PynamoDB was written from scratch to be Pythonic, and supports the entire DynamoDB API.

Creating a model

Let’s create a simple model to describe users.

from pynamodb.models import Model
from pynamodb.attributes import UnicodeAttribute

class UserModel(Model):
    A DynamoDB User
    class Meta:
        table_name = 'dynamodb-user'
        region = 'us-west-1'
    email = UnicodeAttribute(hash_key=True)
    first_name = UnicodeAttribute()
    last_name = UnicodeAttribute()

Models are backed by DynamoDB tables. In this example, the model has a hash key attribute that stores the user’s email address. Any attribute can be set as a hash key by including the argument hash_key=True. The region attribute is not required, and will default to us-east-1 if not provided.

PynamoDB allows you to create the table:

>>> UserModel.create_table(read_capacity_units=1, write_capacity_units=1)

Now you can create a user:

>>> user = UserModel('', first_name='Samuel', last_name='Adams')

To write the user to DynamoDB, just call save:


You can see that the table count has changed:

>>> UserModel.count()

Attributes can be accessed and set normally:

>>> = 'foo-bar'

Did another process update the user? We can refresh the user with data from DynamoDB:

>>> user.refresh()

Ready to delete the user?

>>> user.delete()


PynamoDB provides an intuitive abstraction over the DynamoDB Query API. All of the Query API comparison operators are supported.

Suppose you had a table with both a hash key that is the user’s last name and a range key that is the user’s first name:

class UserModel(Model):
        A DynamoDB User
        class Meta:
            table_name = 'dynamodb-user'
        email = UnicodeAttribute()
        first_name = UnicodeAttribute(range_key=True)
        last_name = UnicodeAttribute(hash_key=True)

Now, suppose that you want to search the table for users with a last name ‘Smith’, and first name that begins with the letter ‘J’:

for user in UserModel.query('Smith', UserModel.first_name.startswith('J')):

You can combine query terms:

for user in UserModel.query('Smith', UserModel.first_name.startswith('J') |'')):

Counting Items

You can retrieve the count for queries by using the count method:

print(UserModel.count('Smith', UserModel.first_name.startswith('J'))

Counts also work for indexes:


Alternatively, you can retrieve the table item count by calling the count method without filters:


Note that the first positional argument to count() is a hash_key. Although this argument can be None, filters must not be used when hash_key is None:

# raises a ValueError
print(UserModel.count(UserModel.first_name == 'John'))

# returns count of only the matching users
print(UserModel.count('my_hash_key', UserModel.first_name == 'John'))

Batch Operations

PynamoDB provides context managers for batch operations.


DynamoDB limits batch write operations to 25 PutRequests and DeleteRequests combined. PynamoDB automatically groups your writes 25 at a time for you.

Let’s create a whole bunch of users:

with UserModel.batch_write() as batch:
    for i in range(100):'user-{0}'.format(i), first_name='Samuel', last_name='Adams'))

Now, suppose you want to retrieve all those users:

user_keys = [('user-{0}'.format(i)) for i in range(100)]
for item in UserModel.batch_get(user_keys):

Perhaps you want to delete all these users:

with UserModel.batch_write() as batch:
    items = [UserModel('user-{0}'.format(x)) for x in range(100)]
    for item in items: