Sunday, 18 May 2014

How to work with DynamoDB using the AWS Toolkit in Visual Studio

This is another in a series of videos that I am producing for my YouTube channel HowDoYouDoStuff.

In this video, I am going to show you how to work with DynamoDB using the AWS Toolkit in Visual Studio

You can read the transcript below.

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Hi guys. I'm Phil Stirpe.

In this video, I am going to show you how to work with DynamoDB using the AWS Toolkit in Visual Studio.

In an earlier video I showed how to download and install the AWS toolkit into visual studio. And associate it with an IAM user authored created earlier in Amazon web services.

Here is that same user called Frank and if I click on the Edit Account button you can see that we have the access key and secret key which represent Frank’s credentials. These are required by the toolkit when I’m trying to carry out management tasks in visual studio, those credentials can be used to authenticate visual studio with Amazon web services.

By the way, if you did watch that earlier video where I associated with the IAM user you should know that I’ve updated the group that it belongs to, to grant it access to DynamoDB.

In this session I don’t want to look at how we might use the SDK to access DynamoDB programmatically. I just want to look at some of the management tasks that we can carry out in the AWS Explorer window.

So that’s going to be things like create a table, add records, delete a table.

Let’s start with creating a table. I’m just going to right click on DynamoDB and select Create Table.

Am going to go with a table named Trainers and put in a hash key name of TrainerName.

Many of the features available in the AWS console are available here. For example you could enable a range key.

You can specify the read and write capacity. I’ll leave the defaults here although you would be likely to enter higher values for production databases.

You could specify secondary indexes both local and global.

Finally, you could also create an alarm. This could be used to notify you if your throughput exceeds in this case 80% of what you had provisioned. For now I’ll leave all of these options alone. I just want to create a simple table.

Let me click the Create button and now you can see that the Trainers table has been created. A very straightforward process.

If you were working away in visual studio and needed a downloaded be table and didn’t have the time or inclination to create the table programmatically or from the command line or AWS console, it is very simple to do with this plug-in.

Let’s add some records. This is also a simple process.

So I’ll right click the Trainers node and select Open. This opens the query window and reveals the hash key. I can literally just start typing in trainer names.

So I’ll begin by entering a trainer name of Phil.

I’ll need some more so I’ll go with Matt, Mike and Geraldine.

Nice and simple.

And if we had range keys and secondary indexes they would all be available via this window.

I’ll just close down that window and deal with the last thing that I want to show you.

How about deleting a table? That is just a simple to do.

Right click the table, select delete, confirm. Gone.

Nothing too taxing I just wanted to show you how simple it was to add a table, insert records and then delete a table. All without leaving Visual Studio.

There you have it.

In this video, I have shown you how easy it is to work with DynamoDB using the AWS Toolkit in Visual Studio.

Thanks for watching and please feel free to comment on my blog ( and Facebook page ( Perhaps you could suggest more video topics? Most of all, don't forget to subscribe to keep up with my videos as I release them.

Bye for now.

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See you soon

Phil Stirpé
"I don't do average!"


  1. Well as someone who almost exclusively uses AWS for their personal and professional work on purevpn - this is almost enough to make me switch to DynamoDB. Changing throughput by only doubling made me instantly turned off, but I am definitely investigation that first hand.

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