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Ruby ORM for Amazon's DynamoDB
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Dynamoid is an ORM for Amazon's DynamoDB for Ruby applications. It provides similar functionality to ActiveRecord and improves on Amazon's existing HashModel by providing better searching tools, native association support, and a local adapter for offline development.


I'm still working on this gem a lot. It only provides .where(arguments) in its criteria chaining so far. More is coming though!


Installing Dynamoid is pretty simple. First include the Gem in your Gemfile:

gem 'dynamoid'

Then you need to initialize it to get it going. Put code similar to this somewhere (a Rails initializer would be a great place for this if you're using Rails):

  Dynamoid.configure do |config|
    config.adapter = 'local' # This adapter allows offline development without connecting to the DynamoDB servers. Data is NOT persisted.
    # config.adapter = 'aws_sdk' # This adapter establishes a connection to the DynamoDB servers using's Amazon's own awful AWS gem.
    # config.access_key = 'access_key' # If connecting to DynamoDB, your access key is required.
    # config.secret_key = 'secret_key' # So is your secret key. 
    config.namespace = "dynamoid_#{Rails.application.class.parent_name}_#{Rails.env}" # To namespace tables created by Dynamoid from other tables you might have.
    config.warn_on_scan = true # Output a warning to stdout when you perform a scan rather than a query on a table

Once you have the configuration set up, just define models like this:

class User
   include Dynamoid::Document # Documents automatically receive an 'id' field: you don't have to specify it.

   field :name           # Every field you have on the object must be specified here.
   field :email          # If you have fields that aren't specified they won't be attached to the object as methods.

   index :name           # Only specify indexes if you intend to perform queries on the specified fields.
   index :email          # Fields without indexes enjoy extremely poor performance as they must use 
   index [:name, :email] # scan rather than query.

   has_many :addresses   # Associations do not accept any options presently. The referenced
                         # model name must match exactly and the foreign key is always id.
   belongs_to :group     # If they detect a matching association on 
                         # the referenced model they'll auto-update that association.
   has_one :role         # Contrary to ActiveRecord, all associations are stored on the object,
                         # even if it seems like they'd be a foreign key association.
   has_and_belongs_to_many :friends
                         # There's no concept of embedding models yet but it's coming!


Dynamoid's syntax is very similar to ActiveRecord's.

u = => 'Josh') = ''

Save forces persistence to the datastore: a unique ID is also assigned, but it is a string and not an auto-incrementing number. # => "3a9f7216-4726-4aea-9fbc-8554ae9292cb"

Along with persisting the model's attributes, indexes are automatically updated on save. To use associations, you use association methods very similar to ActiveRecord's:

address = u.addresses.create = 'Chicago'

Querying can be done in one of three ways:

Address.find(              # Find directly by ID.
Address.where(:city => 'Chicago').all # Find by any number of matching criteria... though presently only "where" is supported.
Address.find_by_city('Chicago')       # The same as above, but using ActiveRecord's older syntax.


Dynamoid borrows code, structure, and even its name very liberally from the truly amazing Mongoid. Without Mongoid to crib from none of this would have been possible, and I hope they don't mind me reusing their very awesome ideas to make DynamoDB just as accessible to the Ruby world as MongoDB.

Running the tests

The tests can be run in the simple predictable way with rake. However, if you provide environment variables for ACCESS_KEY and SECRET_KEY, the tests will use the aws_sdk adapter rather than the local adapter: ACCESS_KEY=<accesskey> SECRET_KEY=<secretkey> rake. Keep in mind this takes much, much longer than the local tests.


Copyright (c) 2012 Josh Symonds. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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