Apache Drill is one of many different projects that can enable Hadoop. Drill, which defines itself as a schema-free SQL query engine, until this week had been an incubated Apache project. Tomer Shiran, Apache Drill founder, explained to Enterprise Apps Today that as a top level project, Drill now has autonomy at the Apache Software Foundation, its own board (also known as PMC) and makes its own decisions.
With Drill the user can just query that data, and Drill is able to pick up that structure on the fly during query execution,” Shiran said. “With Impala, the user must wait for IT to define and maintain redundant schemas on all that data.”
The promise of Drill is to enable self-service data exploration, which increases agility and makes users more productive. Shiran added that Drill is the only SQL engine that can handle evolving data automatically. So, for example, when fields change, new data sources are added. Another difference is that Drill supports many data sources, so it’s not limited to a single HDFS source.