Writing to HBase from Hadoop Mapper

Although Hadoop and HBase are often used together, not so many resources devoted to interaction between them. In the book “HBase: The Definitive Guide” there is a chapter named “MapReduce Integration”, which sheds some light on this. I would like to give you another example of the MR task that reads and writes to the same HBase table.

This article assumes you have a basic knowledge of Hadoop.


In our table “weather” we have 2 columns - the maximum temperature for a month (max) and minimum respectively (min). We need to calculate the average temperature and put it in a new column for further calculations.


{% gist 8ba19e1baca077d67c65 AvgTemperatureMapper.java %}

For every row we get max and min column’s latest values (#13), wrap them into ByteBuffer (#15), so we can get Integer values.

On line #7, we then construct new Put object, passing the same rowkey. After that , we add new column avg into temperatures family and put the result of (max + min) / 2.0 in it (#8). In the end, we pass rowkey and our Put object to context#write method, which modifies “weather” table and records the results (#9).


{% gist 8ba19e1baca077d67c65 AvgTemperatureDriver.java %}

In order to run our baby, we create new job (#5). Since we do not have Reduce stage, we can set number of reduce tasks to 0 (#7). TableMapReduceUtil utility saves us from routine work by setting the correct input format, mapper class, adding dependencies jars and so on. All we need to do is to pass a few parameters to initTableMapperJob method (#11).

I would like to note that if you need additional filtering, Scan object (#9) could be tweaked more heavily (e.g. by using #setFilter method).

That is all for the reading. To write to a table (not necessarily the same, it could be any other table as well) we have to:

  1. Set OutputKeyClass and OutputValueClass to ImmutableBytesWritable and Put (both in mapper - #1 and driver - lines #14, #15);
  2. Set OutputFormatClass (#20) and table name (#21).

Thats all folks. If I missed something, feel free to contact me or just leave a comment.

Anton Kaliaev

Software engineer, blogger, public speaker, traveler

Ulyanovsk, Russia http://homeonrails.com