One way to communicate with Cloud Bigtable is through the Cloud Bigtable HBase client for Java, which is a customized version of the standard Apache HBase client. The Cloud Bigtable HBase client for Java allows you to write Java applications that communicate with Cloud Bigtable through the open-source HBase API. The client is compatible with versions 1.0.x, 1.1.x, and 1.2.x of the HBase API.
Source code for the client is available in the GitHub repository GoogleCloudPlatform/cloud-bigtable-client. Sample code that uses the client is available in the GitHub repository GoogleCloudPlatform/cloud-bigtable-examples.
When you use the Cloud Bigtable HBase client for Java, you don't need to run the HBase server. You are simply using a modified version of the HBase client interface. Google runs and maintains the servers for the Cloud Bigtable service.
Because HBase and Cloud Bigtable are not identical, there are minor differences between the standard HBase API and the HBase API for Cloud Bigtable. See "Differences between the HBase and Cloud Bigtable APIs" for details.
The Cloud Bigtable HBase client for Java works with Hadoop 2.4 and later. It requires a Java 8 runtime environment. The Cloud Bigtable HBase client for Java is compatible with Google App Engine's flexible environment, but not its standard environment.