2020: The year in review for Amazon DynamoDB
2020 has been another busy year for Amazon DynamoDB. We released new and updated features that focus on making your experience with the service better than ever in terms of reliability, encryption, speed, scale, and flexibility.
The following 2020 releases are organized alphabetically by category and then by dated releases, with the most recent release at the top of each category. It can be challenging to keep track of a service’s changes over the course of a year, so use this handy, one-page post to catch up or remind yourself about what happened with DynamoDB in 2020. Let us know @DynamoDB if you have questions.
Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights
- June 8 – Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights now supports MySQL, DynamoDB, custom logs, and more. CloudWatch Application Insights launched several new features to enhance observability for applications. CloudWatch Application Insights has expanded monitoring support for two databases, in addition to Microsoft SQL Server: MySQL and DynamoDB. This enables you to easily configure monitors for these databases on Amazon CloudWatch and detect common errors such as slow queries, transaction conflicts, and replication latency.
Amazon CloudWatch Contributor Insights for DynamoDB
- April 2 – Amazon CloudWatch Contributor Insights for DynamoDB is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. CloudWatch Contributor Insights for DynamoDB is a diagnostic tool that provides an at-a-glance view of your DynamoDB tables’ traffic trends and helps you identify your tables’ most frequently accessed keys (also known as hot keys). You can monitor each table’s item access patterns continuously and use CloudWatch Contributor Insights to generate graphs and visualizations of the table’s activity. This information can help you better understand the top drivers of your application’s traffic and respond appropriately to unsuccessful requests.
- April 2 – CloudWatch Contributor Insights for DynamoDB is now generally available.
Amazon Kinesis Data Streams for DynamoDB
- November 23 – Now you can use Amazon Kinesis Data Streams to capture item-level changes in your DynamoDB tables. Enable streaming to a Kinesis data stream on your table with a single click in the DynamoDB console, or via the AWS API or AWS CLI. You can use this new capability to build advanced streaming applications with Amazon Kinesis services.
AWS Pricing Calculator
- November 23 – AWS Pricing Calculator now supports DynamoDB. Estimate the cost of DynamoDB workloads before you build them, including the cost of features such as on-demand capacity mode, backup and restore, DynamoDB Streams, and DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX).
Backup and restore
- November 23 – You can now restore DynamoDB tables even faster when recovering from data loss or corruption. The increased efficiency of restores and their ability to better accommodate workloads with imbalanced write patterns reduce table restore times across base tables of all sizes and data distributions. To accelerate the speed of restores for tables with secondary indexes, you can exclude some or all secondary indexes from being created with the restored tables.
- September 23 – You can now restore DynamoDB table backups as new tables in the Africa (Cape Town), Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Europe (Milan), and Middle East (Bahrain) Regions. You can use DynamoDB backup and restore to create on-demand and continuous backups of your DynamoDB tables, and then restore from those backups.
- February 18 – You can now restore DynamoDB table backups as new tables in other AWS Regions.
Data export to Amazon S3
- November 9 – You can now export your DynamoDB table data to your data lake in Amazon S3 to perform analytics at any scale. Export your DynamoDB table data to your data lake in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and use other AWS services such as Amazon Athena, Amazon SageMaker, and AWS Lake Formation to analyze your data and extract actionable insights. No code-writing is required.
DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX)
- August 11 – DAX now supports next-generation, memory-optimized Amazon EC2 R5 nodes for high-performance applications. R5 nodes are based on the AWS Nitro System and feature enhanced networking based on the Elastic Network Adapter. Memory-optimized R5 nodes offer memory size flexibility from 16–768 GiB.
- February 6 – Use the new CloudWatch metrics for DAX to gain more insights into your DAX clusters’ performance. Determine more easily whether you need to scale up your cluster because you are reaching peak utilization, or if you can scale down because your cache is underutilized.
- May 21 – DynamoDB local adds support for empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes and 25-item transactions. DynamoDB local (the downloadable version of DynamoDB) has added support for empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes, up to 25 unique items in transactions, and 4 MB of data per transactional request. With DynamoDB local, you can develop and test applications in your local development environment without incurring any additional costs.
Empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes
- June 1 – DynamoDB support for empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes in DynamoDB tables is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. Empty value support gives you greater flexibility to use attributes for a broader set of use cases without having to transform such attributes before sending them to DynamoDB. List, Map, and Set data types also support empty String and Binary values.
- May 18 – DynamoDB now supports empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes in DynamoDB tables.
- November 6 – Encrypt your DynamoDB global tables by using your own encryption keys. Choosing a customer managed key for your global tables gives you full control over the key used for encrypting your DynamoDB data replicated using global tables. Customer managed keys also come with full AWS CloudTrail monitoring so that you can view every time the key was used or accessed.
- October 6 – DynamoDB global tables are now available in the Europe (Milan) and Europe (Stockholm) Regions. With global tables, you can give massively scaled, global applications local access to a DynamoDB table for fast read and write performance. You also can use global tables to replicate DynamoDB table data to additional AWS Regions for higher availability and disaster recovery.
- April 8 – DynamoDB global tables are now available in the China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet, and the China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD. With DynamoDB global tables, you can create fully replicated tables across Regions for disaster recovery and high availability of your DynamoDB tables. With this launch, you can now add a replica table in one AWS China Region to your existing DynamoDB table in the other AWS China Region. When you use DynamoDB global tables, you benefit from an enhanced 99.999% availability SLA at no additional cost.
- March 16 – You can now update your DynamoDB global tables from version 2017.11.29 to the latest version (2019.11.21) with a few clicks on the DynamoDB console. By upgrading the version of your global tables, you can easily increase the availability of your DynamoDB tables by extending your existing tables into additional AWS Regions, with no table rebuilds required. There is no additional cost for this update, and you benefit from improved replicated write efficiencies after you update to the latest version of global tables.
- February 6 – DynamoDB global tables are now available in the Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Canada (Central), Europe (Paris), and South America (São Paulo) Regions.
- December 21 – You now can use PartiQL with NoSQL Workbench to query, insert, update, and delete table data in Amazon DynamoDB. You now can use PartiQL with NoSQL Workbench to run SQL-compatible queries on your DynamoDB data. PartiQL makes it easier to interact with DynamoDB, and now you can use PartiQL to query, insert, update, and delete table data.
- May 4 – NoSQL Workbench for DynamoDB adds support for Linux. NoSQL Workbench for DynamoDB is a client-side application that helps developers build scalable, high-performance data models, and simplifies query development and testing. NoSQL Workbench is available for Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 21, Debian 8, and any newer versions of these Linux distributions, in addition to Windows and macOS.
- March 3 – NoSQL Workbench for DynamoDB is now generally available.
On-demand capacity mode
- March 16 – DynamoDB on-demand capacity mode is now available in the Asia Pacific (Osaka-Local) Region. On-demand is a flexible capacity mode for DynamoDB that is capable of serving thousands of requests per second without requiring capacity planning. DynamoDB on-demand offers simple pay-per-request pricing for read and write requests, so you only pay for what you use, making it easy to balance cost and performance.
- December 21 – PartiQL for DynamoDB now is supported in 23 AWS Regions. In addition to already-available DynamoDB operations, you can use PartiQL to query, insert, update, and delete table data in DynamoDB in 23 AWS Regions.
- November 23 – You can now use PartiQL, a SQL-compatible query language, to query, insert, update, and delete table data in DynamoDB. PartiQL makes it easier to interact with DynamoDB and run queries on the AWS Management Console.
- June 17 – Coursera offers a new digital course about building DynamoDB-friendly apps. AWS Training and Certification has launched “DynamoDB: Building NoSQL Database-Driven Applications,” a self-paced, digital course now available on Coursera.
About the Author
Craig Liebendorfer is a senior technical editor at Amazon Web Services. He also runs the @DynamoDB Twitter account.