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Partition function

Table of contents
  1. Syntax
  2. Remarks
  3. Example

Returns a Variant (String) indicating where a number occurs within a calculated series of ranges.



The Partition function syntax has these named arguments:

Part Description
number Required. The number that you want to evaluate against the ranges.
start Required. The number that is the start of the overall range of numbers. The number can't be less than 0.
stop Required. The number that is the end of the overall range of numbers. The number can't be equal to or less than start.
interval Required. The number that is the difference between one range and the next. The number can't be less than 1.


The Partition function identifies the particular range in which number falls and returns a Variant (String) describing that range. The Partition function is most useful in queries. You can create a select query that shows how many orders fall within various ranges, for example, order values from 1 to 1000, 1001 to 2000, and so on.

The following table shows how the ranges are determined using three sets of startstop, and interval parts. The First Range and Last Range columns show what Partition returns. The ranges are represented by lowervalueuppervalue, where the low end (lowervalue) of the range is separated from the high end (uppervalue) of the range with a colon (:).

start stop interval Before First First Range Last Range After Last
0 99 5 " :-1" " 0: 4" " 95: 99" " 100: "
20 199 10 " : 19" " 20: 29" " 190: 199" " 200: "
100 1010 20 " : 99" " 100: 119" " 1000: 1010" " 1011: "

In the table shown previously, the third line shows the result when start and stop define a set of numbers that can't be evenly divided by interval. The last range extends to stop (11 numbers) even though interval is 20.

If necessary, Partition returns a range with enough leading spaces so that there are the same number of characters to the left and right of the colon as there are characters in stop, plus one. This ensures that if you use Partition with other numbers, the resulting text will be handled properly during any subsequent sort operation.

If interval is 1, the range is number:number, regardless of the start and stop arguments. For example, if interval is 1, number is 100 and stop is 1000, Partition returns " 100: 100".

Any argument can be a decimal value, but it will be rounded to the nearest even integer before processing. If any of the arguments is Null, Partition returns a Null.


This example assumes that you have an Orders table that contains a Freight field. It creates a select procedure that counts the number of orders for which freight cost falls into each of several ranges. The Partition function is used first to establish these ranges, and then the SQL Count function counts the number of orders in each range.

In this example, the arguments to the Partition function are start = 0, stop = 500, interval = 50. The first range would therefore be 0:49, and so on up to 500.

SELECT DISTINCTROW Partition([freight],0, 500, 50) AS Range,
Count(Orders.Freight) AS Count
FROM Orders
GROUP BY Partition([freight],0,500,50);

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