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BigQuery vs Bigtable

Updated: 2022-01-31

Both are from Google. The names are so close and quite confusing, but they are totally different products.

(Note that Bigtable is NOT styled as BigTable, though the Q in BigQuery is in uppercase.)

Different use cases

  • BigQuery is a data warehouse. SQL. Primarily used for offline analytics. Optimized for large-scale, ad-hoc SQL-based analysis and reporting.
  • Bigtable is a wide-column database. NoSQL. Primarily used for online serving. Optimized for low latency, high throughput.

Both offered on Google Cloud Platform

  • BigQuery is a service on GCP. It was developed from a Google internal query system called Dremel.
  • Bigtable is the name of the database, GCP offers a version of it called Cloud Bigtable.

Competitors

  • BigQuery: AWS Redshift, Snowflake, and other data warehouses.
  • Bigtable: HBase, Cassandra (actually these open-source projects are based on the published Bigtable design).

Popularity

BigQuery is probably the most popular GCP product.

On DB-Engine ranking (https://db-engines.com/en/ranking):

  • BigQuery is ranked 20+ and trending upwards;
  • Bigtable is ranked 80+; do not expect it to rise up though, it is being replaced by Spanner.