Apache Hive

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This article is about a data warehouse infrastructure. For the Java application framework, see Apache Beehive.
Stable release 0.14.0 [1] / November 12, 2014 (2014-11-12)
Development status Active
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type relational Hadoop-Analytics
License Apache License 2.0
Website hive.apache.org

Apache Hive is a data warehouse infrastructure built on top of Hadoop for providing data summarization, query, and analysis.[2] While initially developed by Facebook, Apache Hive is now used and developed by other companies such as Netflix.[3][4] Amazon maintains a software fork of Apache Hive that is included in Amazon Elastic MapReduce on Amazon Web Services.[5]


Apache Hive supports analysis of large datasets stored in Hadoop's HDFS and compatible file systems such as Amazon S3 filesystem. It provides an SQL-like language called HiveQL[6] with schema on read and transparently converts queries to map/reduce, Apache Tez[7] and in the future Spark[8] jobs. All three execution engines can run in Hadoop YARN. To accelerate queries, it provides indexes, including bitmap indexes.[9]

By default, Hive stores metadata in an embedded Apache Derby database, and other client/server databases like MySQL can optionally be used.[10]

Currently, there are four file formats supported in Hive, which are TEXTFILE,[11] SEQUENCEFILE, ORC[12] and RCFILE.[13][14][15]

Other features of Hive include:

  • Indexing to provide acceleration, index type including compaction and Bitmap index as of 0.10, more index types are planned.
  • Different storage types such as plain text, RCFile, HBase, ORC, and others.
  • Metadata storage in an RDBMS, significantly reducing the time to perform semantic checks during query execution.
  • Operating on compressed data stored into Hadoop ecosystem, algorithm including gzip, bzip2, snappy, etc.
  • Built-in user defined functions (UDFs) to manipulate dates, strings, and other data-mining tools. Hive supports extending the UDF set to handle use-cases not supported by built-in functions.
  • SQL-like queries (HiveQL), which are implicitly converted into MapReduce jobs.


While based on SQL, HiveQL does not strictly follow the full SQL-92 standard. HiveQL offers extensions not in SQL, including multitable inserts and create table as select, but only offers basic support for indexes. Also, HiveQL lacks support for transactions and materialized views, and only limited subquery support.[16][17] Support for insert, update, and delete with full ACID functionality was made available with release 14.[18]

Internally, a compiler translates HiveQL statements into a directed acyclic graph of MapReduce jobs, which are submitted to Hadoop for execution.[19]


  • Nucleon Database Manager supports Apache Hive.

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