What is HBase?

Apache® HBase™ is a column-oriented database management system that runs on top of HDFS. It is well suited for sparse data sets, which are common in many big data use cases. Unlike relational database systems, HBase does not support a structured query language like SQL; in fact, HBase isn’t a relational data store at all. HBase applications are written in Java much like a typical MapReduce application. HBase does support writing applications in Avro, REST, and Thrift.

An HBase system comprises a set of tables. Each table contains rows and columns, much like a traditional database. Each table must have an element defined as a Primary Key, and all access attempts to HBase tables must use this Primary Key.

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