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list partition tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 16, 2015

Question:  How do I use the list partition feature of Oracle partitioning?  Are there examples of using a list partition, and when should I use list partitioning?

Answer:  List Partitioning is used to list together unrelated data into partitions. In plain English, list partitioning is a technique where you specify a list of discrete values for the partitioning key in the description for each partition.

Possible list partitions include a number of states (in a list) that are partitioned into a region.

List partitioning was added as a partitioning method in Oracle 9i, Release 1. List partitioning allows for partitions to reflect real-world groupings (e.g.. business units and territory regions). List partitioning differs from range partition in that the groupings in list partitioning are not side-by-side or in a logical range. List partitioning gives the DBA the ability to group together seemingly unrelated data into a specific partition.

create table
   customers
(
 name          VARCHAR2(50),
 email         VARCHAR2(100),
 state_code    CHAR(2)

)
PARTITION BY LIST (state_code)
( PARTITION region_south VALUES ('FL, AL, GA'),
  PARTITION region_north VALUES ('NY', MA, 'ND')
);

The PARTITION BY LIST line is where the partition key is identified. In this example, the partition key is STATE_CODE. Each partition is explicitly named, contains a specific grouping of VALUES and is contained in its own tablespace.

Note that the last partition with the DEFAULT clause is the "catch all" partition. This catch all partition should be queried periodically to make sure that proper data is being entered.

You can easily modify a list partition by altering the table:

alter table
   sales_by_region
modify partition
   region_south
add values ('OK', 'KS');

For more details, see my general notes on partitioning tables.  Please see related partitioning pages:

Justifying Oracle partitioning

Oracle partitioning methods

oracle partitioning tips

Oracle Partitioning

Oracle interval partitioning tips

Oracle Partition Key Statistics & tuning

   
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