18.2 Partitioning Types

18.2.1 RANGE Partitioning
18.2.2 LIST Partitioning
18.2.3 COLUMNS Partitioning
18.2.4 HASH Partitioning
18.2.5 KEY Partitioning
18.2.6 Subpartitioning
18.2.7 How MySQL Partitioning Handles NULL

This section discusses the types of partitioning which are available in MySQL 5.5. These include the types listed here:

A very common use of database partitioning is to segregate data by date. Some database systems support explicit date partitioning, which MySQL does not implement in 5.5. However, it is not difficult in MySQL to create partitioning schemes based on DATE, TIME, or DATETIME columns, or based on expressions making use of such columns.

When partitioning by KEY or LINEAR KEY, you can use a DATE, TIME, or DATETIME column as the partitioning column without performing any modification of the column value. For example, this table creation statement is perfectly valid in MySQL:

CREATE TABLE members (
    firstname VARCHAR(25) NOT NULL,
    lastname VARCHAR(25) NOT NULL,
    username VARCHAR(16) NOT NULL,
    email VARCHAR(35),
    joined DATE NOT NULL
)
PARTITION BY KEY(joined)
PARTITIONS 6;

In MySQL 5.5, it is also possible to use a DATE or DATETIME column as the partitioning column using RANGE COLUMNS and LIST COLUMNS partitioning.

MySQL's other partitioning types, however, require a partitioning expression that yields an integer value or NULL. If you wish to use date-based partitioning by RANGE, LIST, HASH, or LINEAR HASH, you can simply employ a function that operates on a DATE, TIME, or DATETIME column and returns such a value, as shown here:

CREATE TABLE members (
    firstname VARCHAR(25) NOT NULL,
    lastname VARCHAR(25) NOT NULL,
    username VARCHAR(16) NOT NULL,
    email VARCHAR(35),
    joined DATE NOT NULL
)
PARTITION BY RANGE( YEAR(joined) ) (
    PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1960),
    PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1970),
    PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1980),
    PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (1990),
    PARTITION p4 VALUES LESS THAN MAXVALUE
);

Additional examples of partitioning using dates may be found in the following sections of this chapter:

For more complex examples of date-based partitioning, see the following sections:

MySQL partitioning is optimized for use with the TO_DAYS(), YEAR(), and TO_SECONDS() functions. However, you can use other date and time functions that return an integer or NULL, such as WEEKDAY(), DAYOFYEAR(), or MONTH(). See Section 12.7, “Date and Time Functions”, for more information about such functions.

It is important to remember—regardless of the type of partitioning that you use—that partitions are always numbered automatically and in sequence when created, starting with 0. When a new row is inserted into a partitioned table, it is these partition numbers that are used in identifying the correct partition. For example, if your table uses 4 partitions, these partitions are numbered 0, 1, 2, and 3. For the RANGE and LIST partitioning types, it is necessary to ensure that there is a partition defined for each partition number. For HASH partitioning, the user function employed must return an integer value greater than 0. For KEY partitioning, this issue is taken care of automatically by the hashing function which the MySQL server employs internally.

Names of partitions generally follow the rules governing other MySQL identifiers, such as those for tables and databases. However, you should note that partition names are not case-sensitive. For example, the following CREATE TABLE statement fails as shown:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t2 (val INT)
    -> PARTITION BY LIST(val)(
    ->     PARTITION mypart VALUES IN (1,3,5),
    ->     PARTITION MyPart VALUES IN (2,4,6)
    -> );
ERROR 1488 (HY000): Duplicate partition name mypart

Failure occurs because MySQL sees no difference between the partition names mypart and MyPart.

When you specify the number of partitions for the table, this must be expressed as a positive, nonzero integer literal with no leading zeros, and may not be an expression such as 0.8E+01 or 6-2, even if it evaluates to an integer value. Decimal fractions are not permitted.

In the sections that follow, we do not necessarily provide all possible forms for the syntax that can be used for creating each partition type; this information may be found in Section 13.1.17, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”.