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Concurrent gives old SQL users new Hadoop tricks

Lingual lets SQL devs speak HDFS lingo

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Application framework specialist Concurrent has given SQL devs a free tool to get at data stored in Hadoop, without having to learn the intricacies of the trendy computational framework.

The "Lingual" tool is an ANSI-standard SQL engine built on top of Concurrent's "Cascading" software, a Java application framework for Hadoop.

"All we've done is glue an SQL parser on top [of Cascading] to allow people to complete Hadoop applications," Concurrent CTO Chris Wensel told The Register.

To get data in and out of Hadoop you need to have some level of familiarity with theHadoop distributed filesystem (HDFS), Wensel explained.

Developers that deal with the system regularly are rare as hen's teeth compared to the vast army of analysts, marketers, and IT workers that can bash out an SQL query.

The Lingual tool lets these SQL workers speak HDFS's language without having to learn it.

For example, many financial analysts want to get data out of Hadoop and play with it in R, a statistics program. Lingual lets them do that, he said.

The tool could also save companies money, as it provides a relatively quick way for experts to migrate data off of large Greenplum or Teradata clusters.

"eBay has this problem," Wensel says. "Their Teradata users have a Hadoop cluster and are paying an arm and a leg, and are probably overprovisioning it."

Lingual is available beginning on Wednesday. If you are not a Cascading user, you will need to download both free software packages. ®

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