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From Jacob Edelstein <>
Subject Re: Adding a column to a table with compact storage
Date Thu, 28 Nov 2013 16:58:46 GMT
Hi Sylvain,
That is correct - we currently have only primary-key columns, and wish to add a single non-primary
key column. Based on the data stored in the table, it is highly unlikely we will need to add
more columns in the future, but we can always migrate the data then if we need to. 

We have a test environment and current back-ups, so a little black magic isn't too scary.
We are currently running 1.2.6. 


On Nov 28, 2013, at 1:16 AM, Sylvain Lebresne <> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 7:06 PM, Jacob Edelstein <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> We made a decision to use compact storage for a couple of very large tables to get maximum
storage efficiency. We understood that this would limit us to a single non-primary key column.
We did not realize at the time that we would not be able to add this column using the cql3
alter command. This is well documented, but we just missed it. I have a few questions:
> 1. Is there any way to add this column without using the cql3 alter command? We want
to add a boolean column to the table below. The new column will not be part of the primary
> create table no_extra_column (
>   a varchar,
>   b timestamp,
>   c varchar,
>   PRIMARY KEY (a, b, c)
> ) WITH COMPACT STORAGE and compaction={'class':'LeveledCompactionStrategy'};
> So you mean that you currently have no PK columns at all and want to add one? If so,
it's "possible" because COMPACT STORAGE can support one non-PK column and you have none, but
it will involve messing with the underlying schema manually and is not "supported" per se
(it's black magic territory). Might be worth asking yourself the question "might I need more
than one column later on"? If you suspect you may, migrating to a non compact table could
be worth the trouble. Just saying.
> Anyway, if you feel like going through the route of manually modifying your schema, I
can tell you what you can try but:
> 1) I'd need to know which version of C* you use (at least whether it's 1.2 or 2.0 but
the exact version can't hurt).
> 2) I make no guarantee your datacenters won't be reduced to dust following those manipulations.
Messing with the black arts has great powers but is dangerous. 
> --
> Sylvain

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