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Apache Hive-Why external tables are read only?

Question asked by Lokesh on Aug 18, 2017
Latest reply on Sep 27, 2017 by Selva



I am going through PDF DA440_SlideGuide.pdf, Hive Essentials. While discussing about External Tables in hive it lists 2 advantages.

-  load data and create table is done with single DDL.

-  External tables are read only, this helps when you do not want users to accidentally edit/delete data. 


First advantage i understand, as External tables cannot be created without having mentioning LOCATION in DDL statement. But cannot really understand what it means read-only. I know HIVE does not provide any UPDATE/DELETE statements using which user would update/delete rows. How can user edit any data from any hive tables while update/delete statements are not provided?


I am of the impression all tables in hive, be it external or normal, are essentially read-only since there is no update/delete statements in hive. Am i correct?