atom feed1 message in org.apache.hadoop.core-userRe: PIG and Hive
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Amr AwadallahMay 6, 2009 3:13 pm 
Subject:Re: PIG and Hive
From:Amr Awadallah (
Date:May 6, 2009 3:13:59 pm

The difference between PIG and Hive seems to be pretty insignificant.

Difference between Pig and Hive is significant, specifically:

(1) Pig doesn't require underlying structure to the data, Hive does imply structure via a metastore. This has it pros and cons. It allows Pig to be more suitable for ETL kind tasks where the input data is still a mish-mash and you want to convert it to be structured. On the other hand, Hive's metastore provides a dictionary that lets you easily see what columns exist in which tables which can be very handy.

(2) Pig is a new language, easy to learn if you know languages similar to Perl. Hive is a sub-set of SQL with very simple variations to enable map-reduce like computation. So, if you come from a SQL background you will find Hive QL extremely easy to pickup (many of your SQL queries will run as is), while if you come from a procedural programming background (w/o SQL knowledge) then Pig will be much more suitable for you. Furthermore, Hive is a bit easier to integrate with other systems and tools since it speaks the language they already speak (i.e. SQL).

You're right that HBase is a completely different game, HBase is not about being a high level language that compiles to map-reduce, HBase is about allowing Hadoop to support lookups/transactions on key/value pairs. HBase allows you to (1) do quick random lookups, versus scan all of data sequentially, (2) do insert/update/delete from middle, not just add/append.

-- amr

Ricky Ho wrote:


Thanks for the pointer. It is pretty clear that Hive and PIG are the same kind and HBase is a different
kind. The difference between PIG and Hive seems to be pretty insignificant. Layer a
tool on top of them can completely hide their difference.

I am viewing your PIG and Hive tutorial and hopefully can extract some technical
details there.

Rgds, Ricky

-----Original Message----- From: Jeff Hammerbacher [] Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 1:38 PM To: Subject: Re: PIG and Hive

Here's a permalink for the thread on MarkMail:

On Wed, May 6, 2009 at 4:55 AM, Sharad Agarwal <>wrote:

see core-user mail thread with subject "HBase, Hive, Pig and other Hadoop based technologies"

- Sharad

Ricky Ho wrote:

Are they competing technologies of providing a higher level language for

Map/Reduce programming ?

Or are they complementary ?

Any comparison between them ?

Rgds, Ricky