Exercise 6 Introduction to HBase

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ISIT312 Big Data Management
Exercise 6
Introduction to HBase
In this exercise, you will learn how to create, how to load data, how to perform data
manipulations, and how to search HBase tables using Hbase shell commands. You will also learn
how to use API to process HBase tables.
Be careful when copying the Linux commands in this document to your working Terminal, because
it is error-prone. Maybe you should type those commands by yourself.
Login to your system and start VirtualBox.
When ready start a virtual machine ISIT312-BigDataVM-07-SEP-2020.
(1) How to start Hadoop and HBase server ?
Open a new Terminal window and start Hadoop in the following way.
When ready navigate to a folder where you plan to keep HBase scripts from this lab (you may have
to create such folder now) and start HBase server in the following way.
(2) How to start HBase command shell ?
To start command line interface to HBase process the following command in a Terminal window.
$HBASE_HOME/bin/hbase shell
For a good start use a command help to get a pretty comprehensive help from HBase command
Line Interface (CLI). A complete printout of help is listed at the end of this document.
(3) How to use HBase CLI ?
HBase CLI provide several commands to be processed at hbase main: …:0> command
prompt. For example, processing of a command whoami at the prompt returns the following
bigdata (auth:SIMPLE)
groups: bigdata, adm, cdrom, sudo, dip, plugdev, lpadmin,
Processing of a command version returns the following messages.
1.2.6, rUnknown, Mon May 29 02:25:32 CDT 2017
Processing of a command table_help returns information about table-reference commands (see
Appendix B in this document).
Command status returns the following message.
1 active master, 0 backup masters, 1 servers, 0 dead, 2.0000
average load
(4) How to create a script file and how to process a script file ?
To create HBase CLI script start gedit editor, type in the lines
and save a file as script.hb.
To process a script file type the following command at hbase prompt:
and press Enter key.
If you would like to process a script and save the results in a file then exit HBase CLI and in a
Terminal window process the following command.
$HBASE_HOME/bin/hbase shell < script.hb > report.rpt
The command starts HBase shall that reads input from a file script.hb and outputs the results
into a file report.rpt.
(5) How to design a HBase table ?
Consider the following conceptual schema.
We would like to implement a conceptual schema given above as a single HBase table. We create
four column families: STUDENT, SUBJECT, FILE, and SUBMISSION and we distribute the rows
over the column families in a way schematically presented below. I would called as “a relational
implementation style” ;). We concatenate the names of entity types with the values of identifiers of
entity instances and we use it as the keys of rows in HBase table. The submitted files will be
represented as column qualifiers. it means that a column family FILE will have a variable number of
column qualifiers depending on the total number of submitted files.
student:snumber1 xxxxxxxxxxx
student:snumber2 xxxxxxxxxxx

subject:code1 xxxxxxxxxxx
subject:code2 xxxxxxxxxxx

submission:skey1 xxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx
submission:skey2 xxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx

where a submission skey-n consists of snumber-n|code-n|sub-number-n. The rows that
describe submissions spread over all column families. The total number of overlaps determines what
we call in the relational model as “denormalization” or simply speaking “redundancies” in HBase
(6) How to create a HBase table ?
To create a HBase table we must provide a name of a table and a name of at least one column family.
Process the following command to create HBase table COURSEWORK with a column family
To verify a structure of HBase table use describe command.
describe ‘COURSEWORK’
(7) How to add the new column families to an existing HBase table ?
Next, we use alter command to add a column family SUBJECT to HBase table COURSEWORK.
In our design we plan to represent each entity type as a separate column family. Process the
following commands to add the column families FILE and SUBMISSION.
Use describe command to verify the structures of HBase table COURSEWORK.
(8) How to enter data into HBase table ?
First, we shall add few rows to a column family STUDENT. We shall use the values of attribute
snumber prefixed with a string ‘student’ as a key of rows in HBase table. The following
commands add to a column family a row with key ‘student:007’, and the column qualifiers
snumber, fname, lname, degree, and put the values into cells of HBase table.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:snumber’,’007′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:first-name’,’James’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:last-name’,’Bond’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:degree’,’MIT’
To verify the insertions use scan command.
A sequence of put commands implements an insertion of a single row with a key
‘student:007’ into HBase table COURSEWORK.
Now, add all remaining data to a table COURSEWORK. The next sequence of put commands inserts
the next row into column family STUDENT.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:666′,’STUDENT:snumber’,’666′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:666′,’STUDENT:firstname’,’Harry’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:666′,’STUDENT:lastname’,’Potter’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:666′,’STUDENT:degree’,’BCS’
Next, we insert two rows into a column family SUBJECT.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:312′,’SUBJECT:code’,’312′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:312′,’SUBJECT:title’,’Big Data’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:312′,’SUBJECT:credits’,’6′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:313′,’SUBJECT:code’,’313′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:313′,’SUBJECT:title’,’Very Big Data’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’subject:313′,’SUBJECT:credits’,’12’
Next, we insert information about a submission performed by one of the students enrolled in one of
the subjects.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’SUBMISSION:sdate’,’01-APR-2017′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’SUBMISSION:esignature’,’jb’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’SUBMISSION:totalfiles’,’2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’SUBMISSION:dayslate’,’0′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’STUDENT:snumbner’,’007′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’SUBJECT:code’,’312′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name1-1′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’FILE:fnumber2′,’path/file-name1-1′
Note, that a row with a key ‘submission:007|312|1’ contributes to column families
It is possible to “denormalize” the row by inserting the values into the cells labelled with the column
qualifiers in STUDENT and SUBJECT to the rows that describe submissions. For example, the
following commands add the first and the last name of a student who performed a submission.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’STUDENT:firstname’,’James’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|312|1′,’STUDENT:lastname’,’Bond’
Verify a structure of HBase table after all additions.
describe ‘COURSEWORK’
Add all remaining data.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBMISSION:sdate’,’02-APR-2017′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBMISSION:esignature’,’jb’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBMISSION:totalfiles’,’2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBMISSION:dayslate’,’0′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBMISSION:type’,’project’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’STUDENT:snumbner’,’007′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’SUBJECT:code’,’313′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name3-1′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBMISSION:sdate’,’01-APR-2017′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBMISSION:esignature’,’hp’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBMISSION:totalfiles’,’2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBMISSION:dayslate’,’0′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBMISSION:type’,’assignment’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’STUDENT:snumbner’,’666′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’SUBJECT:code’,’312′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name1-1′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|3′,’FILE:fnumber2′,’path/file-name1-1′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBMISSION:sdate’,’02-APR-2017′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBMISSION:esignature’,’hp’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBMISSION:totalfiles’,’2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBMISSION:dayslate’,’0′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBMISSION:type’,’assignment’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’STUDENT:snumbner’,’666′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’SUBJECT:code’,’312′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name2-1′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|312|4′,’FILE:fnumber2′,’path/file-name2-2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBMISSION:sdate’,’02-APR-2017′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBMISSION:esignature’,’hp’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBMISSION:totalfiles’,’2′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBMISSION:dayslate’,’0′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBMISSION:type’,’project’
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’STUDENT:snumbner’,’666′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’SUBJECT:code’,’313′
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:666|313|2′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name3-1′
(9) How to replace a row ?
To replace a row use put command in the following way. Note, that the replacements happen only
for the cells with one version allowed. If some cells allow for more than one version then instead of
the replacement a new version of a value in a cell is created.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:snumber’,’008′
(10) How to retrieve a row and a cell ?
To retrieve a row we use a row key and a command get in the following way.
get ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′
To retrieve the contents of a cell we have to provide a full address of a cell that consists of row
key, column family: column qualifier.
get ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,’STUDENT:snumber’
In the following way we can list up to 5 versions in a cell.
get ‘COURSEWORK’,’student:007′,{COLUMN=>’STUDENT:snumber’,VERSIONS=>5}
(11) How to create a new version of a value in a cell ?
Assume that in one of existing submissions a student would like to submit a new version of a file
filenumber1. A new version can be created because a column family FILE was created with
value of parameter VERSIONS equal to 2 (see below). A new version is created by processing of the
following put command.
A new version is created by processing the following put command.
put ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,’FILE:fnumber1′,’path/file-name3-3′
The results can be verified with get command.
get ‘COURSEWORK’,’submission:007|313|1′,{COLUMN=>’FILE:fnumber1′,VERSIONS=>2}
(12) How to retrieve many rows from a given column family ?
A scan command is equivalent to an operation of projection in the relational data model. It can be
used to list the contents of entire HBase table, the contents of select column family, and the
contents of cells in a given column family and in a given column qualifier (see below).
scan ‘COURSEWORK’,{COLUMN=>’STUDENT:first-name’}
(13) How to list the names of created Hbase tables ?
A column list displays the names of Hbase tables created so far.
(14) How to drop Hbase table ?
To drop HBase table we have disable it first with a command disable
disable ‘COURSEWORK’
and then we can drop it with drop command.
(15) How to truncate Hbase table ?
A command truncate can be used to delete the contents of HBASE table without changing its
internal structure. The command preserves all column families and column qualifiers within the
column families.
truncate ‘COURSEWORK’
(16) How to exit Hbase CLI ?
To exit HBase CLI process at hbase main: …:0> prompt a command exit.
(17) How to use Java API to process HBase tables ?
First we have to set HBASE_CLASSPATH variable. Process the following shell commands in a
terminal window.
for jar in `ls /usr/share/hbase/lib/*.jar`; do
Next use gedit editor and create a file with the following contents.
import org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configuration;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HBaseConfiguration;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HColumnDescriptor;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HTableDescriptor;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.TableName;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.client.HBaseAdmin;
public class ListTables {
public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
Configuration conf = HBaseConfiguration.create();
HBaseAdmin admin = new HBaseAdmin(conf);
// Get all the list of tables using HBaseAdmin object
HTableDescriptor[] tableDescriptor = admin.listTables();
// Display the names of all tables
System.out.println(“HBase tables:”);
for (int i=0; i<tableDescriptor.length;i++ ){
To compile use the following command.
To process ListTables use the following command.
(15) How to use the remaining example of HBase Java API ?
The following simple examples of HBase Java API are available on Moodle.
Creating HBase table
Inserting a row (cells)
Retrieving a row (cells)
Retrieving entire row with versions
Scanning a table
Deleting a row
Dropping a table
To compile and to process the remaining example of HBase Java API use javac and java
commands in the same way as for example (see yellow highlighted fragments
that should be replaced with the appropriate names).
Appendix A
hbase(main):001:0> help
HBase Shell, version 1.2.6, rUnknown, Mon May 29 02:25:32 CDT 2017
Type ‘help “COMMAND”‘, (e.g. ‘help “get”‘ — the quotes are necessary) for help on a specific command.
Commands are grouped. Type ‘help “COMMAND_GROUP”‘, (e.g. ‘help “general”‘) for help on a command group.
Group name: general
Commands: status, table_help, version, whoami
Group name: ddl
Commands: alter, alter_async, alter_status, create, describe, disable, disable_all, drop, drop_all, enable, enable_all,
exists, get_table, is_disabled, is_enabled, list, locate_region, show_filters
Group name: namespace
Commands: alter_namespace, create_namespace, describe_namespace, drop_namespace, list_namespace,
Group name: dml
Commands: append, count, delete, deleteall, get, get_counter, get_splits, incr, put, scan, truncate,
Group name: tools
Commands: assign, balance_switch, balancer, balancer_enabled, catalogjanitor_enabled, catalogjanitor_run,
catalogjanitor_switch, close_region, compact, compact_rs, flush, major_compact, merge_region, move, normalize,
normalizer_enabled, normalizer_switch, split, trace, unassign, wal_roll, zk_dump
Group name: replication
Commands: add_peer, append_peer_tableCFs, disable_peer, disable_table_replication, enable_peer,
enable_table_replication, list_peers, list_replicated_tables, remove_peer, remove_peer_tableCFs,
set_peer_tableCFs, show_peer_tableCFs
Group name: snapshots
Commands: clone_snapshot, delete_all_snapshot, delete_snapshot, list_snapshots, restore_snapshot, snapshot
Group name: configuration
Commands: update_all_config, update_config
Group name: quotas
Commands: list_quotas, set_quota
Group name: security
Commands: grant, list_security_capabilities, revoke, user_permission
Group name: procedures
Commands: abort_procedure, list_procedures
Group name: visibility labels
Commands: add_labels, clear_auths, get_auths, list_labels, set_auths, set_visibility
Quote all names in HBase Shell such as table and column names. Commas delimit
command parameters. Type <RETURN> after entering a command to run it.
Dictionaries of configuration used in the creation and alteration of tables are
Ruby Hashes. They look like this:
{‘key1’ => ‘value1’, ‘key2’ => ‘value2’, …}
and are opened and closed with curley-braces. Key/values are delimited by the
‘=>’ character combination. Usually keys are predefined constants such as
NAME, VERSIONS, COMPRESSION, etc. Constants do not need to be quoted. Type
‘Object.constants’ to see a (messy) list of all constants in the environment.
If you are using binary keys or values and need to enter them in the shell, use
double-quote’d hexadecimal representation. For example:
hbase> get ‘t1’, “key\x03\x3f\xcd”
hbase> get ‘t1’, “key\003\023\011”
hbase> put ‘t1’, “test\xef\xff”, ‘f1:’, “\x01\x33\x40”
The HBase shell is the (J)Ruby IRB with the above HBase-specific commands added.
For more on the HBase Shell, see
Appendix B
hbase(main):003:0> table_help
Help for table-reference commands.
You can either create a table via ‘create’ and then manipulate the table via commands like ‘put’, ‘get’, etc.
See the standard help information for how to use each of these commands.
However, as of 0.96, you can also get a reference to a table, on which you can invoke commands.
For instance, you can get create a table and keep around a reference to it via:
hbase> t = create ‘t’, ‘cf’
Or, if you have already created the table, you can get a reference to it:
hbase> t = get_table ‘t’
You can do things like call ‘put’ on the table:
hbase> t.put ‘r’, ‘cf:q’, ‘v’
which puts a row ‘r’ with column family ‘cf’, qualifier ‘q’ and value ‘v’ into table t.
To read the data out, you can scan the table:
hbase> t.scan
which will read all the rows in table ‘t’.
Essentially, any command that takes a table name can also be done via table reference.
Other commands include things like: get, delete, deleteall,
get_all_columns, get_counter, count, incr. These functions, along with
the standard JRuby object methods are also available via tab completion.
For more information on how to use each of these commands, you can also just type:
hbase> ‘scan’
which will output more information on how to use that command.
You can also perform the general admin actions directly on a table; things like enable, disable,
flush and drop just by typing:
hbase> t.enable
hbase> t.flush
hbase> t.disable
hbase> t.drop
Note that after dropping a table, your reference to it becomes useless and further usage
is undefined (and not recommended).
End of exercise 6


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