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As I'm reading through the docs and getting a feel for how one interacts with Datomic Cloud, am I correct in thinking that app development happens with Ions, and there isn't a different method of deploying application code?

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I'm under the impression that any EC2 instance you stand in the datomic cloud's VPC will be able to connect to Datomic Cloud through the Datomic client-cloud lib.

I never tried it, though. Please share back if you find a definitive answer!

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@djomphe-elayda is correct.  You can run your application inside Datomic Cloud's VPC, you can also connect to the VPC via peering or a VPC endpoint.  Generally, you can develop your client app however and wherever you'd like and still use Datomic Cloud as your DB.  Ions represent a tightly integrated application development experience that leverages clojure, datomic, and AWS.

We discuss connecting your client application here: