We can use following options to connect an application a Hive server:
JDBC Driver: We can use JDBC Driver with embedded as well as remote access to connect to HiveServer. This is for Java based connectivity.
Python Client: For Python language application there is Python client that can connect to Hive server.
Ruby Client: With Ruby client driver also we can connect to Hive server.
Thrift Client: We can use Beeline command line shell to connect to Hive server over Thrift. For production mode, this is one of the very good options. It is a secure option for production use. Also we do not need to grant HDFS access to users for using Thrift client.