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Design DynamoDB Tables

Primary key & Indexes

DynamoDB is a NoSQL database, so in theory, you can store all kinds of objects. The catch is you can specify the key to partition the data, so you can scale out your applications horizontally, in proportion to the numbers of partitions.

There are two kinds of primary keys in a DynamoDB table, of which you can only choose to implement one:

Whichever kind of primary key you choose, the scalability is the same. To make it works, make sure your hash keys are distributed equally in all partitions.

Besides the primary key, DynamoDB supports global secondary indexes and local secondary indexes, so you can make your queries run fast in other dimensions also.

An example in Go

dynamo is a Golang library that makes it extremely easy to define the primary key and indexes.

Let’s define a Job table with a primary key as the combination of ShardId and Token, in which ShardId is a hash key, and Token is a range key:

type Job struct {
	ShardId      int               `dynamo:"shard_id,hash"`
	Token        string            `dynamo:"date_token,range"`
	Name         string            `dynamo:"name"`
	CreatedAt    time.Time         `dynamo:"created_at"`

Now to create the table, we init a DynamoDB session and create the table:

session, _ := session.NewSession()
config := aws.NewConfig()
client := dynamo.New(session, config)

client.CreateTable(`Job`, Job{}).Run()

To query the jobs in a specific shard:

var jobs []*Job
    Get("shard_id", shardId).
    Filter("'token' < ?", tokenId).

Written on July 5, 2021.