Connecting DynamoDB to S3: 5 Easy Steps

on Tutorial, Data Integration, Database, ETL • February 26th, 2019 • Write for Hevo

Moving data from Amazon DynamoDB to S3 is one of the efficient ways to derive deeper insights from your data. If you are trying to move data into a larger Database. Well, you have landed on the right article. Now, it has become easier to replicate data from DynamoDB to S3.

This article will give you a brief overview of Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon S3. You will also get to know how you can set up your DynamoDB to S3 integration using 4 easy steps. Moreover, the limitations of the method will also be discussed. Read along to know more about connecting DynamoDB to S3 in the further sections.

Table of Contents


You will have a much easier time understanding the ways for setting up the DynamoDB to S3 integration if you have gone through the following aspects:

  • An active AWS account.
  • Working knowledge of ETL Pipeline.

Introduction to DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB Logo
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Amazon DynamoDB is a document and key-value Database with a millisecond response time. It is a fully managed, multi-active, multi-region, persistent Database for internet-scale applications with built-in security, in-memory cache, backup, and restore. It can handle up to 10 trillion requests per day and 20 million requests per second.

Some of the top companies like Airbnb, Toyota, Samsung, Lyft, and Capital One rely on DynamoDB’s performance and scalability.

To know more about Amazon DynamoDB, visit this link.

Introduction to Amazon S3

Amazon S3 Logo
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Amazon S3 is a fully managed object storage service used for a variety of purposes like data hosting, backup and archiving, data warehousing, and much more. Through an easy-to-use control panel interface, it provides comprehensive access controls to suit any kind of organizational and commercial compliance requirements.

S3 provides high availability by distributing data across multiple servers. This strategy, of course, comes with a propagation delay, however, S3 only guarantees eventual consistency. Also, in the case of Amazon S3, the API will always return either new or old data and will never provide a damaged answer.

To know more about Amazon S3, visit this link.

Introduction to AWS Data Pipeline

AWS Data Pipeline Logo
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AWS Data Pipeline is a Data Integration solution provided by Amazon. With AWS Data Pipeline, you just need to define your source and destination and AWS Data Pipeline takes care of your data movement. This will avoid your development and maintenance effort. With the help of a Data Pipeline, you can apply pre-condition/post-condition check, set up an alarm, schedule the pipeline, etc. This article will only focus on data transfer through the AWS Data Pipeline alone.

Limitations: Per account, you can have a maximum of 100 pipelines and objects per pipeline.

To know more about AWS Data Pipeline, visit this link.

Simplify Integrations Using Hevo’s No-code Data Pipeline

Hevo Data helps you directly transfer data from Amazon DynamoDB and 100+ data sources (including 30+ free sources) to Business Intelligence tools, Data Warehouses, or a destination of your choice in a completely hassle-free & automated manner. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

Hevo takes care of all your data preprocessing needs required to set up the integration and lets you focus on key business activities and draw a much powerful insight on how to generate more leads, retain customers, and take your business to new heights of profitability. It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. 

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Steps to Connect DynamoDB to S3 using AWS Data Pipeline.

You can follow the below-mentioned steps to connect DynamoDB to S3 using AWS Data Pipeline:

Step 1: Create an AWS Data Pipeline from the built-in template provided by Data Pipeline for data export from DynamoDB to S3 as shown by the below image.

aws data pipeline dynamodb to s3
Image Source: Self
import dynamodb to s3
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aws data pipeline configuration
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Step 2: Activate the Pipeline once done.

aws data pipeline export dynamodb to s3
Image Source: Self

Step 3: Once the Pipeline is finished, check whether the file is generated in the S3 bucket.

dynamodb s3 bucket aws data pipeline
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Step 4: Go and download the file to see the content.

download s3 bucket files
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Step 5: Check the content of the generated file.

validate data in s3
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With this, you have successfully set up DynamoDB to S3 Integration.

Advantages of exporting DynamoDB to S3 using AWS Data Pipeline

AWS provides an automatic template for Dynamodb to S3 data export and very less setup is needed in the pipeline.

  1. It internally takes care of your resources i.e. EC2 instances and EMR cluster provisioning once the pipeline is activated.
  2. It provides greater flexibility on your resources as you can choose your instance type, EMR cluster engine, etc.
  3. This is quite handy in cases where you want to hold your baseline data or take a backup of DynamoDB table data to S3 before doing further testing on the DynamoDB table and can revert back the table once done with testing.
  4. Alarms and notifications can be handled beautifully using this approach.

Disadvantages of exporting DynamoDB to S3 using AWS Data Pipeline

  1. The approach is a bit old-fashioned as it utilizes EC2 instances and triggers the EMR cluster to perform the export activity. If instance and the cluster configuration is not properly provided in the pipeline, it could cost dearly.
  2. Sometimes EC2 instance or EMR cluster fails due to resource unavailability etc. This could lead to the pipeline getting failed.


Overall, using the AWS Data Pipeline is a costly setup, and going with serverless would be a better option. However, if you want to use engines like Hive, Pig, etc then Pipeline would be a better option to import data from DynamoDB table to S3.

Even though solutions provided by AWS works but it is not much flexible and resource optimized. These solutions either require additional AWS services or cannot be used to copy data from multiple tables across multiple regions easily. You can also check out how to move data from DynamoDB to Amazon S3 using AWS Glue.

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Businesses can use automated platforms like Hevo Data to set this integration and handle the ETL process. It helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools, or any other desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write any code and will provide you a hassle-free experience.

Want to take Hevo for a spin? Sign Up for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. You can also have a look at the unbeatable pricing that will help you choose the right plan for your business needs.

Share your experience of connecting DynamoDB to S3 in the comments section below!

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