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2/28/2012
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Microsoft, Hortonworks Expand Hadoop Partnership

ODBC driver for Hive will enable Microsoft Excel and PowerPivot for Excel users to explore Hadoop data.

Microsoft and Hortonworks announced Tuesday that they will extend their Apache Hadoop development partnership to deliver a JavaScript development framework and a Hive ODBC driver that will enable Hadoop data to be analyzed in Microsoft Excel.

The partners announced last October that they would jointly develop a Windows Server-compatible distribution of Hadoop. Hortonworks, a Yahoo! spinoff and major contributor to the Hadoop community, has since developed a series of software patches that will enable the open source data processing platform to run on Windows Server. That software is expected to become a part of future Hadoop releases, including the pending 0.23 branch currently under review.

Hive is the data warehousing component of Hadoop, and the new ODBC (open database connectivity) standard integration will enable users of the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to tap into and explore data from within Hadoop. In addition, users with access to Microsoft's PowerPivot in-memory plug-in for Excel will be able to explore far larger sets of data that might contain tens or even hundreds of millions of rows of information.

[ Want more on Hadoop? Download our report on how How Hadoop Tames Big Data. ]

It's not clear exactly when Microsoft and Hortonworks will be able to offer a Windows-server compatible Hadoop software distribution, but the inclusion of an ODBC driver for Hive will give that release an accessible data-exploration option. IBM took similar steps when it introduced IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Hadoop software by including a spreadsheet-style BigSheets data-exploration tool.

In a second area of cooperation, Microsoft and Hortonworks will co-develop JavaScript framework for Apache Hadoop. The framework will enable JavaScript developers to perform iterative prototyping and interactive exploration of Hadoop data, according to the partners.

"Now, the millions of JavaScript developers and Microsoft Excel users will be able to derive value from Hadoop in a way that is familiar to them," said Herain Oberoi, director, product marketing, SQL Server, at Microsoft, in a statement.

The expanded partnership was announced at this week's Strata Conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

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