Apache Drill – A Scheme Free SQL Query Engine

Apache Drill

Apache Drill – A Scheme Free SQL Query Engine


Big data analytics contains the actual value of big data. But, these analytics require statistical and technical knowledge to implement any big data solution. So the assumption was that you have to be a data scientist to extract meaningful insight from big data. Here comes the role of Apache Drill. It gives the flexibility to do big data analytics on Hadoop without having the knowledge of a data scientist.

In this article, we will explore more details about Apache Drill and how it helps in big data analytics. 

Apache Drill – What is it?

Apache Drill is a software framework which can churn big data and deliver the insights you need, hiding beneath the petabytes of data sets. Technically, Apache drill is an open source, standard ANSI SQL which can be used as a low-latency query engine on the popular Java-based programming framework namely, Hadoop.

It can also work with a herd of budding NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Hbase and also with cloud data servers, like Amazon S3 and Google cloud storage. Added to these, it also beats the level of other industry standard APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) like ODBC/JDBC and RESTful APIs.

Moreover, Apache drill is often known as the open source version of the Dremel, an interactive data query system mothered by Google which is the backbone of its popular IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) namely, BigQuery. Apache drill features the same data fetching speed like BigQuery and it can churn trillions of data tables, housed within thousands of database servers, within a blade of time.

Basically, Apache drill is an ideal framework for those data hungry applications which support the vision of next generation distributed or Edge computing. So, versatile data query software is the bottom line requirement of these distributed applications.

Now, Java-based data processing framework like Hadoop can process larger data sets in a distributed computing ecosystem and all of a sudden, big data and Hadoop has become so interlinked that they can be heard together, frequently.

Why Apache Drill turns data analysis into a Fun?

SO, what is the specialty of Apache drill?

Admittedly, there are many.

Firstly, Apache drill has got all the regular features being structured query language. So, its users can use it as a regular SQL engine on their data based app. Secondly, it can query a wide range of structured or semi-structured data types. So, it can hit the standard of popular business intelligence tools and work with them.

Now, analyzing big data can be a pesky task as it demands a particular level of expertise from the person who wants to dig deep into big data. Thankfully, Apache drill can be the beacon in the dark for him as it combines data from more than one active source and that too in the runtime of a single query.

Moreover, with Apache drill, scaling is another breakthrough. Its communication range starts from a single node to multiple colossal server clusters. Regular users can simply dump Apache drill on a mere laptop and can execute all of these groundbreaking things.

Apache Drill and NoSQL databases:

In this arena of big data, it seems that NoSQL is the future of this ever evolving nature of data world. The information world is getting gigantic with each passing day as the cloud servers are pretty busy in registering every single update of this human civilization. Web Data has already annexed ‘big’ with its name and in the recent future it will get bigger.

But, what NoSQL has to do with that?

Admittedly, the main focus of Apache drill is the non-relational databases as the growing volume of data on the web also signifies that variation within the different data types or formats is also growing. So, with time the growing volume of big data is not only becoming unmanageable but also becoming more unknown.

So, the discrepancy among different data types is changing proportionately with the maturity of the internet users across the world. So, known relationships among various datasets are becoming more imbalanced with time. That’s why NoSQL databases are on the rise and to cope up with this jinx, Apache drill the ultimate weapon.

Apache drill for data complexity:

What can be defined as ‘complex data’?

Simply, they are those datasets, which are pretty hard to read as far as a data query language is concerned. Any dataset without any associated schema value can fall under this group. Schema values are like a nomenclature of different data types. So, without any schema value, which is pretty obvious in NoSQL databases, it is darn hard for a query language to identify and fetch a particular data record from any database.

On the contrary, the main focus of the Apache drill is to work with datasets which are complex in their nature. Along with schema-based data formats, Drill can easily work with schema free JSON data models which are similar to NoSQL databases.

Apache drill can be tagged as a self-service data exploration tool as it does all the heavy lifting of discovering data schemas while querying on them. Moreover, it can fetch data from the multiple formats of data sets and ensure an interactive data query analysis at petabyte range.

Moreover, drill has got its own set of optimizer which can recognize different databases and it also has the ability to modify the whole query plan to harness the internal processing capabilities of a particular type of database. Flatly, Drill’s architecture is versatile and pluggable to any kind of database.


At the end of the day, it’s the actionable insight what industry leaders want as it has an answer to all of their queries about their future and they need it fast. Nowadays, where every passing second is more precious than its previous one, speedy information retrieval has already become a norm.

With big data analytics businesses, organizations are not only boosting their sales, but also improving their operative qualities, raising their customer relationship management processes and designing better risk management policies. And they are also dreaming for more complex solutions like, speedier decoding of a DNA sample and a better sensor design for the IOT (internet of things) world.

Admittedly, big data is gradually becoming the only food for the data hungry enterprises or organizations who want to design their future based on a deep analysis of it. Now, every marketer wants to take an informed decision and only a set of standard business intelligence tools can help them with that. Apache drill belongs to that group.



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