Darryl Taft at eWeek wrote a very good article Hadoop Drives Down Costs, Drives Up Usability With SQL Convergence. The gist of the article is that Hadoop has a lot of potential and adding SQL capability allows people to use Hadoop with today's mainstream BI and reporting tools. After all, if your data source supports SQL, even products like Excel can connect directly. While adding SQL to Hadoop is very important, the requirement for ODBC or JDBC should also not be forgotten. SQL is the query language. ODBC and JDBC are the bridges that take the SQL from the BI tool to Hadoop and bring the results back. Not all ODBC and JDBC drivers are created equal. You need good drivers that support all BI tools and have a long track record of success. Most of the major Hadoop vendors deliver ODBC drivers that come from Simba. So, when you use a Hadoop distribution from DataStax, HortonWorks, Intel, or MapR, you know you are getting a good ODBC quality driver that will work well with products like Excel, SAP BusinessObjects or Tableau. Simba's ODBC drivers support all major Hadoop distributions including Apache and Cloudera so if you want a driver that connects to any Hadoop distribution, Simba is definitely the way to go.