Distributed queries access data from multiple data sources stored on either the same or different members.

Hazelcast partitions your data and spreads it across cluster of members. You can iterate over the map entries and look for certain entries (specified by predicates) you are interested in. However, this is not very efficient because you will have to bring the entire entry set and iterate locally. Instead, Hazelcast allows you to run distributed queries on your distributed map.

Distributed queries work as follows:

  1. The requested predicate is sent to each member in the cluster.
  2. Each member looks at its own local entries and filters them according to the predicate. At this stage, key/value pairs of the entries are deserialized and then passed to the predicate.
  3. The predicate requester merges all the results coming from each member into a single set.

Distributed query is highly scalable. If you add new members to the cluster, the partition count for each member is reduced and thus the time spent by each member on iterating its entries is reduced. In addition, the pool of partition threads evaluates the entries concurrently in each member, and the network traffic is also reduced since only filtered data is sent to the requester.

Hazelcast offers the following APIs for distributed query purposes:

  • Criteria API
  • Distributed SQL Query