Is S3 the new MS Access?

Saturday February 5th 2022 by SocraticDev

Wasting my time on twitter today, I read this tweet from the expert in cybersecurity Alyssa Miller:

"Just remember S3 is the new MS Access."

Microsoft Access

"Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) from Microsoft that combines the relational Access Database Engine (ACE) with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It is a member of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, included in the Professional and higher editions or sold separately.

Microsoft Access stores data in its own format based on the Access Database Engine (formerly Jet Database Engine). It can also import or link directly to data stored in other applications and databases"


"Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service is a service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that provides object storage through a web service interface. Amazon S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure that uses to run its global e-commerce network.Amazon S3 can be employed to store any type of object, which allows for uses like storage for Internet applications, backup and recovery, disaster recovery, data archives, data lakes for analytics, and hybrid cloud storage."


What similarities does Alysa Miller rely on to say that S3 would be the new MS Access?

The most plausible explanation rests, point-blank, on the simplicity of use and their potential to appeal to non-technical audiences; from users who are not professional programmers.

Access provides a graphical interface allowing the uninitiated to create and use a relational database. However, this seductive approach leads to incalculable problems when more complex needs must be met.

In the AWS cloud ecosystem, the S3 bucket can be used anywhere the sauces. To contain both small and large files. To contain source files of a website, etc.

Reading the comments on Twitter, I learned that AWS offers even a SQL-like query language for searching content of an S3 bucket. So why not use S3 buckets as database instead of real proven database management systems?!?🤦

twitter users comments

user tweet
@webguy "Sort of - many companies and libraries support any provider and all using the same S3 API or have support for it"
@michoo_42 "I agree and I would go further: aws is more like the old dying oracle ( closed, need certification, expansive,…). Of course is not the same technology but it’s the same capitalist system. That’s why I enjoy kube (with nuances)… it’s kind agnostic and you can choose your providr"
@lispcat "Prone to spontaneously corrupting its data, and to deceiving laypeople into thinking this database thing is easier than those so-called pros try to tell us?"
@dotyousra "Yeah let's just build our data lake on s3 who needs a datawarehouse anyways internal screaming"


In the context of my work, I recently switched to using an S3 bucket as a quick fix and easy to solve a business need. In light of my investigation here, I do not regret my choice. The weaknesses of my choice were explained and the choice was made in an informed manner.

Nevertheless, I am happy to have encountered this tweet which prompted me to reflect a bit more about a central cloud resource in any evolving system in the AWS ecosystem.

To be continued.🕴️

Translated from french by google translate