Question: What does "no partition of relation" error mean in PostgreSQL?


The error message "no partition of relation" typically appears in PostgreSQL when you attempt to insert or update data in a partitioned table, but the data does not match any existing partition. This situation can occur if the partitioning key value falls outside the defined ranges or lists for all partitions.

Here is a comprehensive explanation and an example to illustrate this error:

Understanding Partitioning in PostgreSQL

Partitioning in PostgreSQL allows you to divide a large table into smaller, more manageable pieces, called partitions, based on certain key values. Partitions can help improve query performance and manage data more efficiently. You can partition tables by range (e.g., dates), list (e.g., specific values), or hash.

Common Reasons for the Error

  1. Missing Partition: The most common reason for this error is that there is no partition that covers the value being inserted or updated.
  2. Incorrect Partition Ranges or Lists: If the partition definitions (ranges or lists) do not cover all possible values of the partition key, any data falling outside these definitions cannot be inserted.
  3. Data Type Mismatch: A less common cause might be a mismatch between the data type of the partition key in the base table and the corresponding value in the INSERT or UPDATE statement.

Example Scenario

Suppose you have a table orders partitioned by range on the order_date column:

CREATE TABLE orders ( order_id serial PRIMARY KEY, order_date date NOT NULL, amount decimal(10,2) NOT NULL ) PARTITION BY RANGE (order_date); -- Create a partition for January 2021 CREATE TABLE orders_jan2021 PARTITION OF orders FOR VALUES FROM ('2021-01-01') TO ('2021-02-01');

If you then try to insert an order with a date outside of January 2021, you will encounter the "no partition of relation" error:

INSERT INTO orders(order_date, amount) VALUES ('2021-02-15', 100.00);

This happens because there is no partition covering February 2021.


  • Review and Adjust Partition Ranges: Ensure your partitions cover all possible values. If necessary, add new partitions to cover missing ranges.

    -- Add a partition for February 2021 CREATE TABLE orders_feb2021 PARTITION OF orders FOR VALUES FROM ('2021-02-01') TO ('2021-03-01');
  • Use a Default Partition: Create a default partition that captures any rows that do not fit into other partitions. This can serve as a safety net.

    -- Create a default partition CREATE TABLE orders_default PARTITION OF orders DEFAULT;

By carefully planning your partitioning scheme and ensuring that all potential values are covered, you can avoid the "no partition of relation" error and make the most of PostgreSQL's partitioning capabilities.

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