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  • Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB

This page covers how to use an Amazon DynamoDB table as a data source in Rockset. This includes:

  • Creating an Amazon DynamoDB integration to securely connect tables in your AWS account with Rockset.
  • Creating a collection which syncs your data from a Amazon DynamoDB table into Rockset in real-time.

For the following steps, you must have access to an AWS account and be able to manage AWS IAM policies and IAM users within it. If you do not have access, please invite your AWS administrator to Rockset.

#Create a DynamoDB Integration

The steps below show how to set up an Amazon DynamoDB integration using AWS Cross-Account IAM Roles and AWS Access Keys. An integration can provide access to one or more DynamoDB tables within your AWS account. You can use an integration to create collections that continuously sync data from your DynamoDB tables.

#Step 1: Configure AWS IAM Policy

  1. Navigate to the IAM Service in the AWS Management Console.

  2. Set up a new policy by navigating to Policies and clicking Create policy. If you already have a policy set up for Rockset, you may update that existing policy. For more details, refer to AWS Documentation on IAM Policies. AWS IAM Policies

  3. Set up read-only access to your DynamoDB table. You can switch to the "JSON" tab and paste the policy shown below. If you already have a Rockset policy set up, you can add the body of the Statement attribute to it.

    Note that you must replace <YOUR-DYNAMODB-TABLE-NAME> with the name of your DynamoDB table.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
      "Resource": [
  1. Save the newly created or updated policy and give it a descriptive name. You will attach this policy to a user or role in the next step.

#Why these permissions?

  • dynamodb:Scan ⁠— Required for initial table scans when reading data.
  • dynamodb:DescribeStream — Required for metadata about DynamoDB streams.
  • dynamodb:GetRecords — Required for retrieving records from DynamoDB streams.
  • dynamodb:GetShardIterator — Required for retrieving records from DynamoDB streams.
  • dynamodb:DescribeTable — Required for metadata about DynamoDB tables.
  • dynamodb:UpdateTable — Optional. Used to enable streams on a DynamoDB table. DynamoDB streams are required for live sync to work correctly. You can omit this permission if you would like to enable streams on your tables manually as described here. You have to specify the StreamViewType as NEW_AND_OLD_IMAGES while creating the stream.

#Advanced Permissions

You can set up permissions for multiple tables, or even all tables by modifying the Resource ARNs. The format of the ARN for DynamoDB is as follows: arn:aws:dynamodb:region:account-id:table/tablename.

You can substitute the following resources in the policy above to grant access to multiple tables as shown below:

  • All tables in your account
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:*:*:table/*
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:*:*:table/*/stream/*
  • All tables starting with "prod"
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:*:*:table/prod*
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:*:*:table/prod*/stream/*
  • All tables in us-west-2
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:us-west-2:*:table/*
    • arn:aws:dynamodb:us-west-2:*:table/*/stream/*

Please note that you must also include the corresponding /stream/* permissions with the above for live sync to work correctly. For more details on how to specify a resource path, refer to AWS documentation on DynamoDB ARNs.

#Step 2: Configure Role / Access Key

There are two mechanisms by which you can grant Rockset permissions to access your AWS resource. Although Access Keys are supported, Cross-Account roles are strongly recommended as they are more secure and easier to manage.

#AWS Cross-Account IAM Role

The most secure way to grant Rockset access to your AWS account involves giving Rockset's account cross-account access to your AWS account. To do so, you'll need to create an IAM Role that assumes your newly created policy on Rockset's behalf.

You'll need information from the Rockset Console to create and save this integration.

  1. Navigate to the IAM service in the AWS Management Console.

  2. Setup a new role by navigating to Roles and clicking Create role. Note: if you already have a role for Rockset set up, you may re-use it and either add or update the above policy directly.


  1. Select Another AWS account as type of trusted entity, and tick the box for Require External ID. Fill in the Account ID and External ID fields with the values (Rockset Account ID and External ID respectively) found on the create integration page of Rockset Console (under the Cross-Account Role Option). Click to continue.

AWS IAM Create Role

  1. Choose the policy created for this role in Step 1 (or follow Step 1 now to create the policy if needed). Then, click to continue.

AWS IAM Roles Attach Policy

  1. Optionally add any tags and click Next. Name the role descriptively, e.g. 'rockset-role', and once finished record the Role ARN for the Rockset integration in the Rockset Console.

#AWS Access Key

  1. Navigate to the IAM service in the AWS Management Console.

  2. Create a new user by navigating to Users and clicking Add User. If you have already created a user for Rockset in the past, you can attach the policy created in the previous section to that user. AWS IAM Users

  3. Enter a name for the user and check the Programmatic access option. Click to continue. AWS IAM Create User

  4. Choose Attach existing policies directly then select the policy you created in Step 1. Click through the remaining steps to finish creating the user. AWS IAM Attach Policy

  5. When the new user is successfully created you should see the Access key ID and Secret access key displayed on the screen.

AWS IAM Access Key If you are attaching the policy to an existing IAM user, you can navigate to "Security Credentials" under the IAM user and generate a new access key.

  1. Record both these values in the Rockset Console within a new DynamoDB integration.

#Create a Collection

Once you create a collection backed by Amazon DynamoDB, Rockset scans the DynamoDB tables to continuously ingest and then subsequently uses the stream to update collections as new objects are added to the DynamoDB table. The sync latency is no more than 5 seconds under regular load.

You can create a collection from a DynamoDB source in the Collections tab of the Rockset Console.

Create DynamoDB Collection

Note that these operations can also be performed using any of the Rockset client libraries, the Rockset API, or the Rockset CLI.

#How it works

When a DynamoDB-backed collection is created, ingestion occurs in two stages:

  1. A one-time full scan of the DynamoDB table in which all items are indexed and stored in the Rockset collection.
  2. Following that, continuous monitoring and sync of changes from the DynamoDB table (inserts, deletes and updates) to the Rockset collection in real-time using DynamoDB streams.

Once a DynamoDB backed collection is set up, it will be a replica of the DynamoDB table, up-to-date to within a few seconds.

#Read Capacity Units (RCUs)

Each DynamoDB table is configured with RCUs which represent an upper bound on the read requests a client can issue. Rockset consumes RCUs to perform strongly consistent scans during the initial table full scan. Strongly consistent scans guarantee that no updates to the table are missed between the beginning of the scan and the start of ingestion of the DynamoDB stream.

You can manually configure the RCUs allocated for ingest when you create a new collection using your DynamoDB integration:

Dynamo Rcu

DynamoDB allows configuring RCUs to enable application read at a faster rate. Likewise you can specify an upper bound on RCUs in Rockset to use during the initial scan. Configuring higher number of RCUs for Rockset in your DynamoDB table will result in faster ingest speeds.

RCUs in DynamoDB can be configured with two different modes: Provisioned and On-Demand

  • If you have configured your table in Provisioned RCU mode, we recommend not allocating more than 50% of RCUs to Rockset as production workloads may get affected during the initial scan.
  • If you have configured your table in On-Demand RCU mode, we recommend allocating enough RCUs based on the data size and how fast you want it to be ingested in Rockset. Note that allocating more than the RCUs configured on DynamoDB table will result in read requests getting throttled.