How to Configure a Relational Database Server on AWS

August 8, 2021

There are numerous reasons as to why you should use Amazon Web Services to host your database. One of them is that AWS offers a variety of options for scaling and safeguarding your databases.

However, navigating the AWS configurations might prove to be difficult and existing documentation is not always user-friendly.

Therefore, this article will help you set up a relational database server on AWS. We will use MySQL Workbench to connect to the RDS.

Setting up a security group

The first step is to sign in to your AWS account

AWS Sign in Page

In the search bar, type Security groups. Then select Security groups under the Features tab.

AWS search for security groups

On the new page, select Create Security Groups, as shown below:

AWS create security group

We now need to enter the details of the new security group, as demonstrated below:

AWS security group detaIls

Another critical step is to set the inbound and outbound rules of the security group.

Inbound rules specify the type of traffic that will be allowed into the server while outbound rules determine the traffic that will leave the MYSQL server.

The source and destination values for inbound and outbound rules are set to any by default. You might want to change it to the IP of your production server so that the database only sends and receives traffic from this server.

This makes the database server more secure.

AWS set inbound and outbound rules

Save the new security group, as shown below:

Saving security group

Setting up a Relational Database Server

On the AWS management console, input RDS in the search bar and select RDS.

Search for rds

Under the Create database section, select the Create database option.

Create database

To set up the MySQL database, navigate to the Engine Options, select MySQL. In the template section, choose the free tier option.

Configuration page

Configuration page

Fill out the fields in the Settings section as follows:

Settings configuration

Leave the other default settings on the page and scroll down to the connectivity part. We need to specify the security group that we created earlier in this section.

In the Connectivity section, search for the security group and name it as helloworld-db. We should also enable public access.

Search vpc

Select vpc security group

Select the security group and proceed to the next step.

In the Additional Configuration section, set the name of the initial database, as highlighted below:

Set database name

Finally, click on the Create database button

Create database button

On the new page, you’ll see an option to view your database credentials.

View database credentials

This will display the credentials you entered when creating the database. You can view other parameters by clicking on the database name.

Connecting parameters

Connecting the RDS server to MySQL workbench

MySQL workbench is an integrated development environment for the MySQL server.

We follow the steps below to set up a MYSQL server:

mysql workbench setup

mysql workbench setup

mysql workbench setup

If case you did not set a password, you will be prompted to do so.

mysql password

We can now execute SQL queries.

Execute sql query

Connecting to the RDS server with Python

In this section, we will use the MySQL Connector Python module to communicate with the MySQL server.

We need the following parameters to establish the connection:

Parameter Description
Username The username you entered while creating the RDS
Password The password you entered while creating the RDS
Hostname This can be seen in the Connectivity & Security section
Database name The database name you entered in the additional information section

Next, we should install the mysql-connector-python library using the command below:

pip install mysql-connector-python

We can now create tables and perform CRUD operations.

Creating a database table

import mysql.connector
    # Create Connection
    connection = mysql.connector.connect(
        password="your password",
    # SQL query to create a new table
    create_table_query = """CREATE TABLE people ( 
                             id int(11) NOT NULL,
                             firstname varchar(250) NOT NULL,
                             lastname varchar(250) NOT NULL,
                             age  INT NOT NULL,
                             PRIMARY KEY (Id)) """
    cursor = connection.cursor()
    result = cursor.execute(create_table_query)
except mysql.connector.Error as error:
    print("Failed to create table in MySQL: {}".format(error))
    if connection.is_connected():
        print("MySQL connection is closed")

In the code above, we created a database table and initiated a connection using the connection variable.

The keyword arguments passed into the mysql.connector.connect method are host, database name, user, and password.

Note that we created a connection cursor using the cursor variable. We also executed the query in the result variable.


In this tutorial, we have configured a Relational Database Server on Amazon Web Services successfully. We also explored how to establish a connection with the relational database using MySQL Workbench and Python.

Happy coding!

Peer Review Contributions by: Wanja Mike