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  • SQLite

What is SQLite Hosting?

SQLite is a lightweight relational database system based on the SQL standard. It is used primarily for local and embedded storage, and also early development and prototyping. By some estimates, it is the most widely deployed database system in the world.

What is a relational database system?

A relational database system is a data storage program that stores information in a series of interrelated tables. While there are other non-relational forms of databases (such as so-called "NoSQL" systems like MongoDB), relational database management systems (RDBMS) have become the most commonly used.

What is SQL

SQL is the Structured Query Language, a programming language that is used to communicate with a relational database system. It is not the only language for doing so, but it (by far) the most popular.

It is comprised of a data definition language that specifies the overall structure of data to be stored, and a data manipulation language that can be used to add, edit, or retrieve data.

SQL is implemented by a number of popular database systems, such as MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL. It does not specify a way to build a database, only how to interact with it. Each database system's developers choose how to implement the SQL standard.


SQLite is a lightweight implementation of most of the SQL database standard. A handful of advanced features are not included, but it is otherwise a fully-functioning database system. SQLite is Open Source software, and the code is in the Public Domain.

How is SQLite different than other RDBMS programs?

Most database systems run in a client-server configuration. The database system, and its data, are separate from the program using it for data storage. The client sends SQL queries to the RDBMS server, and the server returns the data (after carrying out any commands to add, edit, or delete something).

There are a number of advantages to this client-server model of database management. For example, multiple applications can read and write to the same database.

However, there are disadvantages as well. Setup can be complicated. Coordinating communication between the application and the database server can be difficult. The overall memory and storage footprint of the database system is fairly high.

SQLite is different in that it is not a separate application. Rather than running a database server that an application has to call as a client, SQLite is a programming library that can be included into an application. Database queries are then run as internal function calls, rather than server requests, and the data storage itself is a single file that sits in normal file storage.

This approach makes SQLite fast and portable, with an obvious trade off in features and power. For these reasons, it is often used for applications like embedded storage and rapid prototyping.

SQLite Features

All SQLite transactions are atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable.

No Set Up
Because SQLite is included as a library within an application's own code, there is no need to set up a database.

Single File Data Storage
The entire database is stored in a single file that is usable on any platform. This makes it very easy to copy the database without complicated cloning and configuration problems.

Support for large data
Supports databases up to a terabyte in size; strings and blobs up to a gigabyte.

Small code base
The includable library is less the 500 KiB.

Well supported
Written in ANSI-C, with bindings for dozens of compiled and scripting languages. Fully supported on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Android, and iOS.

Well documented
With complete test coverage and fully commented source.

Fully self-contained
No dependencies. No external database.

Public Domain
No licensing needed at all.

Command Line Interface (CLI)
Allows for "manual" interaction and administration of databases.

Features not included in SQLite

It's important to realize that SQLite is not a fully compliant implementation of the SQL standard, and that not all features are included.

The following SQL actions are not supported:

  • DROP COLUMN, ALTER COLUMN, ADD CONSTRAINT, and other ALTER TABLE commands (other than RENAME TABLE and ADD COLUMN, which are both supported)
  • Write to VIEW (They are read-only, though this can be hacked with triggers.)
  • GRANT and REVOKE, because permissioning is meaningless (there is no client).

Common Uses of SQLite

  • Application data storage, instead of writing to XML, JSON, CSV, or another data format that has to be parsed.
  • Internal storage on devices and gadgets.
  • Content storage for small websites.
  • Rapid prototyping.

SQLite Hosting

SQLite is not an application to be hosted, but is instead a programming library that is included by or compiled into another application.

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