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Oracle Partitioning Methods

Oracle offers four partitioning methods:
■ Range Partitioning
■ Hash Partitioning
■ List Partitioning
■ Composite Partitioning
Each partitioning method has different advantages and design considerations. Thus,
each method is more appropriate for a particular situation.

Range Partitioning
Range partitioning maps data to partitions based on ranges of partition key values that you establish for each partition. It is the most common type of partitioning and is often used with dates. For example, you might want to partition sales data into monthly partitions.
Range partitioning maps rows to partitions based on ranges of column values. Range
partitioning is defined by the partitioning specification for a table or index in
PARTITION BY RANGE(column_list) and by the partitioning specifications for each
individual partition in VALUES LESS THAN(value_list), where column_list is
an ordered list of columns that determines the partition to which a row or an index
entry belongs. These columns are called the partitioning columns. The values in the
partitioning columns of a particular row constitute that row's partitioning key.
An ordered list of values for the columns in the column list is called a value_list.
Each value must be either a literal or a TO_DATE or RPAD function with constant
arguments. Only the VALUES LESS THAN clause is allowed. This clause specifies a
non-inclusive upper bound for the partitions. All partitions, except the first, have an implicit low value specified by the VALUES LESS THAN literal on the previous
partition. Any binary values of the partition key equal to or higher than this literal are added to the next higher partition. Highest partition being where MAXVALUE literal is defined. Keyword, MAXVALUE, represents a virtual infinite value that sorts higher than any other value for the data type, including the null value.
The following statement creates a table sales_range that is range partitioned on the
sales_date field:

CREATE TABLE sales_range
(salesman_id NUMBER(5),
salesman_name VARCHAR2(30),
sales_amount NUMBER(10),
sales_date DATE)
(PARTITION sales_jan2000 VALUES LESS THAN(TO_DATE('02/01/2000','DD/MM/YYYY')),
PARTITION sales_feb2000 VALUES LESS THAN(TO_DATE('03/01/2000','DD/MM/YYYY')),
PARTITION sales_mar2000 VALUES LESS THAN(TO_DATE('04/01/2000','DD/MM/YYYY')),
PARTITION sales_apr2000 VALUES LESS THAN(TO_DATE('05/01/2000','DD/MM/YYYY')));

Hash Partitioning
Hash partitioning maps data to partitions based on a hashing algorithm that Oracle
applies to a partitioning key that you identify. The hashing algorithm evenly
distributes rows among partitions, giving partitions approximately the same size.
Hash partitioning is the ideal method for distributing data evenly across devices. Hash partitioning is also an easy-to-use alternative to range partitioning, especially when the data to be partitioned is not historical.
Oracle Database uses a linear hashing algorithm and to prevent data from clustering
within specific partitions, you should define the number of partitions by a power of
two (for example, 2, 4, 8).
The following statement creates a table sales_hash, which is hash partitioned on the
salesman_id field:

CREATE TABLE sales_hash
(salesman_id NUMBER(5),
salesman_name VARCHAR2(30),
sales_amount NUMBER(10),
week_no NUMBER(2))
PARTITION BY HASH(salesman_id)

List Partitioning
List partitioning enables you to explicitly control how rows map to partitions. You do this by specifying a list of discrete values for the partitioning column in the description for each partition. This is different from range partitioning, where a range of values is associated with a partition and with hash partitioning, where you have no control of the row-to-partition mapping. The advantage of list partitioning is that you can group and organize unordered and unrelated sets of data in a natural way. The following example creates a list partitioned table grouping states according to their sales regions:

CREATE TABLE sales_list
(salesman_id NUMBER(5),
salesman_name VARCHAR2(30),
sales_state VARCHAR2(20),
sales_amount NUMBER(10),
sales_date DATE)
PARTITION BY LIST(sales_state)
(PARTITION sales_west VALUES('California', 'Hawaii') COMPRESS,
PARTITION sales_east VALUES('New York', 'Virginia', 'Florida'),
PARTITION sales_central VALUES('Texas', 'Illinois'));

Partition sales_west is furthermore created as a single compressed partition within
sales_list. An additional capability with list partitioning is that you can use a default partition, so that all rows that do not map to any other partition do not generate an error. For example, modifying the previous example, you can create a default partition as follows:

CREATE TABLE sales_list
(salesman_id NUMBER(5),
salesman_name VARCHAR2(30),
sales_state VARCHAR2(20),
sales_amount NUMBER(10),
sales_date DATE)
PARTITION BY LIST(sales_state)
(PARTITION sales_west VALUES('California', 'Hawaii'),
PARTITION sales_east VALUES ('New York', 'Virginia', 'Florida'),
PARTITION sales_central VALUES('Texas', 'Illinois'),

Composite Partitioning
Composite partitioning combines range and hash or list partitioning. Oracle Database
first distributes data into partitions according to boundaries established by the
partition ranges. Then, for range-hash partitioning, Oracle uses a hashing algorithm to further divide the data into subpartitions within each range partition. For range-list partitioning, Oracle divides the data into subpartitions within each range partition based on the explicit list you chose.

Index Partitioning
You can choose whether or not to inherit the partitioning strategy of the underlying
tables. You can create both local and global indexes on a table partitioned by range,
hash, or composite methods. Local indexes inherit the partitioning attributes of their related tables. For example, if you create a local index on a composite table, Oracle automatically partitions the local index using the composite method.

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