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1 parent 91ddca9 commit 90d317cf91ccaf6af939a31c0a37d80e64f3c07a @bilal bilal committed Jun 30, 2012
Showing with 63 additions and 14 deletions.
  1. +63 −14 _posts/2012-06-25-Amazon-DynamoDB--Understanding-Query-and-Scan-operations.markdown
@@ -47,7 +47,7 @@ DynamoDB's data model and the QUERY and SCAN operations with some
examples to better understand the strengths and limitations of DynamoDB.
-<h3><u>I) Data Model and Access API</u></h3>
+<h3><u>I) Data Model, API and Cost</u></h3>
<b>Tables, Items and Attributes</b>
@@ -60,11 +60,21 @@ attributes. An Attribute is simply a name-value pair, e.g.,
simple user item may look like:</p>
{% highlight java %}
"Name"="Bilal Sheikh"
+"Friends"={"4352", "4345", "5467", "9740", "2331"}
{% endhighlight %}
<b>Primary Key, Composite Key and Indices </b>
@@ -78,35 +88,74 @@ for all items and the value must be unique. In our user table,
composite primary key can be specified to collectively act as the
primary key. One attribute acts as a hash index used for partitioning
data while the other attribute acts as a range attribute with a range
-index. In our user model a composite primary key of UserId and DateJoined
-can specified where UserId would be the hash key and the DataJoined
-would serve as the range key. Both attributes making up the composite
+index. In our UserAward model a composite primary key of UserId and DateTime
+can specified where UserId will be the hash key and the UserAward
+will be the range key. Both attributes making up the composite
key must have a value for all items.</p>
<p><b>Note: </b>The data model is much more restricted than SimpleDB
where indices are created automatically for all attributes. The
restricted data model allows for infinite scalability and fast get and
put operations.</p>
-<b>Basic Access API</b>
+<b>Basic API</b>
<p style="text-align: justify;">
-DynamoDB offers basic API for table creation and deletion, put, get,
-update and delete involving only one item and batch variants of get and put for combining
-multiple get and put operations in a single request. We next look at
-in detail the <b>Query</b> and <b>Scan</b> operations.
+DynamoDB offers basic API for table creation, deletion and updating
+read/write provisioning for the table. Put, get, update and delete
+operations are supported for individual items. Updates can be
+conditional and are can be used for optimistic concurrency control. We next look in detail the <b>Query</b> and <b>Scan</b> operations.
-<h3><u>II) Query</u></h3>
+<b>Provisioning and Cost Calculation</b>
+For each DynamoDb table we need to specify the read and the write
+provisioning. Read or write unit capacity is measured as the number of
+1KB items read or written per second. For example, if we provision for
+5 read units for a table we can execute 100 read requests in a second
+where each request read 50 bytes of data. Alternatively, only two
+requests would be executed if each request reads 2Kb of data. The read
+and write capacity limits the total bytes of data read or written per
+second. More detail regarding calculation of read and write units can
+be found <a href="">here</a>.
+<h3><u>II) Our Example Usecase</u></h3>
<p style="text-align: justify;">
+Other than the typical get, set and update operations. With the above
+data model as a starting point, let's consider the following
+operations as the use case of our hypothetical application:
+<li>Get FacebookId given a userId. (<b>GET</b>).</li>
+<li>Get friends of a user given UserId. (<b>GET</b>).</li>
+<li>Get user's name given FacebookId. (<b>SCAN</b>).</li>
+<li>Make two users friends. (<b>2 * GET and 2 * PUT</b>).</li>
+<li>Remove a user from all users friend lists. (<b>SCAN</b>).</li>
+<li>Get all awards won by a user. (<b>QUERY</b>).</li>
+<li>Get all awards won by a user in a specific time period. (<b>QUERY</b>).</li>
+<li>Get all users who won a specific award in the last two days. (<b>SCAN</b>).</li>
+<h3><u>II) Query</u></h3>
+<p style="text-align: justify;">
+A query operation works with a composite key where one attribute is
+the hash key and the second attribute making up the key is a range
<h3><u>III) Scan</u></h3>
<p style="text-align: justify;">
+Scan operation goes through the entire table and then filters out items
+not matching the criteria.
@@ -116,7 +165,7 @@ in detail the <b>Query</b> and <b>Scan</b> operations.
<h5>Ghost Records or Application Managed Indexes</h5>
<h5>Perform bulk actions with single scans</h5>
+<h5>Duplicate tables to keep up with the provisioning</h5>
<h5>If still not enough go with less performant SimpleDB which offers
query flexibility -- DynamoDB is Not the right choice </h5>

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