Amazon DynamoDB
Developer Guide (API Version 2012-08-10)

Using Global Secondary Indexes for Materialized Aggregation Queries

Maintaining near real-time aggregations and key metrics on top of rapidly changing data is becoming increasingly valuable to businesses for making rapid decisions. For example, a music library might want to showcase its most downloaded songs in near real time.

Consider the following music library table layout:

      Music library table layout example.

The table in this example stores songs with the songID as the partition key. You can enable Amazon DynamoDB Streams on this table and attach a Lambda function to the streams so that as each song is downloaded, an entry is added to the table with Partition-Key=SongID and Sort-Key=DownloadID. As these updates are made, they trigger a Lambda function in DynamoDB Streams. The Lambda function can aggregate and group the downloads by songID and update the top-level item, Partition-Key=songID, and Sort-Key=Month.

To read the updates in near real time, with single-digit millisecond latency, use the global secondary index with query conditions Month=2018-01, ScanIndexForward=False, Limit=1.

Another key optimization used here is that the global secondary index is a sparse index and is available only on the items that need to be queried to retrieve the data in real time. The global secondary index can serve additional workflows that need information on the top 10 songs that were popular, or any song downloaded in that month.