What is Big SQL?

Hadoop has many next-generation analytics engines to solve big data problems. Big SQL is a SQL engine for Hadoop that concurrently exploits Hive, HBase and Spark using a single database connection — even a single query. For this reason, Big SQL is also the ultimate hybrid engine.

Big SQL is also the ultimate platform for data warehouse offload and consolidation, a key use case for many Hadoop users. This is because Big SQL is the first and only SQL-on-Hadoop solution to understand commonly used SQL syntax from other vendors and products such as Oracle, IBM DB2 and IBM PureData Systems for Analytics. And where data can’t be moved to Hadoop, Big SQL provides federated access to RDBMS sources outside of Hadoop with industry-leading IBM Fluid Query technology.

All the data belongs to Hadoop

Understand your data environment


Big SQL tables are Hive tables, Hbase tables, or Spark Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDDs) and integrated with Hive metastore.

Mitigate risk

Cost saving

Save costs by offloading data to Hadoop and exploit next-generation, fit-for-purpose analytics, an industry leading SQL Optimizer for Hadoop.

Types of queries

Big SQL enables users to query Hive and HBase data using ANSI compliant SQL. SQL’s advanced cost-based optimizer and MPP architecture can run queries smarter, not harder, supporting more concurrent users and more complex SQL with less hardware compared to other SQL solutions for Hadoop.


Point queries

Short rapid queries that search by key or key ranges. Big SQL exploits HBase for point queries and rapid insert, and update and delete workloads.


Big ad-hoc queries

The bigger and badder the query, the faster Big SQL gets. Active workload management ensures big queries won't block users out from running smaller queries.


Best in Class SQL

Write queries the way you've always written them, and plug your favorite tools like Cognos, Tableau, and other BI tools. Reports will run faster with more concurrent users.


Standards-compliant ODBC

For non-Java developers, this usage pattern allows you to access database with specific products or tooling that only use ODBC.

Get started with Big SQL

Big SQL is part of IBM BigInsights and integrates with other IBM big data solution offerings.


IBM BigInsights

A complete Hadoop solution, including Spark, to scale analytics and applications quickly and easily. Integrates SQL, noSQL, and other data types with Hadoop quickly and easily to enable self-service data access and optimize insight.


IBM Big Replicate

Allows you to migrate Hadoop data across multiple environments, distributions, and hybrid deployments by providing a solution.


IBM BigIntegrate

A data integration solution that provides connectivity, transformation, and data delivery features that execute on the data nodes of a Hadoop cluster.


IBM BigQuality

A data quality solution that provides a rich set of data profiling, cleansing and monitoring capabilities that execute on the data nodes of a Hadoop cluster.

Big SQL Resources

Access analyst reports, data sheets, white papers and more.


Spark SQL: Faster Insights for Business

With Spark SQL, the fastest open source SQL engine available, amplify the power of Apache Hadoop on IBM BigInsights to create insight. Spark SQL is helping make big data environments faster than ever.


IBM Big SQL: Making your big data SQL accessible

Learn why Big SQL is also the ultimate platform for data warehouse offload and consolidation, a key use case for many Hadoop users.

Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi)


With the wide variety of new technologies available to the Hadoop ecosystems, it is critical to choose a Hadoop platform that aligns with the Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi) - such as The IBM Open Platform (IOP) and Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP).

ODPi has enabled a single version of Big SQL that works on both platforms seamlessly.

Learn more about ODPi

Contact an IBM Big SQL expert