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HBase: The Definitive Guide by Lars George

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Chapter 6. Available Clients

HBase comes with a variety of clients that can be used from various programming languages. This chapter will give you an overview of what is available.

Introduction to REST, Thrift, and Avro

Access to HBase is possible from virtually every popular programming language and environment. You either use the client API directly, or access it through some sort of proxy that translates your request into an API call. These proxies wrap the native Java API into other protocol APIs so that clients can be written in any language the external API provides. Typically, the external API is implemented in a dedicated Java-based server that can internally use the provided HTable client API. This simplifies the implementation and maintenance of these gateway servers.

The protocol between the gateways and the clients is then driven by the available choices and requirements of the remote client. An obvious choice is Representational State Transfer (REST),[68] which is based on existing web-based technologies. The actual transport is typically HTTP—which is the standard protocol for web applications. This makes REST ideal for communicating between heterogeneous systems: the protocol layer takes care of transporting the data in an interoperable format.

REST defines the semantics so that the protocol can be used in a generic way to address remote resources. By not changing the protocol, REST is compatible with existing technologies, such as web servers, and proxies. Resources ...

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