AWS Developer Blog

DynamoDB Series – Object Persistence Model

by Pavel Safronov | on | in .NET | Permalink | Comments |  Share

This week, we are running a series of five daily blog posts that will explain new DynamoDB changes and how they relate to the AWS SDK for .NET. This is the fourth blog post, and today we will be discussing the Object Persistence Model.

Object Persistence Model

The Object Persistence Model API provides a simple way to work with Plain Old CLR Objects (POCO), as the following examples illustrate.

First, let’s look at the POCO class definition. (Notice that the class is marked up with multiple Amazon DynamoDB* attributes. These are included for clarity, even though these attributes are now optional, and will be removed in the next sample.)

[DynamoDBTable("Products")]
public class Product
{
    [DynamoDBHashKey]
    public int Id { get; set; }
    [DynamoDBRangeKey]
    public string Name { get; set; }

    public List<string> Aliases { get; set; }
    public bool IsPublic { get; set; }
}

Next, we can create, store, load, and query DynamoDB, all while using our POCO.

var product = new Product
{
    Id = 1,
    Name = "CloudSpotter",
    Aliases = new List<string> { "Prod", "1.0" },
    IsPublic = true,
};
Context.Save(product);
var retrieved = Context.Load(2);
var products = Context.Query<Product>(1, QueryOperator.BeginsWith, "Cloud");

The addition of the DynamoDB data type M (a string-key map of arbitrary data) allows the Object Persistence Model API to store complex data types as attributes of a single DynamoDB item. (We covered the new DynamoDB types earlier this week. It might be a good idea for you to review this again.) To illustrate this, let’s consider the following example where our Product class may reference another class.

Here are the new class definitions we will be working with.

public class Product
{
    public int Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public List<string> Aliases { get; set; }
    public bool IsPublic { get; set; }
    public Dictionary<string, string> Map { get; set; }
    public Metadata Meta { get; set; }
}
public class Metadata
{
    public double InternalVersion { get; set; }
    HashSet<string> Developers { get; set; }
}

Notice that we are going to use Dictionary objects, which will also be stored as M data types. (The only limitations are that the key must be of type string, and the value must be a supported primitive type or a complex structure.)

Now we can instantiate and work with our objects as we normally would.

Product product = new Product
{
    Id = 1,
    Name = "CloudSpotter",
    Aliases = new List<string> { "Prod", "1.0" },
    IsPublic = true,
    Meta = new Metadata
    {
        InternalVersion = 1.2,
        Developers = new HashSet<string> { "Alan", "Franco" }
    },
    Map = new Dictionary<string, string>
    {
        { "a", "1" },
        { "b", "2" }
    }
};
Context.Save(product);
var retrieved = Context.Load(2);
var products = Context.Query<Product>(1, QueryOperator.BeginsWith, "Cloud");

As you can see, the new DynamoDB data types really expand the range of data that you can maintain and work with. Though, you do have to be careful that the objects you are creating do not end up having circular references, because the API will end up throwing an exception for these objects.