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Basic data

developer The SQLite team
Publishing year August 2000
Current  version 3.33.0
( August 14, 2020 )
operating system Windows , macOS , GNU / Linux and other unix systems
programming language C.
category SQL - program library
License public domain equivalent license
German speaking No
SQLite Database File Format
File extension : .sqlite3, .sqlite, .db3, .db
MIME type : application / vnd.sqlite3
(obsolete: application/x-sqlite3)
Magic number : 53514c69746520666f726d6174203300 hex
SQLite format 3 \ x00
Initial release: June 18, 2004
Website : sqlite.org/fileformat2.html

SQLite is a public domain program library that contains a relational database system . SQLite is used in mobile phones (Android, iOS, Symbian OS, Windows Phone), in browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome), Skype and many other applications. It is the most common and most widely used database system in the world. SQLite supports most of the SQL language commands defined in the SQL-92 standard . Among other things, SQLite implements transactions , subqueries (subselects), views , triggers and user-defined functions.


The SQLite library can be integrated directly into corresponding applications so that no additional server software is required. This is the decisive difference to other database systems. By integrating the library, the application is expanded to include database functions without having to rely on external software packages.

The system is primarily designed for use in embedded database systems , so functions such as the ability to manage object authorizations (GRANT, REVOKE) are missing. There are suitable database interfaces for many programming languages . There is also a simple front end that can be used in the console and in shell scripts. With sqlitebrowser , a graphical front end is available for BSD, macOS, Linux and Windows.

SQLite has some special features compared to other databases: The library is only a few hundred kilobytes in size. A SQLite database consists of a single file that contains all tables, indexes, views, triggers, and so on. This simplifies the exchange between different systems, even between systems with different byte orders . Each column can contain data of any type; conversion is only carried out at runtime if necessary.

The entire database is in a single file, but can also be created non-persistently in main memory. There is no client-server architecture .

Some functions available in other database systems are missing: Write operations of different processes in the same database file can only be carried out one after the other. The command is available from version 3.2 ALTER TABLE, but with limited functionality. At the moment, you can only rename tables and add columns to the tables. There is no administration of user and access authorizations at the database level; instead, the access authorizations of the file system apply to the database files .


SQLite was developed in C by the American Richard Hipp (* 1961) and published as edition 1.0 on August 17, 2000 . In addition, a library is offered for use under Tcl . For other programming languages ​​such as C ++ and Java there are wrappers from external developers, Python (version 2.5 and higher) even includes SQLite as standard. Also available ODBC - dbExpress and JDBC drivers are available. SQLite does not enforce type safety : Incorrect entries are usually accepted and converted into character strings.

Use and distribution

SQLite is used, among other things, in operating systems for mobile phones such as Symbian OS or Android . In addition, the Mozilla Firefox browser from version 3 uses SQLite - for example for bookmarks and cookies - after using SQLite for internal program databases in version 2. There are also some Firefox extensions for this browser with which you can view, edit and query the SQLite databases of the application, but also any other SQLite database.

Even Apple's browser Apple Safari internally uses SQLite, both the desktop and the iPhone variant as well as the email client Apple Mail . Videos and pieces of music on the iPhone are stored in a SQLite database. Within macOS , SQLite is also used to manage cache data, such as B. the software update used. SQLite is also used as a database application in Adobe AIR and Lightroom . From version 1.5 of Adobe AIR, SQLite data can also be stored and read encrypted using the EncryptedLocalStore class. The VoIP / Messenger software Skype from version 4 saves contacts and all user data (chat logs etc.) in a SQLite database. Google also uses Chrome SQLite for its browser, among other things to back up user data locally. Due to the integration in Mozilla Firefox, in the popular mobile phones (Android, iOS, Symbian OS, Windows Phone) as well as with every PHP installation (which already have a high number of users), SQLite is the most widespread and most widely used database system in the world.


While the software is in the public domain , an application was made to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for registration of the SQLite trademark on February 12, 2007 . This request was granted on June 24, 2008.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The SQLite Development Team. In: sqlite.org. Retrieved February 17, 2016 .
  2. a b SQLite Release 3.33.0 On 2020-08-14 . (accessed on August 18, 2020).
  3. ^ The sqlite Open Source Project on Open Hub: Languages ​​Page . In: Open Hub . (accessed on July 18, 2018).
  4. www.sqlite.org .
  5. SQLite database file format media type at IANA. Retrieved March 8, 2019 .
  6. ^ DB Browser for SQLite. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  7. In-Memory Databases , sqlite.org, accessed October 21, 2016.
  8. Frequently Asked Questions. Hipp, Wyrick & Company, accessed August 22, 2009 .
  9. Release History (English) - at SQLite.org ; ibid and a. also with "2000-08-17 (1.0)"
  10. 11.13. sqlite3 - DB-API 2.0 interface for SQLite databases - Python v2.7.3 documentation
  11. SQLite ODBC Driver by Christian Werner
  12. SQLite Java Wrapper / JDBC Driver by Christian Werner
  13. Data Storage - Android Developers. Google, accessed April 28, 2009 .
  14. Search results for "sqlite edit". In: Addons for Firefox. Retrieved April 28, 2020 .
  15. Working with local SQL databases. (No longer available online.) Adobe, archived from the original on March 19, 2009 ; accessed on August 6, 2009 .
  16. Storing encrypted data. (No longer available online.) Adobe, archived from the original on August 20, 2010 ; accessed on August 6, 2009 .
  17. Section SQLite of the PHP manual
  18. Section SQLite3 of the PHP manual
  19. United States Patent and Trademark Office: Register excerpt for the trademark SQLite. In: Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval ( tarr.uspto.gov ). Retrieved January 22, 2010 (English).