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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

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

ACID 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:

  • RIGHT OUTER JOIN and FULL OUTER JOIN
  • DROP COLUMN, ALTER COLUMN, ADD CONSTRAINT, and most other ALTER TABLE commands
  • FOR EACH STATEMENT triggers
  • 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 things like XML, JSON, and CSV
  • 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.

SQLite Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is SQLite?

    SQLite is a programming library used to create, query, and update a self-contained, serverless, lightweight database that requires no configuration. SQLite databases are relational and are a nearly-complete implementation of the SQL database query language.

  • What is a relational database management system (RDBMS)?

    SQLite databases are relational and SQLite can be described as a relational database management system (RDBMS). Relational databases store information in tables, where each table row contains related data. An RDBMS is a database management system designed to create, query, and edit a relational database.

  • How is SQLite different from MySQL and other RDBMSs that use SQL?

    The biggest difference between SQLite and other RDBMSs such as MySQL, MSSQL, and PostgreSQL is that SQLite does not store the database on a database server.

    Instead, SQLite creates a database file that is stored locally, right alongside the rest of the application files. This makes SQLite somewhat easier for a developer to interact with since database access is managed with file permissions and the database is stored locally (on the same server or computer as the application files).

    Other SQL databases use a client-server model where the database is contained on a database server and accessed by one or more applications that are not on the same server. Think of SQLite as a lightweight SQL implementation for local storage rather than a traditional RDBMS.

  • Why should I use SQLite?
    1. SQLite is really easy to use. You don't have to install it. You just download SQLite, run it, and use it.
    2. It actually performs quite well, even under pretty heavy use.
    3. The source code is in the public domain – meaning your concerns about running afoul of the law are extremely minimal.
  • Are there downsides to using SQLite?

    Since an SQLite database is a file, it can only be changed by one user at a time. While the system is very fast, if you must have concurrent users editing the database without having requests waiting in line, you'll need a different system.

    Also, SQLite does have an size limit, and as such may not suitable for big data applications.

    Finally, the developer recommends using it for websites that see fewer than 100k pageviews per day – although the SQLite website itself uses SQLite, runs just fine, and sees 500k+ hits per day.

  • Is SQLite a "lite" implementation of SQL?

    The "lite" in SQLite means that it is a lightweight RDBMS (small in size and requiring minimal server resources), it does not mean that it is a limited or "lite" implementation of SQL. While SQLite is not a complete implementation of SQL and does lack a couple of advanced SQL features, the same is true of many other leading SQL implementations including MySQL.

  • Can I use SQLite with WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla?

    Drupal can use SQLite right out of the box. There's a free plugin available that makes it possible to use SQLite databases with WordPress. While some community interest has been expressed in adding support for SQLite to Joomla, at this time it does not work with SQLite.

  • What apps use SQLite?

    SQLite is used for sever-side storage by many web applications. It is used for client-side local storage as well. For example, most major browsers enable SQLite as a format for web application local storage, web application frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django work with SQLite, desktop applications including Skype and Adobe products use SQLite, and most major computer operating systems include SQLite.

  • What web programming languages provide bindings for SQLite?

    Most major programming languages providing bindings for SQLite. For example, SQLite can be used with all of the following programming languages: PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, JavaScript, Swift, C, C#, Haskell, Smalltalk, Perl, and many more.

  • How do I get SQLite?

    If you're trying to get SQLite for your local development environment or to run on a private server (VPS or dedicated server), you can download SQLite from the official project website. If you want to use SQLite on a shared server, your host will need to add support for it. Get in touch with your host to discuss the possibility or pick a host that already supports it.

  • Do all hosts offer SQLite databases?

    Most hosts do allow for the creation and use of SQLite databases. However, not all hosts offer SQLite, and those that do may not offer support for the specific programming language or framework you plan to use.

    The best thing to do is to check with your host (or the hosts you're considering) if you want to use SQLite and aren't certain that it's available.

  • How will I know if a host offers SQL databases?

    Most hosts don't advertise the fact that they support SQLite databases because they just aren't as popular as other database systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, MariaDB, and so forth.

    If you want to find out if a specific host supports SQLite, first make sure they support the programming language or framework you plan to use. Next, have a look at their support forum and knowledgebase to see if they've indicated that they support SQLite. Finally, you will want to check directly with the hosts customer support techs to verify that they do offer SQLite support before signing on the dotted line.

  • Is SQLite free?

    Yes. SQLite is completely free. The source code is in the public domain. This means that you can use SQLite for any purpose, even commercial, without a license.

  • Do I need an SQLite license?

    In general, no, you don't need a license. The code is the public domain and free to use for any purpose. You may have noticed that the SQLite website does offer rather pricey licenses, however. These are offered to corporations who feel that they need something called "warranty of title." If you aren't concerned about such things, then you can use SQLite for free for any purpose.

    Note: this is not legal advise. If you have any questions about this issue, you should consult with a lawyer.

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