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DynamoDB Emulator


This page is work in progress and will be completed as the Stacks DynamoDB support is more fully developed.

Starting the DynamoDB Emulator

There are two options for running the DynamoDB emulator, these are as follows: -

  1. Running as a JAR (requires Java)
  2. Running as a Docker image (requires Docker Desktop or alternative container services)

If you would like to run it as a JAR, follow the instructions here: Deploying DynamoDB locally on your computer

If you prefer to use Docker, there is a docker-compose.yml file within the stacks-java-aws-dynamodb GitHub project. This is replicated below for convenience: -

version: '3.7'
image: amazon/dynamodb-local
container_name: dynamodb-local
hostname: dynamodb
- ~/docker-data/dynamodb-local-data:/home/dynamodblocal/data
- 8000:8000
command: "-jar DynamoDBLocal.jar -sharedDb -dbPath /home/dynamodblocal/data/"

To start the DynamoDB in Docker use the command: -

docker compose -f docker-compose.yml up

which should yield the following output: -

Attaching to dynamodb-local
dynamodb-local | Initializing DynamoDB Local with the following configuration:
dynamodb-local | Port: 8000
dynamodb-local | InMemory: false
dynamodb-local | DbPath: /home/dynamodblocal/data/
dynamodb-local | SharedDb: true
dynamodb-local | shouldDelayTransientStatuses: false
dynamodb-local | CorsParams: *
dynamodb-local |

DynamoDB Emulator endpoint

Irrespective of the way that the emulator was started there should now be an instance of DynamoDB listening on localhost at port 8000.

Interacting with the DynamoDB Emulator

To interact with the database you will need to have thw AWS CLI application installed. If you do not already have this installed you can find instructions for doing so here : Installing the AWS CLI

Once you have the AWS CLI installed it should now be possible to interact with the database. For example, to list the tables that have been created in the database use:

aws dynamodb list-tables --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000

Creating the Stacks Menu table

NOTE: This section needs updating to provide a more complete data model for Menu; it will at least support basic querying and creation of a top level Menu item for the time being. For sub-objects, such as Categories and Items the schema below will need to be further worked on.

To create the Menu table (if it doesn't already exist) create a file with the following content in a temporary location and name it Menu.dynamodb.json: -

"AttributeDefinitions": [
"AttributeName": "id",
"AttributeType": "S"
"TableName": "Menu",
"KeySchema": [
"AttributeName": "id",
"KeyType": "HASH"
"ProvisionedThroughput": {
"ReadCapacityUnits": 1,
"WriteCapacityUnits": 1

Create the table in DynamoDB using the following command: -

aws dynamodb create-table --cli-input-json file://Menu.dynamodb.json --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000

If you now list the tables it should return the name of the table just created (e.g. Menu): -

aws dynamodb list-tables --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000 | cat

"TableNames": [

After data has been added to the Menu table using the workload APIs it is possible to scan the records using the following command: -

aws dynamodb scan --consistent-read --table-name Menu --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000 | cat

"Items": [
"name": {
"S": "Test Menu 1"
"description": {
"S": "Test menu no. 1"
"id": {
"S": "7a994352-dc9e-4b11-8c0f-36792489f112"
"categories": {
"L": [

Additional DynamoDB API query examples can be found online.

Executing Stacks Workload using DynamoDB rather than CosmosDB

TODO: Move this to a better area once the DynamoDB work is completed

There are a few steps required to use DynamoDB rather than CosmosDB: -

  1. Ensure that the module stacks-aws-dynamodb is present (and version number correct( in the dynamodb pom.xml (section profile[id='dynamodb'] > dependencies > dependency)
    1. To get the current WIP version of the module run the following commands:
      1. git clone
      2. mvn clean install
  2. Check that the endpoint specified in application-dynamodb.yml is correct (local or pointing at AWS per requirements)
  3. Switch off the CosmosDB profile and switch on the DynamoDB profile when starting the workload

The current definition of the profile in (for example) the stacks-cqrs-with-events project pom.xml needs to be as follows:


To start the application either use sh and pick the required features, or run the command: -

mvn clean spring-boot:run -Pazure,aws,dynamodb,servicebus,-cosmosdb

Remember that Cosmos DB and DynamoDB are mutually exclusive, so only use one or the other.