The simple, quick start guide to using SQuirreL

SQuirreL, if you haven’t heard of it yet, is a graphical java program (GUI) which lets you see the structure of your Phoenix database, browse the data in your tables, and run SQL queries over the data.

In the last big data guide, I helped you set up SQuirreL with Phoenix. If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re using Hortonworks sandbox and already have SQuirreL connected to Phoenix. In this guide, we’re going to delve into two SQuirreL basics that will quickly let you start viewing and transforming your data: viewing table information and running queries.

Viewing basic table information

To see information about your table such as the row count, columns, primary key, and indexes, you’ll want to be in the Objects view:


Select Table > YourTableName and you’ll be able to access some stats about your table.

Pretty simple right?

Let’s get to the good stuff: running SQL queries.

Running SQL Queries

SQuirreL allows you to run single SQL queries or batches of SQL queries. To do, select the SQL tab, enter the queries you’d like to run, and click the icon that looks like a running person:


SQuirreL will run your queries and send output to the screen, as well as include the time it took to run. There’s also options to store the result of your SQL queries in a table or file:Store results in table or file

Knowing how to do just these two things will allow you to run most of the SQL queries you might want. If you’re going for something more complex, you might find some of SQuirreL’s other features useful. Similarly, you might want to read up more about Phoenix and it’s features to understand how to optimize your queries and schemas.

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