A Partition Function defines the set of boundary points for which data will be partitioned, otherwise a partition scheme provide an alternate definition for storage. You define a partition scheme to encompass one or more file groups.
The final step in creating a partitioned table or index on a partition scheme through a partitioning column. Creating partitioned table, index, or indexed view is very similar to creating a non partitioned table, index, or indexed view. Creating partitioned index, similar to creating a partitioned table, by specifying a partition scheme.
Split operator introduces a new boundary point into a partition function.
Merge eliminates a boundary point from a partition function.
INFO Careful using SPLIT and MERGE
The purpose of partitioning is to SPLIT a table and its associated indexes into multiple storage structures.
Switch the basic idea is that SWITCH allows you to exchange partitions between tables in a perfectly scalable manner with no locking, blocking, or deadlocking.
By Switch the source or target table cannot participate in Replication and cannot have FILESTREAM.
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