What is Avro file in Spark/Hadoop?

Tell me something about Avro file format.

What do you know about Avro files?


These are the common question that are asked frequently in Spark interviews. Interviewers always want to know what file formats we are using projects and why they are used. So they ask these question whether we have proper knowledge about them or not. In this blog you will get the complete knowledge about Avro files.


What is Avro file format?

Avro is a file format and a serialization system provided by Apache software foundation. Avro format developed by Doug Cutting.


What are it's specifications?

  • It has rich data structures.
  • It's very fast for read/write and compact binary data format.
  • A file format to store or persist the data.
  • It allows Remote procedure calls.
  • Simple integration with Dynamic languages.


What is the need of Avro file format?

Assume that we have working environment where developers are given freedom to choose the programming they like to solve the problem. So if we develop a program in Java that stores the data into a file using Java serialization, then the other who is using Python cannot read the data. In this scenario we can use any file format which is language independent. So to solve this Avro file format was developed, which is a "Language Neutral Data Serialization System". Avro is used for inter language portability. To use an Avro file it must have predefined schema. This is because the objects written to a file in one language must be known to other language, which is used to read the same object. Without any specification of schema this will not be possible.  Schema in Avro files will be stored in the format of JSON.


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