HBase - Create Table

Creating a Table using HBase Shell

You can create a table using the create command, here you must specify the table name and the Column Family name. The syntax to create a table in HBase shell is shown below.

create ‘<table name>’,’<column family>’ 


Given below is a sample schema of a table named emp. It has two column families: “personal data” and “professional data”.

Row key personal data professional data

You can create this table in HBase shell as shown below.

hbase(main):002:0> create 'emp', 'personal data', 'professional data'

And it will give you the following output.

0 row(s) in 1.1300 seconds
=> Hbase::Table - emp


You can verify whether the table is created using the list command as shown below. Here you can observe the created emp table.

hbase(main):002:0> list
2 row(s) in 0.0340 seconds

Creating a Table Using java API

You can create a table in HBase using the createTable() method of HBaseAdmin class. This class belongs to the org.apache.hadoop.hbase.client package. Given below are the steps to create a table in HBase using java API.

Step1: Instantiate HBaseAdmin

This class requires the Configuration object as a parameter, therefore initially instantiate the Configuration class and pass this instance to HBaseAdmin.

Configuration conf = HBaseConfiguration.create();
HBaseAdmin admin = new HBaseAdmin(conf);

Step2: Create TableDescriptor

HTableDescriptor is a class that belongs to the org.apache.hadoop.hbase class. This class is like a container of table names and column families.

//creating table descriptor
HTableDescriptor table = new HTableDescriptor(toBytes("Table name"));

//creating column family descriptor
HColumnDescriptor family = new HColumnDescriptor(toBytes("column family"));

//adding coloumn family to HTable

Step 3: Execute through Admin

Using the createTable() method of HBaseAdmin class, you can execute the created table in Admin mode.


Given below is the complete program to create a table via admin.

import java.io.IOException;

import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HBaseConfiguration;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HColumnDescriptor;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.HTableDescriptor;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.client.HBaseAdmin;
import org.apache.hadoop.hbase.TableName;

import org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configuration;

public class CreateTable {
   public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

      // Instantiating configuration class
      Configuration con = HBaseConfiguration.create();

      // Instantiating HbaseAdmin class
      HBaseAdmin admin = new HBaseAdmin(con);

      // Instantiating table descriptor class
      HTableDescriptor tableDescriptor = new

      // Adding column families to table descriptor
      tableDescriptor.addFamily(new HColumnDescriptor("personal"));
      tableDescriptor.addFamily(new HColumnDescriptor("professional"));

      // Execute the table through admin
      System.out.println(" Table created ");

Compile and execute the above program as shown below.

$javac CreateTable.java
$java CreateTable

The following should be the output:

Table created
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