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What is SQLite? Guide to Install and Use It

What is SQLite? Guide to Install and Use It

The basic language used by most relational databases, SQL, is used by SQLite. This language is used to create, modify, and query the data stored in an SQLite database. There are several data types supported by SQLite including text, integers, floating-point numbers, and dates and times.

In this blog, you will learn the datatypes supported by SQLite in-depth and take a look at some of the most commonly used SQL commands.

Table of Contents:

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What is SQLite?

SQLite is an open-source, serverless, and lightweight relational database management system (RDBMS) that is designed to be used in embedded systems and other applications where a full-fledged RDBMS is not needed. It is a software library that provides a self-contained and transactional SQL database engine.

SQLite is written in the C programming language and is widely used due to its simple, fast, and low-overhead design. It is also easy to use and has a small binary size, making it ideal for use in embedded systems.

The database engine is a part of the operating system, and it can be used without the need for any additional software. This makes SQLite a popular choice for developers who need to store data without the need for a full-fledged database server.

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SQLite Data Types

A relational database management system called SQLite uses dynamic typing, which implies that the type of data in a column is determined by the data in that column rather than by the type of the column itself. The values kept in a column can be categorized using one of SQLite’s several storage classes or data types.

Here are some of the data types supported by SQLite:

  • NULL: A NULL value represents the absence of data in a column.
  • INTEGER: The INTEGER type is used to store signed whole numbers, including zero and negative values.
  • REAL: A real number or floating-point number is a value that can store decimal values.
  • TEXT: This data type is used to store textual data, such as characters and strings.
  • BLOB: A BLOB (Binary Large Object) is a collection of binary data stored as a single entity in the database.
  • BOOLEAN: A Boolean value can be either true or false.
  • DATE: This data type is used to store date and time values.
  • NUMERIC: The NUMERIC data type is used to store exact numeric values, such as currency and financial data.

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SQLite Commands

SQLite supports a large number of SQL commands that are used to manage databases and manipulate data. Below are some of the most commonly used SQL commands in SQLite, along with their examples.

CREATE TABLE

The Create command is used to create a new table in a database. It specifies the columns in the table and the data type of the data that will be stored in each column.

For example:

CREATE TABLE Peoples (
 id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
 name TEXT NOT NULL,
  gender TEXT NOT NULL,
 city TEXT NOT NULL
);

INSERT INTO

The Insert into command is used to insert new records into a table.

For example:

INSERT INTO Peoples (name, gender, city)
VALUES ('Anil', 'female', 'Noida');

SELECT

The Select command is used to query and retrieve data from a table.

For example:

SELECT * FROM peoples;

UPDATE

The Update command is used to modify existing records in a table.

For example:

UPDATE peoples
SET gender = 'male'
WHERE id = 1;

DELETE

The Delete command is used to delete records from a table.

For example:

DELETE FROM peoples
WHERE city = 'Noida';

ALTER TABLE

The Alter table command is used to modify the structure of a table.

For example:

ALTER TABLE peoples
ADD COLUMN address TEXT;

DROP TABLE

The Drop table command is used to delete a table from a database.

For example:

DROP TABLE peoples;

CREATE INDEX

The Create index command is used to create an index on one or more columns of a table to improve query performance.

For example:

CREATE INDEX idx_peoples_gender
ON peoples (gender);

DROP INDEX

The Drop index command is used to delete an index.

For example:

DROP INDEX idx_peoples_gender;

COMMIT

Commit command is used to save changes to a database.

For example:

COMMIT;

ROLLBACK

Rollback command is used to undo changes to a database.

For example:

ROLLBACK;

BEGIN TRANSACTION

Begin transaction command is used to start a transaction, which is a set of one or more SQL statements that are executed as a single unit of work.

For example:

BEGIN TRANSACTION;

Features of SQLite

There are several features of SQLite, that made SQLite one of the most widely-used database management systems in the world, with millions of installations on devices and servers around the globe.

SQLite is a powerful and widely-used database management system with various key features, which are discussed below:

Free and open source

Developers and businesses of all sizes can use SQLite because it is free and open source software. Thus, the source code is also easily accessible for inspection, modification, and distribution.

SQLite supports a complete implementation of the SQL standard, including support for transactions, data types, triggers, and more.

Lightweight

SQLite is a lightweight database management system that does not require a separate server process to operate. This makes it ideal for use in embedded systems and mobile devices where memory and processing resources are limited.

Serverless

Unlike many other database management systems, SQLite does not require a separate server process to operate. This makes it easier to use and deploy, as well as reduces the overhead and maintenance costs associated with server-based systems.

High performance

SQLite is designed for high performance, with a small memory footprint and fast query processing. It uses a B-tree data structure to store its data, which provides fast access to records and efficient storage of large amounts of data.

Zero-configuration

SQLite requires no configuration or setup, and is ready to use as soon as it is installed. This makes it ideal for use in rapid prototyping and rapid application development scenarios.

Cross-platform support

SQLite is written in C and has implementations for a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Data durability

SQLite supports atomic transactions, which ensure that data is written to disk safely and securely, even in the event of a system crash or power failure.

How to Install SQLite on Windows?

How to Install SQLite?

Below is the guide for the installation process of SQLite for Windows:

  • Download the precompiled binaries for Windows from the SQLite website.
  • Extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP file to a directory of your choice.
  • Add the SQLite binary directory to your system PATH environment variable, so that you can run the SQLite executable from any location in the command prompt.
  • You can now run SQLite by opening a command prompt by typing “sqlite3”.
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Conclusion

In a wide range of applications, SQLite’s strong and versatile database management system offers a practical solution for handling data. SQLite is a great option for maintaining your data with simplicity and efficiency irrespective of your level of experience in the field. SQLite is a robust, lightweight, and efficient database management system that is widely used for various applications, including web, mobile, and embedded systems. It provides a flexible and easy-to-use interface for managing and organizing data, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced developers.

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About the Author

Data Engineer

As a skilled Data Engineer, Sahil excels in SQL, Business Intelligence, and database management. He has contributed to projects at companies like Bajaj and Tata. With a background in software engineering, he crafted efficient solutions for data pipelines, analytics, and software integration, driving insights and innovation.