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Amazon SimpleDB
Developer Guide (API Version 2009-04-15)

Data Model

When using Amazon SimpleDB, you organize your structured data in domains within which you can put data, get data, or run queries.

Domains consist of items which are described by attribute name-value pairs. For a better understanding, consider the spreadsheet model shown in the following image.

The components correspond to each part of a spreadsheet:

  • Customer Account—Represented by the entire spreadsheet, it refers to the Amazon Web Services account to which all domains are assigned.

  • Domains—Represented by the domain worksheet tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet, domains are similar to tables that contain similar data.

    You can execute queries against a domain, but cannot execute queries across different domains.

  • Items—Represented by rows, items represent individual objects that contain one or more attribute name-value pairs.

  • Attributes—Represented by columns, attributes represent categories of data that can be assigned to items.

  • Values—Represented by cells, values represent instances of attributes for items. An attribute can have multiple values.

Unlike a spreadsheet, however, multiple values can be associated with a cell. For example, an item can have both the color value red and blue. Additionally, Amazon SimpleDB does not require the presence of specific attributes. You can create a single domain that contains completely different product types. For example, the following table contains clothing, automotive parts, and motorcycle parts.

ID Category Subcat. Name Color Size Make Model
Item_01 Clothes Sweater Cathair Sweater Siamese Small, Medium, Large
Item_02 Clothes Pants Designer Jeans Paisley Acid Wash 30x32, 32x32, 32x34
Item_03 Clothes Pants Sweatpants Blue, Yellow, Pink Large
Item_04 Car Parts Engine Turbos Audi S4
Item_05 Car Parts Emissions 02 Sensor Audi S4
Item_06 Motorcycle Parts Bodywork Fender Eliminator Blue Yamaha R1
Item_07 Motorcycle Parts, Clothing Clothing Leather Pants Black Small, Medium, Large

Regardless of how you store your data, Amazon SimpleDB automatically indexes your data for quick and accurate retrieval.