From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Developer(s) D. Richard Hipp
Initial release August 2000 (2000-08)
Stable release (February 25, 2015; 29 days ago (2015-02-25)[1]) [±]
Written in C
Operating system Cross-platform
Size 699 KiB
Type RDBMS (embedded)
License Public domain[2]
Website sqlite.org

SQLite (/ˌɛskjuːɛlˈlt/[3] or /ˈskwəl.lt/[4]) is a relational database management system contained in a C programming library. In contrast to other database management systems, SQLite is not a client–server database engine. Rather, it is embedded into the end program.

SQLite is ACID-compliant and implements most of the SQL standard, using a dynamically and weakly typed SQL syntax that does not guarantee the domain integrity.[5]

SQLite is a popular choice as an embedded database for local/client storage in application software such as web browsers. It is arguably the most widely deployed database engine, as it is used today by several widespread browsers, operating systems, and embedded systems, among others.[6] SQLite has bindings to many programming languages.

The source code for SQLite is in the public domain.[2][7]


Unlike client–server database management systems, the SQLite engine has no standalone processes with which the application program communicates. Instead, the SQLite library is linked in and thus becomes an integral part of the application program. (In this, SQLite follows the precedent of Informix SE of c. 1984[8]) The library can also be called dynamically. The application program uses SQLite's functionality through simple function calls, which reduce latency in database access: function calls within a single process are more efficient than inter-process communication. SQLite stores the entire database (definitions, tables, indices, and the data itself) as a single cross-platform file on a host machine. It implements this simple design by locking the entire database file during writing. SQLite read operations can be multitasked, though writes can only be performed sequentially.

SQLite uses PostgreSQL as a reference platform. “What would PostgreSQL do” is used to make sense of the SQL standard.[9][10][11] One major deviation is that, with the exception of primary keys, SQLite does not enforce type checking; the type of a value is dynamic and not strictly constrained by the schema (although the schema will trigger a conversion when storing, if such a conversion is potentially reversible).


D. Richard Hipp designed SQLite in the spring of 2000 while working for General Dynamics on contract with the United States Navy.[12] Hipp was designing software used aboard guided missile destroyers, which were originally based on HP-UX with an IBM Informix database back-end. The design goals of SQLite were to allow the program to be operated without installing a database management system or requiring a database administrator. Hipp based the syntax and semantics on PostgreSQL 6.5 documentation. In August 2000, version 1.0 of SQLite was released, with storage based on gdbm (GNU Database Manager). SQLite 2.0 replaced gdbm with a custom B-tree implementation, adding support for transactions. SQLite 3.0, partially funded by America Online, added internationalization, manifest typing, and other major improvements.

In 2011 Hipp announced his plans to add an UnQL interface to SQLite databases and to develop UnQLite, an embeddable document-oriented database.[13]


SQLite implements most of the SQL-92 standard for SQL but it lacks some features. For example it has partial support for triggers, and it can't write to views (however it supports INSTEAD OF triggers that provide this functionality). While it supports complex queries, it still has limited ALTER TABLE support, as it can't modify or delete columns.[14]

SQLite uses an unusual type system for an SQL-compatible DBMS; instead of assigning a type to a column as in most SQL database systems, types are assigned to individual values; in language terms it is dynamically typed. Moreover, it is weakly typed in some of the same ways that Perl is: one can insert a string into an integer column (although SQLite will try to convert the string to an integer first, if the column's preferred type is integer). This adds flexibility to columns, especially when bound to a dynamically typed scripting language. However, the technique is not portable to other SQL products. A common criticism is that SQLite's type system lacks the data integrity mechanism provided by statically typed columns in other products. The SQLite web site describes a "strict affinity" mode, but this feature has not yet been added.[15] However, it can be implemented with constraints like CHECK(typeof(x)='integer').[12]

Several computer processes or threads may access the same database concurrently. Several read accesses can be satisfied in parallel. A write access can only be satisfied if no other accesses are currently being serviced. Otherwise, the write access fails with an error code (or can automatically be retried until a configurable timeout expires). This concurrent access situation would change when dealing with temporary tables. This restriction is relaxed in version 3.7 when write-ahead logging (WAL) is turned on enabling concurrent reads and writes.[16]

As of version 3.8.2 it is possible to create tables without rowid.[17]

SQLite full Unicode support is optional.[18]

Development and distribution[edit]

SQLite development stores revisions of its source code in Fossil, a distributed version control system that is itself built upon an SQLite database.[19]

A standalone command-line program is provided in SQLite's distribution that can be used to create a database, define tables within it, insert and change rows, run queries and manage an SQLite database file. This program is a single executable file on the host machine. It also serves as an example for writing applications that use the SQLite library.

SQLite has automated regression testing prior to each release.[20] Over 2 million tests are run as part of a release's verification. Starting with the August 10, 2009 release of SQLite 3.6.17, SQLite releases have 100% branch test coverage, one of the components of code coverage. The tests and test harnesses are proprietary.


Programming languages[edit]

SQLite has bindings for a large number of programming languages, including:


  • ADO.NET adapter, initially developed by Robert Simpson, is maintained jointly with the SQLite developers since April 2010.[26]
  • ODBC driver has been developed and is maintained separately by Christian Werner.[27] Werner's ODBC driver is the recommended connection method for accessing SQLite from OpenOffice.org.[28]
  • COM (ActiveX) wrapper making SQLite accessible on Windows to scripted languages such as JScript and VBScript. This adds database capabilities to HTML Applications (HTA).[29]
  • XULRunner uses SQLite

Web browsers[edit]

  • The browsers Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and the Android Browser all allow for storing information in, and retrieving it from, a SQLite database within the browser, using the Web SQL Database technology, although this is rapidly becoming deprecated (namely superseded by IndexedDB).
  • Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird store a variety of configuration data (bookmarks, cookies, contacts etc.) in internally managed SQLite databases, and even offer an add-on to manage SQLite databases.

Web application frameworks[edit]


Operating systems[edit]

SQLite is included by default in:


SQLite was ported to JavaScript, in an implementation named sql.js. It was done by passing the SQLite source code through the Emscripten compiler.([2])

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Recent SQLite News" (Mailing list). 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b "SQLite Copyright". sqlite.org. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ D. Richard Hipp (presenter) (May 31, 2006). An Introduction to SQLite (video). Google Inc. Event occurs at 00:01:14. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [...] ess-kju-ellite [...] 
  4. ^ D. Richard Hipp (presenter) (May 31, 2006). An Introduction to SQLite. Google Inc. Event occurs at 00:48:15. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [...] sequelite [...] 
  5. ^ Owens, Michael (2006). "Chapter 4: SQL". In Gilmore, Jason; Thomas, Keir. The Definitive Guide to SQLite. D. Richard Hipp (foreword), Preston Hagar (technical reviewer). Apress. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-59059-673-9. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Most Widely Deployed SQL Database Estimates". Sqlite.org. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The source code for SQLite is in the public domain". Sqlite.org. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.iiug.org/faqs/informix-faq/ifaq01.htm.1#1.2
  9. ^ https://lwn.net/Articles/601144/
  10. ^ http://use-the-index-luke.com/blog/2014-05/what-i-learned-about-sqlite-at-a-postgresql-conference
  11. ^ https://www.pgcon.org/2014/schedule/events/736.en.html
  12. ^ a b Owens, Michael (2006). The Definitive Guide to SQLite. Apress. doi:10.1007/978-1-4302-0172-4_1. ISBN 978-1-59059-673-9. 
  13. ^ "Interview: Richard Hipp on UnQL, a New Query Language for Document Databases". InfoQ. August 4, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ "SQL Features That SQLite Does Not Implement". SQLite. January 1, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". SQLite. January 26, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Write Ahead Logging in SQLite 3.7". SQLite. Retrieved September 3, 2011. WAL provides more concurrency as readers do not block writers and a writer does not block readers. Reading and writing can proceed concurrently 
  17. ^ ReleaseLog SQLite.org, visited 8th December 2013
  18. ^ "Case-insensitive matching of Unicode characters does not work". SQLite Frequently Asked Questions. Sqlite.org. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Fossil: Fossil Performance". Fossil-scm.org. August 23, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  20. ^ "How SQLite Is Tested". SQLite. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  21. ^ JSPDO JavaScript database access abstraction API
  22. ^ DBD::SQLite: Perl DBI Interface to SQLite
  23. ^ PySQLite: Python bindings for SQLite
  24. ^ SQLite/Ruby: Ruby bindings for SQLite
  25. ^ [1] : SQLite user defined functions Reference
  26. ^ http://system.data.sqlite.org/index.html/doc/trunk/www/index.wiki
  27. ^ http://www.ch-werner.de/sqliteodbc/
  28. ^ http://documentation.openoffice.org/HOW_TO/data_source/SQLite.pdf
  29. ^ "sqlite — Sqlite Wrappers". SQLite. February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Databases". Django Documentation. Django Software Foundation. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Drupal 7". 
  32. ^ "Skype client using SQLite?". Mail-archive.com. August 28, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Well-Known Users of SQLite". Sqlite.org. Retrieved June 14, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Well-known Users of SQLite". Sqlite.org. Retrieved June 14, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Show Download History List of All Files Ever Downloaded Within Mac OS X". 


External links[edit]