Difference Between RDBMS and HBase (With Table)

Data is managed into a database to keep it safe and secure. And then, to manage these databases, a management system is required that is called Database Management System. There are several types of database management systems that are being used for managing the data entered in the system. They are being used worldwide, for example, RDBMS and HBase.

Both of them are types of Database Management systems used for secure and keeping databases in an organized manner. Many people get confused between two systems due to their same/similar function, but both of them are totally different in many terms.

RDBMS vs HBase

The difference between RDBMS and HBase RDBMS is way older than the HBase. They both have different requirements, as SQL is required by RDBMS but not by HBase. They also have different natures and schema. HBase has certain advantages over RDBMS as it can handle structured, unstructured, sparse data that cannot be handled by RDBMS. Last but not least, RDBMS also has a disadvantage in terms of data retrieving speed in comparison.

Relational Database Management System is based on a model introduced by E.F.Codd. It secures the related data along with some advantageous features such as security, integrity, consistency, the accuracy of the data. It follows the ACID properties and has a fixed Schema. It is static by nature and is slightly slower in the process of retrieving the data. It is capable of only handling the structured data.

HBase is a system used for big and large files. It has several pros over traditional database systems. It is designed to handles all types (structures, semi-structured, and even unstructured) data. It is dynamic and is best for retrieving the data. There is no scalable or fixed schema. It is primarily written in Java.

Comparison Table Between RDBMS and HBase

Parameters of ComparisonRDBMSHBase
SQLIt requires thisDoes not require
SchemaFixed schemaNo fixed schema
ScalableNot scalableScalable
Retrieval of dataSlower  Faster

What is RDBMS?

It is a system that is a collection of programs that help to create and update or any interaction with a relational database. Data is stored in the form of tables by using Structured Query Language. It is the most popular database system that is used worldwide by programmers. It is very helpful when it comes to data handling as it provides data dictionaries and metadata collection.

It also supports multi concert users to use the database along with maintaining the information’s integrity. It supports DBAs that is helpful in monitoring the databases.

Except for all the functions and features it has there are some extra advantages of this such as:

  1. Flexibility: as compared to other systems, the process of updating data is far simpler, as data is not required to be updated in several places; it has to be updated in one place only.
  2. Maintenance: maintenance of data is easier, not this data can also be control without many efforts easily. Backups are not hard due to automation tools present in the system.
  3. Data structure: as mentioned above, it stored data in tabular form. It is an easier and most effective way of organizing the data. Entering new data is also easier.

What is HBase?

HBase is built on Hadoop and is a column-oriented system. Data is kept in key-value format due to its sets of tables. Columns of any number can be added at any time. If the system is compromised due to any reason, it has a feature that allows the data handling to switch into a standby system. It is also called a column family-oriented database.

Advantages of HBase

  1. Large data sets: it can store large data, and millions of rows can be added under this system.
  2. Databases breakdown: in a case when relation databases break down, HBase has been the best option.
  3. Fast processing: when compared to any other database, it is faster and more reliable for data reading and processing.
  4. Failover support: it is automatically recovered and has a feature of Region Server Replication.
  5. Scalability: it is supported in both modular, as well as linear forms.
  6. Consistency: it is more consistent in reading and writing data.

Disadvantages of HBase:

  1. There is a possibility of failure in some cases.
  2. It has no support for any transaction.
  3. JOINs cannot be handled in the database itself.
  4. It is only sorted on keys and is indexed.
  5. No built-in authentications.
  6. Unpredictable Latencies
  7. Memory issues on the cluster.

Main Differences Between RDBMS and HBase

  1. The structure query language is a basic requirement of the Relational Database Management System, while it is not required for the HBase.
  2. Relational Database Management System has a fixed schema, while HBase has no fixed schema.
  3. Both of the systems are oriented on different bases; Relational Database Management System is row-oriented, whereas HBase is column-oriented.
  4. In terms of scalable, HBase is scalable, whereas Relational Database Management System is not a scalable system.
  5. Both of the systems are also different when it comes to their nature. Relational Database Management System is more static in nature, whereas HBase is more Dynamic in nature.
  6. In the process of retrieving data, Relational Database Management System has disadvantages as it takes a longer time for retrieving the data due to slower speed, whereas HBase retrieves data faster in comparison and therefore has an advantage.
  7. Relational Database Management System can only handle the structured data, whereas HBase not only handles the structured data but also handles unstructured as well as semi-structured data. Except it, Relational Database Management System can also not handle the sparse data that can be handled by HBase.
  8. Relational Database Management System follows, Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability properties, whereas HBase follows, Consistency, availability, Partition-tolerance theorem.


There are several advantages of a good database management system, that includes, it makes easier for developers to keep their data intact and ease their efforts for queering the data, it is very versatile can be used of any device, allow data categorizing and structuring, same data can be access on multiple platforms at the same time, creates an organized working environment of the developers, it is the most developed and best way to manage data, etc.

Therefore now there should not be any confusion while choosing the database management software, as all the above differences are clarified. Although it is always the choice of the developer to choose according to his work (data) or need.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1559845.1559917
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2213836.2213874
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