described in this chapter.

It is very important to remember that, when you drop a partition, you also delete all the data that was stored in that partition. You can see that this is the case by re-running the previous SELECT query:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tr WHERE purchased
    -> BETWEEN '1995-01-01' AND '1999-12-31';
Empty set (0.00 sec)

Because of this, you must have the DROP privilege for a table before you can execute ALTER TABLE ... DROP PARTITION on that table.

If you wish to drop all data from all partitions while preserving the table definition and its partitioning scheme, use the TRUNCATE TABLE statement. (See Section 13.1.33, “TRUNCATE TABLE Syntax”.)

If you intend to change the partitioning of a table without losing data, use ALTER TABLE ... REORGANIZE PARTITION instead. See below or in Section 13.1.7, “ALTER TABLE Syntax”, for information about REORGANIZE PARTITION.

If you now execute a SHOW CREATE TABLE statement, you can see how the partitioning makeup of the table has been changed:

mysql> SHOW CREATE TABLE tr\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: tr
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `tr` (
  `id` int(11) default NULL,
  `name` varchar(50) default NULL,
  `purchased` date default NULL
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
PARTITION BY RANGE ( YEAR(purchased) ) (
  PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1990) ENGINE = MyISAM,
  PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1995) ENGINE = MyISAM,
  PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2005) ENGINE = MyISAM
)
1 row in set (0.01 sec)

When you insert new rows into the changed table with purchased column values between '1995-01-01' and '2004-12-31' inclusive, those rows will be stored in partition p3. You can verify this as follows:

mysql> INSERT INTO tr VALUES (11, 'pencil holder', '1995-07-12');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM tr WHERE purchased
    -> BETWEEN '1995-01-01' AND '2004-12-31';
+------+----------------+------------+
| id   | name           | purchased  |
+------+----------------+------------+
|   11 | pencil holder  | 1995-07-12 |
|    1 | desk organiser | 2003-10-15 |
|    5 | exercise bike  | 2004-05-09 |
|    7 | popcorn maker  | 2001-11-22 |
+------+----------------+------------+
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> ALTER TABLE tr DROP PARTITION p3;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM tr WHERE purchased
    -> BETWEEN '1995-01-01' AND '2004-12-31';
Empty set (0.00 sec)

Note that the number of rows dropped from the table as a result of ALTER TABLE ... DROP PARTITION is not reported by the server as it would be by the equivalent DELETE query.

Dropping LIST partitions uses exactly the same ALTER TABLE ... DROP PARTITION syntax as used for dropping RANGE partitions. However, there is one important difference in the effect this has on your use of the table afterward: You can no longer insert into the table any rows having any of the values that were included in the value list defining the deleted partition. (See Section 19.2.2, “LIST Partitioning”, for an example.)

To add a new range or list partition to a previously partitioned table, use the ALTER TABLE ... ADD PARTITION statement. For tables which are partitioned by RANGE, this can be used to add a new range to the end of the list of existing partitions. Suppose that you have a partitioned table containing membership data for your organization, which is defined as follows:

CREATE TABLE members (
    id INT,
    fname VARCHAR(25),
    lname VARCHAR(25),
    dob DATE
)
PARTITION BY RANGE( YEAR(dob) ) (
    PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1970),
    PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1980),
    PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1990)
);

Suppose further that the minimum age for members is 16. As the calendar approaches the end of 2005, you realize that you will soon be admitting members who were born in 1990 (and later in years to come). You can modify the members table to accommodate new members born in the years 1990 to 1999 as shown here:

ALTER TABLE members ADD PARTITION (PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2000));

With tables that are partitioned by range, you can use ADD PARTITION to add new partitions to the high end of the partitions list only. Trying to add a new partition in this manner between or before existing partitions results in an error as shown here:

mysql> ALTER TABLE members
     >     ADD PARTITION (
     >     PARTITION n VALUES LESS THAN (1960));
ERROR 1463 (HY000): VALUES LESS THAN value must be strictly »
   increasing for each partition

You can work around this problem by reorganizing the first partition into two new ones that split the range between them, like this:

ALTER TABLE members
    REORGANIZE PARTITION p0 INTO (
        PARTITION n0 VALUES LESS THAN (1960),
        PARTITION n1 VALUES LESS THAN (1970)
);

Using SHOW CREATE TABLE you can see that the ALTER TABLE statement has had the desired effect:

mysql> SHOW CREATE TABLE members\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: members
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `members` (
  `id` int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
  `fname` varchar(25) DEFAULT NULL,
  `lname` varchar(25) DEFAULT NULL,
  `dob` date DEFAULT NULL
) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
/*!50100 PARTITION BY RANGE ( YEAR(dob))
(PARTITION n0 VALUES LESS THAN (1960) ENGINE = InnoDB,
 PARTITION n1 VALUES LESS THAN (1970) ENGINE = InnoDB,
 PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1980) ENGINE = InnoDB,
 PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1990) ENGINE = InnoDB,
 PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2000) ENGINE = InnoDB) */
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

See also Section 13.1.7.1, “ALTER TABLE Partition Operations”.

You can also use ALTER TABLE ... ADD PARTITION to add new partitions to a table that is partitioned by LIST. Suppose a table tt is defined using the following CREATE TABLE statement:

CREATE TABLE tt (
    id INT,
    data INT
)
PARTITION BY LIST(data) (
    PARTITION p0 VALUES IN (5, 10, 15),
    PARTITION p1 VALUES IN (6, 12, 18)
);

You can add a new partition in which to store rows having the data column values 7, 14, and 21 as shown:

ALTER TABLE tt ADD PARTITION (PARTITION p2 VALUES IN (7, 14, 21));

Note that you cannot add a new LIST partition encompassing any values that are already included in the value list of an existing partition. If you attempt to do so, an error will result:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tt ADD PARTITION 
     >     (PARTITION np VALUES IN (4, 8, 12));
ERROR 1465 (HY000): Multiple definition of same constant »
                    in list partitioning

Because any rows with the data column value 12 have already been assigned to partition p1, you cannot create a new partition on table tt that includes 12 in its value list. To accomplish this, you could drop p1, and add np and then a new p1 with a modified definition. However, as discussed earlier, this would result in the loss of all data stored in p1—and it is often the case that this is not what you really want to do. Another solution might appear to be to make a copy of the table with the new partitioning and to copy the data into it using CREATE TABLE ... SELECT ..., then drop the old table and rename the new one, but this could be very time-consuming when dealing with a large amounts of data. This also might not be feasible in situations where high availability is a requirement.

You can add multiple partitions in a single ALTER TABLE ... ADD PARTITION statement as shown here:

CREATE TABLE employees (
  id INT NOT NULL,
  fname VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
  lname VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
  hired DATE NOT NULL
)
PARTITION BY RANGE( YEAR(hired) ) (
  PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1991),
  PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1996),
  PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2001),
  PARTITION p4 VALUES LESS THAN (2005)
);

ALTER TABLE employees ADD PARTITION (
    PARTITION p5 VALUES LESS THAN (2010),
    PARTITION p6 VALUES LESS THAN MAXVALUE
);

Fortunately, MySQL's partitioning implementation provides ways to redefine partitions without losing data. Let us look first at a couple of simple examples involving RANGE partitioning. Recall the members table which is now defined as shown here:

mysql> SHOW CREATE TABLE members\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: members
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `members` (
  `id` int(11) default NULL,
  `fname` varchar(25) default NULL,
  `lname` varchar(25) default NULL,
  `dob` date default NULL
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
PARTITION BY RANGE ( YEAR(dob) ) (
  PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1970) ENGINE = MyISAM,
  PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1980) ENGINE = MyISAM,
  PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1990) ENGINE = MyISAM.
  PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2000) ENGINE = MyISAM
)

Suppose that you would like to move all rows representing members born before 1960 into a separate partition. As we have already seen, this cannot be done using ALTER TABLE ... ADD PARTITION. However, you can use another partition-related extension to ALTER TABLE to accomplish this:

ALTER TABLE members REORGANIZE PARTITION p0 INTO (
    PARTITION s0 VALUES LESS THAN (1960),
    PARTITION s1 VALUES LESS THAN (1970)
);

In effect, this command splits partition p0 into two new partitions s0 and s1. It also moves the data that was stored in p0 into the new partitions according to the rules embodied in the two PARTITION ... VALUES ... clauses, so that s0 contains only those records for which YEAR(dob) is less than 1960 and s1 contains those rows in which YEAR(dob) is greater than or equal to 1960 but less than 1970.

A REORGANIZE PARTITION clause may also be used for merging adjacent partitions. You can return the members table to its previous partitioning as shown here:

ALTER TABLE members REORGANIZE PARTITION s0,s1 INTO (
    PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1970)
);

No data is lost in splitting or merging partitions using REORGANIZE PARTITION. In executing the above statement, MySQL moves all of the records that were stored in partitions s0 and s1 into partition p0.

The general syntax for REORGANIZE PARTITION is shown here:

ALTER TABLE tbl_name
    REORGANIZE PARTITION partition_list
    INTO (partition_definitions);

Here, tbl_name is the name of the partitioned table, and partition_list is a comma-separated list of names of one or more existing partitions to be changed. partition_definitions is a comma-separated list of new partition definitions, which follow the same rules as for the partition_definitions list used in CREATE TABLE (see Section 13.1.17, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”). It should be noted that you are not limited to merging several partitions into one, or to splitting one partition into many, when using REORGANIZE PARTITION. For example, you can reorganize all four partitions of the members table into two, as follows:

ALTER TABLE members REORGANIZE PARTITION p0,p1,p2,p3 INTO (
    PARTITION m0 VALUES LESS THAN (1980),
    PARTITION m1 VALUES LESS THAN (2000)
);

You can also use REORGANIZE PARTITION with tables that are partitioned by LIST. Let us return to the problem of adding a new partition to the list-partitioned tt table and failing because the new partition had a value that was already present in the value-list of one of the existing partitions. We can handle this by adding a partition that contains only nonconflicting values, and then reorganizing the new partition and the existing one so that the value which was stored in the existing one is now moved to the new one:

ALTER TABLE tt ADD PARTITION (PARTITION np VALUES IN (4, 8));
ALTER TABLE tt REORGANIZE PARTITION p1,np INTO (
    PARTITION p1 VALUES IN (6, 18),
    PARTITION np VALUES in (4, 8, 12)
);

Here are some key points to keep in mind when using ALTER TABLE ... REORGANIZE PARTITION to repartition tables that are partitioned by RANGE or LIST: