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Creates one or more partition columns for the table. Each partition consists of one or more distinct column name/value combinations. A separate data directory is created for each specified combination, which can improve query performance in some circumstances. Partitioned columns don't exist within the table data itself, so if you use a column name that has the same name as a column in the table itself, you get an error. For more information, see Partitioning data in Athena.

In Athena, a table and its partitions must use the same data formats but their schemas may differ. For more information, see Updates in tables with partitions.

For information about the resource-level permissions required in IAM policies (including glue:CreatePartition), see Amazon Glue API permissions: Actions and resources reference and Fine-grained access to databases and tables in the Amazon Glue Data Catalog. For troubleshooting information about permissions when using Athena, see the Permissions section of the Troubleshooting in Athena topic.


ALTER TABLE table_name ADD [IF NOT EXISTS] PARTITION (partition_col1_name = partition_col1_value [,partition_col2_name = partition_col2_value] [,...]) [LOCATION 'location1'] [PARTITION (partition_colA_name = partition_colA_value [,partition_colB_name = partition_colB_value [,...])] [LOCATION 'location2'] [,...]


When you add a partition, you specify one or more column name/value pairs for the partition and the Amazon S3 path where the data files for that partition reside.


Causes the error to be suppressed if a partition with the same definition already exists.

PARTITION (partition_col_name = partition_col_value [,...])

Creates a partition with the column name/value combinations that you specify. Enclose partition_col_value in string characters only if the data type of the column is a string.

[LOCATION 'location']

Specifies the directory in which to store the partition defined by the preceding statement. The LOCATION clause is optional when the data uses Hive-style partitioning (pk1=v1/pk2=v2/pk3=v3). With Hive-style partitioning, the full Amazon S3 URI is constructed automatically from the table's location, the partition key names, and the partition key values. For more information, see Partitioning data in Athena.


The following example adds a single partition to a table for Hive-style partitioned data.

ALTER TABLE orders ADD PARTITION (dt = '2016-05-14', country = 'IN');

The following example adds multiple partitions to a table for Hive-style partitioned data.

ALTER TABLE orders ADD PARTITION (dt = '2016-05-31', country = 'IN') PARTITION (dt = '2016-06-01', country = 'IN');

When the table is not for Hive-style partitioned data, the LOCATION clause is required and should be the full Amazon S3 URI for the prefix that contains the partition's data.

ALTER TABLE orders ADD PARTITION (dt = '2016-05-31', country = 'IN') LOCATION 's3://mystorage/path/to/INDIA_31_May_2016/' PARTITION (dt = '2016-06-01', country = 'IN') LOCATION 's3://mystorage/path/to/INDIA_01_June_2016/';

To ignore errors when the partition already exists, use the IF NOT EXISTS clause, as in the following example.

ALTER TABLE orders ADD IF NOT EXISTS PARTITION (dt = '2016-05-14', country = 'IN');

Zero byte _$folder$ files

If you run an ALTER TABLE ADD PARTITION statement and mistakenly specify a partition that already exists and an incorrect Amazon S3 location, zero byte placeholder files of the format partition_value_$folder$ are created in Amazon S3. You must remove these files manually.

To prevent this from happening, use the ADD IF NOT EXISTS syntax in your ALTER TABLE ADD PARTITION statement, as in the following example.