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Amazon Aurora Introduces Long-Awaited RDS Data API to Simplify Serverless Workloads

MMS Founder
MMS Renato Losio

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

Recently, AWS introduced a new Data API for Aurora Serverless v2 and Aurora provisioned database instances. Currently available for PostgreSQL clusters only, the Data API doesn’t require persistent connections to a database cluster, addressing a long-awaited need among developers to simplify serverless deployments.

By utilizing the Data API, developers can access Aurora clusters through an HTTPS endpoint and execute SQL statements without the need to manage connections or database drivers. While Aurora Serverless v1 introduced a Data API several years ago, the absence of a Data API on Aurora Serverless v2 has proven to be a significant limitation for serverless workloads running on AWS.

Steve Abraham, principal database specialist solutions architect at AWS, writes:

AWS has rebuilt the Data API for Aurora Serverless v2 and Aurora provisioned to operate at the scale and high availability levels required by our biggest customers. (…) Because the Data API now works with both Aurora Serverless v2 and provisioned instances, database failover is supported to provide high availability.

The serverless community has positively received the new feature but Joshua Moore comments on X (formerly Twitter):

It’s a good step but one of its limitations is it only supports the write cluster and not read clusters though! Reads are where most apps are heavily hit!

The Data API is not yet available on MySQL clusters and burstable general-purpose classes. Furthermore, Performance Insights cannot monitor queries made using the Data API.

According to the documentation, the latest RDS Data API is backward compatible with the old one for Aurora Serverless v1. Still, there are significant differences between the two versions, with the cloud provider encouraging customers to migrate to the newest version. Abraham adds:

We have removed the 1,000 requests per second limit. The only factor that limits requests per second with the Data API for Aurora Serverless v2 and Aurora provisioned is the size of the database instance and therefore the available resources.

In a popular Reddit thread, user beelzebroth writes:

This is huge if you like Aurora Serverless. The data API is a big reason I was holding onto some v1 clusters.

User Nater5000 adds:

Damn, this is great. The lack of the Data API with Serverless v2 was very disappointing. I figured it wasn’t coming back.

The Data API has a size limit of 64 KB per row in the result set returned to the client. The new feature is supported in AWS AppSync, allowing developers to create GraphQL APIs that connect to Aurora databases, using AppSync JavaScript resolvers to run SQL statements.

Data API supports Aurora PostgreSQL 15.3+, 14.8+, and 13.11+ clusters in Northern Virginia, Oregon, Frankfurt, and Tokyo. According to the announcement, the Data API for MySQL clusters should be available soon.

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