Thread safe access to HBase Tables using HTablePool and Spring HBase

Accessing HBase table by HTable is not threadsafe.

In order to access HTable instance in multithreaded mode HTablePool or HBaseTemplate should be used. The latter one is DAO pattern support by Spring. HTablePool is suggested by apache hbase client library.

Lets first discuss the HTablePool way.

HTablePool is not just a simple pool of HTable objects but handle thread-local objects as well. It allows the HTablePool to be initialized in resuable and threadLocal mode both. By supporting ThreadLocal mode it takes away pain of ThreadLocal objects usage in app code.

In order to initialize the HTablePool with threadLocal pool use this constructor :
HTablePool Constructor. When PoolType is set to ThreadLocal it actually binds the resource to the thread from which it is invoked.

This way has been suggested as a defacto to access HTable but here we have to write boiler plate code to access the pool i.e., get the HTable and close the resources and handling checked exception. In short we miss the support of spring DAO.

The same thing can be achieved using Spring Data Hadoop – HBase module.Spring data module provides HBaseTemplate class which is threadsafe in nature. It encapsulates all the boiler plate and provides famous spring exception conversion. The example usage can be found at This link has one issue related in application-context.xml. We need to set the zookeeper properties in HBaseConfiguration object which is missing in the example.

Only issue with this approach is that it keeps on creating and destroying HTable objects with every method call. This actually is negating usage of pools. In order to avoid recreating HTable objects one should use the Spring HbaseSynchronizationManager. It binds the HTable to the calling thread thus introducing the concept of Threadlocal objects. Each subsequent call made through HbaseTemplate is aware of the table bound and will use it instead of retrieving a new instance.  It can be set manually or through interceptors(AOP) using HbaseInterceptor. The manual setting example can be found at TestTemplate. Using interceptor may affect performance.

Spring way provides the same benefits as we get using spring DAO for RDBMS.


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