Question: What is the access pattern in DynamoDB?

Rafal Wilinski

Answered by Rafal Wilinski


An access pattern in DynamoDB refers to the way in which data is accessed in a table. The access pattern determines the read and write throughput for a table and affects the performance and capacity of a table.

There are two main access patterns in DynamoDB:

  1. Key-value access pattern: This is the most common access pattern in DynamoDB and is used to retrieve a single item from a table based on its primary key. This pattern is useful for simple lookups and reads of a single item. It is also known as "Single-Item Actions."
  2. Query and scan access pattern: This access pattern retrieves multiple items from a table based on the value of one or more non-primary key attributes. The Query operation retrieves items based on a primary key and an optional sort key. The Scan operation retrieves all items in a table or a secondary index. These operations are useful for more complex queries and scans of multiple items.

The key-value access pattern is optimized for read-and-write operations on a single item. In contrast, the query and scan access pattern is optimized for read-and-write operations on multiple items. Choosing the right access pattern for your table depends on your use case and how you plan to access the data in your table.

It's worth noting that when you design your tables and access patterns, it's important to choose the right partition key and sort key, as these keys are responsible for determining the partitioning of your data and how it is distributed across the servers.

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