A partition strategy is made up of a list of partition fields. Each field defines how to take source data from an entity and produce a value that is used to store the entity. For example, a field can produce the year an event happened from its timestamp. Another field in the strategy can be the month from the timestamp.

Partition strategies are defined in JSON format. The strategy must be a list of objects—name/value pairs—each of which defines a field in the partition strategy. All field definitions require at least two attributes:

  • source – a source field on the entity, such as “created_at”
  • type – the type of partition derived from the source data, such as “year”

Each definition can be thought of as a function run on the entity’s source to produce the partition field’s data. The order of the partition fields is preserved and used when the strategy is applied.

The available types are:

Type Source Produces Requirements
year a timestamp year, like 2014 must be a long1
month a timestamp month, 1-12 must be a long
day a timestamp day of the month, 1-31 must be a long
hour a timestamp hour in the day, 0-23 must be a long
minute a timestamp minute in the hour, 0-59 must be a long
identity any string or number the source value, unchanged must be a string or numeric
hash any object int hash of the value, 0-B requires B, buckets integer attribute2

A field definition can optionally provide a name attribute, which is used to reference the partition field. HDFS datasets use this name when creating partition paths. If the name attribute is missing, it is defaulted based on the partition type and source field name.

Requirements for the source data are validated when schemas and partition strategies are used together.


This strategy uses the year, month, and day from the “received_at” timestamp field on an event.

  {"type": "year", "source": "received_at"},
  {"type": "month", "source": "received_at"},
  {"type": "day", "source": "received_at"}

This strategy hashes and embeds the “email” field from a user record.

  {"type": "hash", "source": "email", "buckets": 16},
  {"type": "identity", "source": "email"}


  1. Source timestamps must be long fields. The value encodes the number of milliseconds since unix epoch, as in Joda Time’s Instant and Java’s Date.
  2. The buckets attribute is required for hash partitions and controls the number of partitions into which the entities should be pseudo-randomly distributed.