Managing and Accessing Local Databases


SQLite[16]is a very popular embedded database, as it combines a clean SQL interface with a very small memory footprint and decent speed. Moreover, it is public domain, so everyone can use it. Lots of firms (Adobe, Apple, Google, Sun, Symbian) and open‑source projects (Mozilla, PHP, Python) all ship products with SQLite.

For Android, SQLite is “baked into” the Android runtime, so every Android application can create SQLite databases. Since SQLite uses a SQL interface, it is fairly straightforward to use for people with experience in other SQL‑based databases. However, its native API is not JDBC, and JDBC might be too much overhead for a memory‑limited device like a phone, anyway. Hence, Android programmers have a different API to learn – the good news is that it is not very difficult.

This chapter will cover the basics of SQLite use in the context of working on Android. It by no means is a thorough coverage of SQLite as a whole. If you want to learn more about SQLite and how to use it in environments other than Android, a fine book is The Definitive Guide to SQLite [17]by Mike Owens (Apress, 2006).

Activities will typically access a database via a content provider or service. Therefore, this chapter does not have a full example. You will find a full example of a content provider that accesses a database in Chapter 28.


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