Hive defines a simple SQL-like query language, called QL, that enables users familiar with SQL to query the data. At the same time, this language also allows programmers who are familiar with the MapReduce framework to be able to plug in their custom mappers and reducers to perform more sophisticated analysis that may not be supported by the built-in capabilities of the language. QL can also be extended with custom scalar functions (UDF's), aggregations (UDAF's), and table functions (UDTF's).

Hive provides SQL-like query language on HDFS(Hadoop Distributed File System)

Hive Query Language provides following features

Basic SQL

  • From clause subquery
  • ANSI JOIN (euqi-joini only)
  • Multi-table Insert
  • Multi group-by
  • Sampling
  • Objects traversal


  • Pluggable MapReduce scripts in the language of your choice using TRANSFORM (Syntax changing soon!!)
  • Pluggable User Defined Functions
  • Pluggable User Defined Types
  • Pluggable SerDes to read different konds of Data Formats


See below example of Hive query language. Amaging thing is Hiveis compatible with standard SQL.

FROM page_view GROUP BY pageid

It is almost the same as the usual RDB SQL. This is really great feature of Hive so programmers having experiences in RDB can implement software easily.

Hive does not mandate read or written data be in the "Hive format"---there is no such thing. Hive works equally well on Thrift, control delimited, or your specialized data formats. Please see File Format and SerDe in the Developer Guide for details.

Hive is not designed for OLTP workloads and does not offer real-time queries or row-level updates. It is best used for batch jobs over large sets of append-only data (like web logs). What Hive values most are scalability (scale out with more machines added dynamically to the Hadoop cluster), extensibility (with MapReduce framework and UDF/UDAF/UDTF), fault-tolerance, and loose-coupling with its input formats.

Hive provides SQL-like query language on HDFS(Hadoop Distributed File System)

Following is Data Model for Hive.

Hive provides SQL-like query language on HDFS(Hadoop Distributed File System)


Hive ApacheCon 2008, New Oreleans, LA (Ashish Thusoo, Facebook)

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