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An experiment in making the Java SDK DynamoDB Client more Scala-esque. It copies a lot of patterns from Play Framework's JSON Library.

type DynamoData = java.util.Map[String, AttributeValue]

The Java SDK generally uses the type java.util.Map[String, AttributeValue] to send data to/from DynamoDB. This has been aliased to DynamoData. This library provides helpers to make converting between DynamoData and case classes easier.

It isn't anywhere near finished. However, it may now be slightly useful. We can now convert from a case class to DynamoData, and from DynamoData back to a case class. The latter isn't bulletproof and, if you're lucky, may only give you cryptic error messages.



This library contains a representation of DynamoDB's DataTypes. They all extend DynamoValue.

They are basically wrappers around Scala types that can be easily converted into Dynamo types. For instance, DynamoString wraps String, and DynamoMap wraps Map.

DynamoWrites[T] & DynamoReads[T]

DynamoWrites[T] is a trait which specifies how to convert a specific type to a DynamoValue. DynamoReads[T] is a trait which specifies how to convert a DynamoValue to a specific type.

DynamoMapper.toDynamo & DynamoMapper.fromDynamo

toDynamo is a method to take any DynamoValue and convert it into DynamoData, which is the type the Java SDK requires. fromDynamo performs the inverse of that.


Reading is slightly more complicated than writing, as you could try and read something that doesn't exist. In order to cope with that fact, DynamoReadResult exists. As an algebraic datatype it is either DynamoReadSuccess, and contains the thing you've read, or DynamoReadFailure, and contains an error message.

Writing Example

Here is a worked example, taking a case class and writing it to DynamoDB:

import DynamoMapper._

// define case class
case class User(id: String, name: String, email: String)

// define DynamoWrites (as an implicit)
implicit val writeFormat = new DynamoWrites[User] {
  override def writes(u: User): DynamoValue =
    map("id" ->, "name" ->, "email" ->

// use the toDynamo method, and then use the Java SDK as normal
val dynamoData = toDynamo(User("homer1", "Homer Simpson", ""))
client.putItem(new PutItemRequest(tableName, dynamoData))

Reading Example

Here is a worked example, taking DynamoData from DynamoDB and converting it into a case class.

import scala.collection.JavaConverters._
import DynamoMapper._

case class User(id: String, name: String, email: String)

implicit val readFormat = new DynamoReads[User] {
  override def reads(d: DynamoValue): DynamoReadResult[User] = 
    for {
      id    <- d.attr[String]("id")
      name  <- d.attr[String]("name")
      email <- d.attr[String]("email")
    } yield User(id, name, email)

val result = getItem(new GetItemRequest(tableName, Map("id" -> new AttributeValue("homer1")).asJava)
val user = fromDynamo(result.getItem).as[User]


It is also possible to define the implicit DynamoWrites[User] and DynamoReads[User] like this:

implicit val writeFormat = DynamoMapper.writeFormat[User]
implicit val readFormat  = DynamoMapper.readFormat[User]

This automagically generates a standard implementations.

Work in Progress

This library is a work in progress. As such, don't hold us responsible if it breaks your application in new and horrible ways. It is also very incomplete.

Only some Scala types are supported. Only some DynamoDB types are supported.

Praise, a Pull Request, and/or Constructive Criticism is very welcome.


An experiment in making the Java SDK DynamoDB Client more Scala-esque




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