Unlocking Time to Live (TTL) in YSQL

Distributed SQL Tips and Tricks Series
Marko Rajcevic

The YCQL API does support TTL. At this time, YSQL does not. However, you can achieve the same result (in a very straightforward manner) using database partitions. Physically, a partition is like a table, so it’s possible to drop one while inserting it into others, and this operation is fast. You will need to automate it yourself (i.e., create and drop) until pg_partman (for the DDL) and pg_cron (for the scheduling) are supported.

But let’s say you want to drop any changes on an order after a certain period of time. Here is an example of how to handle this.

  1. Create your table and the range partition based on your date or time column:
    CREATE TABLE order_changes (
      change_date date,
      type text,
      description text
    )
    PARTITION BY RANGE (change_date);
  2. Remove the partition from the partitioned table while retaining access to it as a separate table. You can get the partition name with tableoid::regclass. With this you can perform operations on the data:
    ALTER TABLE order_changes DETACH PARTITION order_changes_2019_03;

Currently, both steps have to be done manually. Once pg_partman support is generally available, it can be automated.

Take a deep dive into table partitioning

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Marko Rajcevic

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