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139: Alex DeBrie - DynamoDB for Relational Database Diehards

Published on May 8, 2020

In this episode, Adam is talks to Alex DeBrie about DynamoDB, and how it compares to relational databases like MySQL.

Topics include:

  • Does DynamoDB only make sense for things like your cache, or is it a good choice for a primary data store?
  • An overview of the terminology used in DynamoDB and how the terminology compares to a relational database
  • How primary keys work in DynamoDB
  • What data types are available in DynamoDB
  • How DynamoDB is a schemaless database
  • Why it's important to understand your access patterns in advance with DynamoDB, unlike in a relational database
  • Understanding why and how you usually have multiple record types in a single DynamoDB table
  • What "index overloading" is in DynamoDB
  • Understanding partition keys and sort keys
  • How to structure your data in DynamoDB to make it possible to query related data, and how those queries work
  • How secondary indexes work, allowing you to access the same data in different ways
  • How to accommodate access patterns you didn't know about before you designed your schema
  • When to flatten relationships vs. nest them
  • Should you use DynamoDB if you aren't "web-scale"?
  • How local development works with DynamoDB

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