Connecting to DynamoDB
  • 28 Sep 2022
  • 7 Minutes to read
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Connecting to DynamoDB

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The Sisense DynamoDB connector is a certified connector that allows you to import data from the DynamoDB API into Sisense via theSisense generic JDBC connector. The DynamoDB connector offers the most natural way to connect Java applications with the DynamoDB real-time NoSQL cloud database service.

The support for the connector is provided by Sisense and will be assisted by the certification partner's support, if needed. For any support issues or additional functionality requests, contact your Sisense representative or open a request through the Sisense Help Center. For advanced inquiries specific to driver functionality, you can also contact the certification partner’s support directly via

After you have downloaded the driver, you can connect through a connection string in Sisense . The connection string is used to authenticate users who connect to the DynamoDB APIs. To obtain a connection string, you will need to create a DynamoDB developers account. Once you have connected to DynamoDB, you can import a variety of tables from the DynamoDB API.

This page describes how to query the DynamoDB data, how to download the DynamoDB driver and deploy it, how to connect to DynamoDB with a connection string, provides information about the DynamoDB data model, and more.


For the list of supported connectors, see Introduction to Data Sources.

Querying the DynamoDB Data

DynamoDB has two distinct operations to read data from tables: query and scan. These operations vary in execution times. The CData JDBC Driver for DynamoDB 2018 automatically attempts to figure out which type to use, based on the WHERE clause of the SQL statement.

Query vs. Scan

In DynamoDB, a query is used when some of the data can be filtered before results are returned. This is done by the use of partition keys and sort keys that are defined on the table to perform the filter. It is typically much faster than a scan.

A scan is performed when anything other than a partition key or a sort key is used to filter the data. In the case of the scan, data is only filtered after it is returned. This is much slower, since it will cause DynamoDB to return everything, and simply exclude non-matching results from the response. In the worst cases, it will return full pages of data that are simply empty due to no matching results.

Query Examples

A query operation will be submitted to DynamoDB if the WHERE clause includes a single PartitionKey with an '=' operator and optionally up to one SortKey using any DynamoDB supported operator. For instance:

SELECT * FROM Table WHERE PartitionKey = 'x'

SELECT * FROM Table WHERE PartitionKey = 'x' AND SortKey > 'y' AND SortKey < 'z'

For further information and additional examples, click here.

Downloading the DynamoDB JDBC Driver

You can download the DynamoDB JDBC driver here.

For a short video of downloading the driver, see below (the video uses the Box driver as an example).

  • The driver is certified for Sisense v7.2 and above.
  • Sisense v7.4 and above: Click the above link to download a ready-to-use driver.
  • Sisense prior to v7.4: Click the above link to download a 30-days free-trial of the driver. Contact Sisense for the full license version.

Deploying the DynamoDB Driver

Prerequisite: The install file (setup.jar) is a Java Application that requires Java 6 (J2SE) or above to run.

To install the driver, double-click the setup.jar file and proceed with the instructions in the installation wizard.

Depending on the machine on which you are accessing the Sisense application, install the driver in one of the following locations:

  • When Sisense is installed on your local machine, deploy the driver locally.
  • For a non-local installation (when accessing Sisense on a remote Windows server, or accessing the Sisense hosted cloud environment), select one of the below methods:
    • Deploy the driver on the Sisense server machine, and then perform all the authentication on the server machine.
    • Deploy the driver on your local machine (or any other machine, as convenient), perform all the authentication on that machine, and then copy the JAR file to the remote server. For detailed instructions, see here.
  • If you are on a Linux deployment, deploy the driver on your local machine (or any other machine), perform all the authentication on that machine, and then copy the JAR file to this location: /opt/sisense/storage/connectors/jdbcdrivers/driver_name_folder
    For detailed instructions, see here.


The default location of the JAR file: C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for <Driver Name> 2019\lib

For a short video of the process, see below (the video uses the Box driver as an example).

JAVA Troubleshooting

If you do not have Java 6 installed, you may download it from here.

If your system is not set up to run Java applications, execute the following command: java -jar setup.jar

Connecting to DynamoDB

To access DynamoDB from Sisense , you must provide valid Oauth DynamoDB credentials through a connection string. To obtain a connection string, you will need to create a DynamoDB developers account.

After you receive your credentials from DynamoDB, you can create the connection string and provide Sisense with it to connect to your data.

To create the connection string:

  1. Open the lib directory for the connector. This is the default path: C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for <Driver Name> 2019\lib
  2. Double-click the jar file in the lib directory.
    Alternatively, to open the jar file from the command line, enter the following command in the command prompt (change the driver name to your driver): cd C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for <Driver Name> 2019\lib . Press Enter and then enter the following command (change the driver name to your driver): “C:\Program Files\Sisense\infra\jre\bin\java.exe" -jar cdata.jdbc.<Driver Name>.jar
    Press Enter again.
    For example:
    The Connection String Builder opens.
  3. Enter the values for the following connection properties (click in the Value column to enter a value or to modify an existing value):
    • AccessKey: Your AWS account access key. This value is accessible from your AWS security credentials page.
    • SecretKey: Your AWS account secret key. This value is accessible from your AWS security credentials page.
    • Domain: Your AWS domain name. You can optionally choose to associate your domain name with AWS.
    • Region: The hosting region for your Amazon Web Services. Available values are NORTHERNVIRGINIA, OREGON, NORTHERNCALIFORNIA, IRELAND, SINGAPORE, SYDNEY, TOKYO, and SAOPAULO. The default value is NORTHERNVIRGINIA.

    Your AccessKey and SecretKey can be obtained on the security credentials page for your Amazon Web Services account. Your Region will be displayed in the upper left-hand corner when you are logged into DynamoDB.

  4. If the Connection String Builder has a InitiateOAuth property, set it to OFF to avoid entering the OAuth Authorization process.

    This property may not appear for some connectors.

  5. Press Enter to add all the connection properties to the connection string.
    An example of the connection string:
    jdbc:dynamodb:Access Key=AKIAJH283HDH2932DQ;Secret Key=vG07bFgSmvfgsrdfgHsB6iQU/HVOqO9L9g;;Region
  6. Click Test Connection; a new browser tab opens for you to log in to your application in order to grant access. (Each application displays a different window and messages.)
    Close the Authorization Successful! message that opens.
  7. Go back to the Connection String Builder dialog, and click OK in the Test Connection Successful message to close it.
  8. Click Copy to Clipboard to obtain the connection string.

For a short video of the process, see below (the video uses the XML driver as an example):

You are required to complete the above instructions only on first connect, and again when your credentials to the application change.

To help you create a connection string and test the connection, see Connection String Builder for Certified Connectors.

If you have any issues connecting to your data source, see Troubleshooting JDBC Data Connectors.

Adding DynamoDB Tables to your ElastiCube

  1. Open Sisense.
    For a non-local installation, open Sisense on the hosted cloud environment.
  2. In the Data page, open an ElastiCube or create a new ElastiCube.
  3. In the Model Editor, click data_btn.png; the Add Data dialog box is displayed.
  4. Click Generic JDBC to open the JDBC settings.
  5. In Connection String, paste the string you obtained above.
  6. In JDBC JARs Folder, enter the name of the directory where the DynamoDB JAR file is located (see Deploying the DynamoDB Driver).
  7. In Driver's Class Name, enter the following class name: cdata.jdbc.amazondynamodb.AmazonDynamoDBDriver
  8. Leave User Name and Password blank.
  9. Click Next. A list of tables in the database are displayed. All tables and views associated with the database will appear in a new window.
  10. From the Tables list, select the relevant table or view you want to work with. You can click next to the relevant table or click Preview to see a preview of the data inside it.
  11. (Optional) Click + to customize the data you want to import with SQL. See Importing Data with Custom Queries for more information.
  12. After you have selected all the relevant tables, click Done. The tables are added to your data model.

For a short video of the process, see below (the video uses the XML driver as an example):

DynamoDB Connector: Additional Resources

For the full documentation set for the DynamoDB connector, click here.

For connection string options, click here.

For information on the DynamoDB data model, click here.

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