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In short, applications store data into HBase tables. Tables are made of rows and columns. All colums in HBase belong to a particular Column Family. Table cells -- the intersection of row and column coordinates -- are versioned. A cell’s content is an uninterpreted array of bytes.
Table row keys are also byte arrays so almost anything can serve as a row key from strings to binary representations of longs or even serialized data structures. Rows in HBase tables are sorted by row key. The sort is byte-ordered. All table accesses are via the table row key -- its primary key.