Scan DynamoDB Items with Node.js

On previous posts we covered how to query a DynamoDB database
Query DynamoDB Part 1
Query DynamoDB Part 2.

Apart from issuing queries DynamoDB also offers Scan functionality.
What scan does is fetching all the Items you might have on your DynamoDB Table.
Therefore scan does not require any rules based on our partition key or your global/local secondary indexes.
What scan offers is filtering based on the items already fetched and return specific attributes from the items fetched.

The snippet below issues a scan on the Logins table by adding filtering and selecting only the email field.

var scanLogins = function(date,callback) {

	var docClient = new AWS.DynamoDB.DocumentClient();

	var params = {
		ProjectionExpression: "email",
	    FilterExpression: "#timestamp < :from",
	    ExpressionAttributeNames: {
	        "#timestamp": "timestamp",
	    ExpressionAttributeValues: {
	         ":from": date.getTime()

	var items = []
	var scanExecute = function(callback) {
		docClient.scan(params,function(err,result) {

			if(err) {
			} else {
				items = items.concat(result.Items);

				if(result.LastEvaluatedKey) {

					params.ExclusiveStartKey = result.LastEvaluatedKey;
				} else {

Before using scan to an application we have to take into consideration that scan fetches all table items. Therefore It has a high cost both on charges and performance. Also it might consume your provision capacity.
It is better to stick to queries and avoid scans.

You can find the sourcecode on github.


4 thoughts on “Scan DynamoDB Items with Node.js

  1. It would be nice to see the column headings of the database, that way newbies like me can work out what’s what in the code.

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