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Difference Between SQLite and MySQL

A relational database model that organizes data in the form of rows and columns still dominates the IT market. Today, there are various relational database models available, but relational database management systems are the most robust choice for storing, retrieving or managing the data.

In this blog, we will compare the most widely implemented relational database management systems – SQLite and MYSQL. The blog will discuss the basics, supported data types, advantages, and disadvantages of using particular RDBMS, and where they can be best optimized. Let us start our discussion with database and RDBMS basics before moving to the comparison directly.

A Quick Introduction to Database

The database is a cluster of information stored together logically. A DBMS is a computer program that interacts with the database. With the help of a Database Management System, you can access the data, write or run queries on data, or performing more similar operations related to the data.

A few people are confused between the two terms, database and DBMS; these terms are used interchangeably sometimes. Keep in mind that these are two different terms that are used in different contexts. A database is a collection of data that may or may not be stored on the system while DBMS is a software that allows you to interact with databases.

Each DBMS is designed to store or access the data securely.

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On the other hand, A RDBMS employs a relational data model where data is organized into tables, and in the context of RDBMS, these tables are termed as relations.

A relation is a set of tuples, or we can say rows in a table where each tuple has a certain set of attributes or columns.

When you are sure of three basic terms – Data, Database, and RDBMS, that are necessary to learn to understand the comparison between two relational database systems, it is the right time to start our discussion with first open-source RDBMS, i.e. SQLite.

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SQLite vs. MySQL: Comparison at a Glance

SQLite MySQL
SQLite supports limited data types like null, integer, real, text, blob, etc. MySQL supports a wider range of data types that divided into three major categories: Numeric data types, data and time type data types, and string types.
SQLite is a serverless database system and does not give any access to networks. MySQL is a server-based RDBMS that supports access to networks.
With SQLite, only one write operation can be performed at a single point in time that limits its output significantly. With MySQL, multiple write operations can be performed concurrently at once that improves the final output significantly.
SQLite can support a database up to 140 TB in size, for higher storage requirements you should choose any another database. MySQL can manage large voluminous files up to any size. So, it is suitable for managing even heavy apps too.
SQLite is portable, but it is not suitable for horizontal scaling in the future. MySQL is portable and suitable for future expansions too.
SQLite is less secure with poor management of users. MySQL is more secure with excellent management of users.

SQLite vs. MySQL – A Basic Overview

What is SQLite?

SQLite is a file-based, self-contained, and a full open-source RDBMS popular for its reliability, portability, and excellent storage performance. All transactions are ACID-compliant even if the system undergoes a power outage or crashes in between. It is also named as the serverless database where it reads and writes to databases directly.

In this way, configuring SQLite database is easy as you don’t have to deal with any server process. There is no need for configuration programs that will use the SQLite database. All you have to access the disk only.

Read: What Is The Difference Between Having And Where Clause In SQL?

SQLite is free, and there is no special license needed to use it. It helps you with compression and encryption as well with various commercial support packages at a fixed annual fee.

What is MySQL?

According to experts, MySQL is the top RDBMS system available so far. It is a feature-rich product that empowers various websites, apps, software program worldwide. Some of the popular names are Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, etc. It is easy to work with MySQL database that has a large community of developers and plenty of related documents online.

It is popular for its speed and reliability features. It works closely in adherence to standard SQL database, but it lacks in SQL implementations. It is available in different SQL modes and extensions that make it closer to compliance.

Applications using MySQL database are accessing it through a different daemon process that is not available with SQLite. So, it is a server-based process and offers great control over those who can access the database.

MySQL contains a plethora of tools, third-party tools, and integrated libraries that extend its functionality and make it easy to work with.

Read: Learn SQL Union All Query Operators with Examples

SQLite vs MySQL – What are the advantages?

Advantages of SQLite

  1. Lightweight: SQLite libraries are very light in weight and take around 600 KB of space on a system. It is a self-contained database system, means there are no external dependencies to install on your system for SQLite to work.
  2. User-Friendly: SQLite does not have any configuration demands and ready to use out of the box when needed. It is a server-less process that doesn’t have to be stopped or restarted again and again. It does not come with any configuration files that you have to manage later. Also, the integration path is easy from SQLite to any application.
  3. Portable: Other database management systems typically store data into multiple batches of separate files. The file can be located anywhere within a directory hierarchy and shared through file transfer protocol.

Advantages of MySQL

  1. Easy to Use: MySQl is a popular database that can be installed quickly and frequently integrated with third-party tools.
  2. Secure: MySQL comes handy with a script that helps in improving the overall security of database systems by setting up different security levels, defining a password for the root user, deleting anonymous users, and removing a database accessible to all users by default.
  3. Speed: With the MySQL database system, developers were able to achieve the desired speed as compared to other database systems available in the market. When it comes to fast operations, MySQL is considered a dominant applicant and speedy database solution.
  4. Replication: MySQL database system allows various types of replication that further results in more reliability, fault-tolerance, and availability. In this way, a database backup solution can be created quickly by scaling databases horizontally.
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SQLite vs MySQL – What are the disadvantages?

Disadvantages of SQLite

  1. Limited Concurrency: Multiple processes can access or query the SQLite database at the same time, but only one process is allowed to make changes at once. It offers concurrency but to a lesser extent when compared to other RDBMS like MySQL or PostgreSQL.
  2. Poor Management of User: Most database systems are launched with excellent support for users, managed connections, and predefined access to database tables. SQLite read and writes to the SQL disk directly and considered a poor choice for apps that require multiple users with special permissions.
  3. Less Secure: A server-based database system usually offers better protection from bugs when compared to serverless databases like SQLite. A server-based database can control data access with more precision than a serverless database and allows better concurrency too.

Disadvantages of MySQL

  1. Functional Limitations: MySQL database was majorly designed to achieve the speed instead of getting full SQL compliance features; this is the reason it comes with certain functional limitations. It lacks support for Full Join clauses too.
  2. Licensing Features: MySQL is dual licensed software system where one edition can have more features when compared to another edition.
  3. Slow Development: MySQL is a project acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008, and later Oracle overtook it in 2009. There were various complaints from users that it slowed down the development process badly and there was a need to look into the matter quickly to resolve this issue.

SQLite vs MySQL – When or When not to use?

MySQL: When to Use?

  • For distributed apps, there is nothing better than the MySQL database.
  • MySQL empowers plenty of websites and web apps across the web. It is easy to install, and setup a MySQL database and it promises excellent speed and scalability in the long run.
  • MySQL supports the replication features that further facilitates the horizontal scaling too. It can be quickly upgraded to the commercial MySQL product that supports automatic sharding and another horizontal scaling process.

MySQL: When not to Use?

  • SQL compliance is also necessary with MySQL database to implement it to the full SQL standard. MySQL is not SQL compliant and lacks certain features and functionalities.
  • MySQL can perform heavy read operations, but concurrent read-write operations can be a problem sometimes. If there is an application where multiple users are writing data at once, you should prefer another database in that case like PostgreSQL.

SQLite: When to Use?

  • If you want to achieve portability without any future expansion, then SQLite can be just the perfect choice in that case. One of the best examples is embedded apps here.
  • If there is an app that needs to read and write files to disk directly, then SQLite can be a beneficial choice in this case. For additional features, it is better using their-party apps, tools, or libraries.
  • For many apps, it is suitable using a server-less process that does not demand additional configurations. SQLite is based on the server-less process that can be used to run tests quickly without any overhead of actual database operations and makes it an ideal choice for testing.

SQLite: When Not to Use?

  • SQLite can support a database up to 140 TB in size or customizations are possible in paid editions that can be purchased based on requirements. Generally, SQLite is not considered a suitable option for apps that demands large storage or heavy disk space as they are difficult to manage by the SQLite database.
  • With SQLite, only one write operation can be performed at a single point in time that limits its output significantly. If there is an app that requires various write operations concurrently, then SQLite cannot fulfill your needs adequately in this case.
  • AS we have discussed already, SQLite is a serverless database system and does not give any access to networks. If there is some app that requires strong network connections, SQLite can be inefficient and expensive in that case. Instead, PostgreSQL or MySQL are considered better choices for strong network connections.

SQLite vs. MySQL – Supported Data Types

SQLite supports various data types organized in different storage classes like null, integer, real, text, blob, etc. in the case of SQLite, storage class and data type terms are used interchangeably.

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MySQL database supports data types into three popular categories: Numeric, date & time, String types. if you don't want to restrict your app for a particular set of data types then MySQL can be considered a better option here.

Final Words:

The blog gives you a clear picture of two popular databases, SQLite and MySQL. You know their benefits, drawbacks and in which situations they can be best utilized. Mostly, MySQL is preferred over SQLite RDBMS for more secure and concurrent read-write operations with maximum storage capacity.

To know more about these two databases system or similar ones, join the SQL Server certification program with us and expand your knowledge base with world-class mentors. We can guide you through a successful career journey that will take you to another level in your professional life. All the best!

Read: What is Foreign Key in SQL? How to Set, Add, Create & Use of Foreign Key

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