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Apache Hive Queries (SQL) vs Base SAS - Programmer Ease of Use

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New Contributor
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Apache Hive Queries (SQL) vs Base SAS - Programmer Ease of Use

I'm not sure where to post this question, so I'm going to start here.

 

I have a fairly deep Base SAS background.  I've been playing with the Hortonworks Sandbox to get introduced to 'big data' and tooling for data discovery for analysis, using say micro-marts.

 

What I found is that as you walk along the data discovery path with a Hadoop platform, when you get to the point where you need to create new 'columns', 'transform the data' on the Hadoop platform you end up writing essentially SQL queries in hive, which in my humble opinion are more difficult to use and more error prone than using SAS and data steps to 'stepwise' manipulate and discover the data.

 

Has anyone made a similiar comparison for programmer ease of use and perhaps sees it differently?

Super User
Posts: 5,254

Re: Apache Hive Queries (SQL) vs Base SAS - Programmer Ease of Use

Technical it's not a big difference compared to working on any other external data source. There is point where the physical data management is handled better in the underlying database.
For Hadoop this is also true. If you really play with big data you might want the help from a data storage specialist.
Data never sleeps
New Contributor
Posts: 2

Re: Apache Hive Queries (SQL) vs Base SAS - Programmer Ease of Use

Thanks for your reply.

 

Yes, Hadoop (and I'm referring here to the example enviroment of Hortonworks) is made to handle the physical side of data management with high performance.  In that space, SAS High Performance Analytics can also handle the physical side.

 

My question is focused on the user/programmer/data discovery ease of use.  For me at least, SAS Data Step processing is far easier for data viewing, data discovery, data transformation and data model emergence than SQL queries (long, complex, error prone, and obtuse), except for simpler queries to join or subset data tables.

 

Other points of view on the ease of use factors invited (SAS support?)

Super User
Posts: 5,254

Re: Apache Hive Queries (SQL) vs Base SAS - Programmer Ease of Use

My reply focused on creating/storing data in Hadoop.
About query. There are a never ending discussion about the pros and cons about SQL vs the data step.
My simple view of this is if your query is row oriented use the data step. Otherwise use SQL if applicable.
When it comes to Hadoop/Hive and other external relational sources, that are typically column oriented. Row order is not on the table (unintended pun) sort of speak.
So, there is a more tighter integration if chose SQL, it's more predictable what gets executed near the data.
If you have the necessary license DS2 is an option for executing data steps inside Hadoop.
Data never sleeps
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