The table below attempts to compare Hamake and similar workflow engines for Hadoop (Oozie, Azkaban, Cascading) based on some key features. Although all of these systems could be used to solve similar problems, they differ significantly in design, philosophy, target user profile, usage scenarios, etc. So our feature-wise comparison is in no way conclusive. Please use it as a guideline, but read respective systems documentation to understand better which one is more suitable for your problem.
In short: Cascading is an API, while 'hamake' is an utility. Some differences:
Oozie and Azkaban are server-side systems that have to be installed and run as a service. Hamake is a lightweight client-side utility that does not require installation and has very simple syntax for workflow definition. Most importantly, Hamake is built based on dataflow programming principles - your Hadoop tasks execution sequence is controlled by the data.