AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

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Can Amazon S3 store dynamic data (databases) or only static data (flat files)?

Earlier in the "Cloud Practitioner Certification" course we learn that Amazon S3 stores static files and cannot store dynamic data (databases, WordPress) … yet in the "Leveraging Analytics Services" session we learn that Athena is a query service that analyzes S3 data using SQL – does this mean that S3 can store dynamic data in databases?

1 Answers

Hello, Amazon S3 bucket can only store flat files, but Athena service can read files in your bucket, for example JSON, and then you can perform SQL query based on json file store in your S3 Bucket. So for example, you can create a JSON that describes file in your bucket, associate keywords to file and then use Athena to query the Json and get all files that contain a cat.

You can use other types of files to describe your S3 bucket, including CSV or columnar data formats such as Apache Parquet and Apache ORC. 

To generate these description files, you can for example use Amazon Rekognition to extract key value from images and videos or append the description file when you add files in the bucket.

Khader Syed

Thank you! Your point on "columnar data formats" possibly hints at the one implementation I saw – where select structured relational db tables were moved to S3 and queried using Athena.

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