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SQLite vs WatermelonDB: What are the differences?

Introduction:

SQLite and WatermelonDB are both database management systems that can be used in web development. However, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Data Synchronization: SQLite is a traditional client-side database that runs directly on the device or the server. On the other hand, WatermelonDB is a client-to-server database that enables real-time and bi-directional data synchronization between clients and servers. This means that multiple clients can access and modify the database simultaneously, ensuring data integrity and consistency across all devices.

  2. Data Querying: SQLite uses SQL (Structured Query Language) for data querying and manipulation. Developers can write complex SQL queries to retrieve and manipulate data from the database. WatermelonDB, on the other hand, uses a more efficient and streamlined query language called QueryDSL. It allows for powerful and flexible querying of data using a simple and intuitive syntax.

  3. Offline Support: SQLite does not have built-in offline support. It requires an internet connection to access the database. WatermelonDB, on the other hand, is designed to work seamlessly offline. It has built-in support for caching data on the client-side, allowing users to access and modify data even when a network connection is not available. Once the connection is restored, the changes are automatically synced with the server.

  4. Performance: SQLite is known for its high performance and efficiency. It is a lightweight and standalone database system that can handle large amounts of data with minimal resource usage. WatermelonDB takes advantage of SQLite as a storage engine but adds its own optimizations for better performance in a client-to-server environment. It utilizes advanced techniques, such as automatic data batching and smart indexing, to enhance query performance.

  5. Schema Management: In SQLite, the database schema needs to be managed manually. Developers have to write and execute SQL statements to create, modify, and delete tables and columns. WatermelonDB, on the other hand, provides a more convenient and declarative way of managing the schema. It provides an intuitive schema definition language that allows developers to define the database schema in a more concise and structured manner.

  6. Integration with Frameworks: SQLite can be easily integrated with various programming languages and frameworks. It provides native support and APIs for popular programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python, and more. WatermelonDB, on the other hand, is specifically designed for JavaScript and React Native development. It integrates seamlessly with modern JavaScript frameworks like React and React Native, providing a more intuitive and seamless development experience.

In summary, SQLite is a traditional client-side database that relies on SQL for querying and lacks built-in offline support, while WatermelonDB is a client-to-server database with real-time data synchronization, optimized performance, and offline support. WatermelonDB also offers a more streamlined query language, schema management, and seamless integration with JavaScript frameworks.

Advice on SQLite and WatermelonDB
Dimelo Waterson
Needs advice
on
MySQLMySQLPostgreSQLPostgreSQL
and
SQLiteSQLite

I need to add a DBMS to my stack, but I don't know which. I'm tempted to learn SQLite since it would be useful to me with its focus on local access without concurrency. However, doing so feels like I would be defeating the purpose of trying to expand my skill set since it seems like most enterprise applications have the opposite requirements.

To be able to apply what I learn to more projects, what should I try to learn? MySQL? PostgreSQL? Something else? Is there a comfortable middle ground between high applicability and ease of use?

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Replies (3)
Recommends
on
SQLiteSQLite

You can easily start with SQlite. Really easy to startup since it doesn't require you to install any additional software since is self-contained. It has interfaces in almost any language and also GUIs. Start learning SQL basics and simpler data models and structures. There are many tutorials, also available in the official website. From there you will easily migrate to another database. MySQL could be next, sonce it's easier to learn at first and has more resources available. PostgreSQL is less widespread, more challenging and has the fewer resorces, but once you have some experience with MySQL is really easy to learn as well. All these technologies are really widespread and used accross the industry so you won't make a wrong decision with any of these.

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Stephen Badger | Vital Beats
Senior DevOps Engineer at Vital Beats | 6 upvotes 路 274.7K views

A question you might want to think about is "What kind of experience do I want to gain, by using a DBMS?". If your aim is to have experience with SQL and any related libraries and frameworks for your language of choice (python, I think?), then it kind of doesn't matter too much which you pick so much. As others have said, SQLite would offer you the ability to very easily get started, and would give you a reasonably standard (if a little basic) SQL dialect to work with.

If your aim is actually to have a bit of "operational" experience, in terms of things like what command line tools might be available as standard for the DBMS, understanding how the DBMS handles multiple databases, when to use multiple schemas vs multiple databases, some basic privilege management etc. Then I would recommend PostgreSQL. SQLite's simplicity actually avoids most of these experiences, which is not helpful to you if that is what you hope to learn. MySQL has a few "quirks" to how it manages things like multiple databases, which may lead you to making less good decisions if you tried to take your experience over to different DBMS, especially in bigger enterprise roles. PostgreSQL is kind of a happy middle ground here, with the ability to start PostgreSQL servers via docker or docker-compose making the actual day-to-day management pretty easy, while still giving you experience of the kinds of considerations I have listed above.

At Vital Beats we make use of PostgreSQL, largely because it offers us a happy balance between good management and backup of data, and good standard command line tools, which is essential for us where we are deploying our solutions within Kubernetes / docker, and so more graphical tools are not always appropriate for us. PostgreSQL is also pretty universally supported in terms of language libraries and frameworks, without having to make compromises on how we want to store and layout our data.

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Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter | 1 upvotes 路 266.2K views
Recommends
on
MySQLMySQL

MySQL's very popular, easy to install, is also available as a managed service across most popular cloud offerings. The support/default tooling (such as MySQL Query Workbench) certainly is a little more baked than what you'll find for Postgres.

https://dev.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/

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Needs advice
on
FirebaseFirebaseMySQLMySQL
and
SQLiteSQLite

Hi everyone! I am a high school student, starting a massive project. I'm building a system for a boarding school to be better connected to their students and be more efficient with information. In the meantime, I am developing a website and an android app. What's the best datastore I can use? I need to be able to access student data on the app from the main database and send push notifications. Also feed updates. What's the best approach? What's the best tool I can use to deploy the website and the database? One for testing and prototyping, and an official one... Thanks in advance!!!!

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Replies (3)
Ahmed AlAskalany
Android Developer at Kitab Sawti | 5 upvotes 路 314.5K views
Recommends
on
FirebaseFirebase

Firebase has Android, iOS, and Web SDKs; and a console where you can develop, manage, and monitor all the data and analytics from one place. Firebase real-time database is good for online presence and instant feed updates, while Firebase Firestone is good for user profile and other relational data records. Firebase has a UI SDK which makes it easy to interface with the resources in the project, and with tons of tutorials and starter projects it should be easy to quickly have a decent prototype to iterate upon. Since you said Massive, use their pricing calculator to figure if your expected scale will be covered by the free quota or if you go for the pay-as-you-go that the price is reasonable for your project.

Good luck with the project!

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Paul Whittemore
Developer and Owner at Appurist Software | 4 upvotes 路 314.6K views
Recommends
on
FirebaseFirebase

It sounds like a server-client relationship (central database) and while SQLite is probably the simplest, note that its performance is probably the worst of the top 20 or so choices you have. It is different from Firebase and MySQL (and most other databases) in that it is embedded in the product, although it could be embedded in your server itself.

MySQL would require a separate MySQL db server, which means either two servers (one for MySQL, and one to provide your specific services to your client app) or both running on a single server machine. There are many alternatives in the same category as MySQL, and a choice of relational databases or document (NoSQL) databases. But architecturally, they are in the same category as MySQL, a separate db server that your application server would get its data from.

Firebase is different yet again, in that it is a service that is already hosted by a company, providing many integrated features such as authentication and storage of user account info. However it does take care of many of the concerns with running a server, such as performance, scalability and management. There are some negatives that you should be aware of though: any investment of time and coding with Firebase is pretty much non-portable, in that you are stuck with Firebase going forward. If you needed to switch to a different service, not only would it be a different API, but it would be a different architecture and much of your coding would need to be discarded. Second, it's owned and run by Google now, so you have a large corporation backing it, but that also means they could decide to discontinue it without any real effect on the Google bottom line. Also some folks would have concerns with storing data on Google servers. That said, I think if you are aware of these in advance, and especially if you are a high school student, that Firebase is a fairly easy winner here. The server is already set up for you, the documentation is very complete and rich, with lots of examples, and Google is not going away. The main concern would be if it really is massive, there could be a rising cost to the service. I suspect though that it is not massive, even if everyone in a school used it. The number of concurrent connections would not be huge (probably not even into the hundreds, even if there are thousands of users).

I'd go with Firebase even though you will need to learn their API, because you'll need to learn something one way or another. SQLite is a bit of a toy database, and MySQL is a real one but you (or someone) would need to manage that server on top of needing to develop the server and client app. With Firebase, much of the server already exists, including a professionally hosted database. There are tons of high-level features provided and initial cost is somewhere between very low and zero.

Part of this is dependent on what language you want to write this in. Javascript for a cross-platform client app (I'd use Vue.js + Vuetify for UI, and provide it as a web app and optionally wrap that with Electron for a desktop app, Apache Cordova for mobile). Server could be Javascript with an Express-based REST API on Node.js, talking to Firebase for services.

If you were a Java developer though, all this goes out the window and I'd recommend a simple Java server with Javalin for REST API, and embedded ObjectDB for database storage (combined into one server). ObjectDB is very very fast and can be separated out into a scalable server if this became truly massive. But you would probably never need to go that far.

All of this is a lot of work. I hope this isn't for something like an assignment. It is in the order of 6 months of work if you know what you're doing, all year if you're learning as you go.

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Michael Maraist
Chief Architect at Pixia Corp | 2 upvotes 路 313.9K views
Recommends
on
RocksDBRocksDB

Don't think you can go wrong with MySQL or postgresql. python+postgres is VERY well supported stack and can do almost anything. Great visualization and administrative tools for both. There are some data-mismatch problems, however.. node.js/python with mongodb is a bit more modern and makes it trivial to "serialize" data with sprinklings of indexes. If you're using go-lang, then RocksDB is a great high-performance data-modeling base (it's not relational how-ever) It's more like a building-block for key-value store. But it's ACID so you CAN build relational systems on top. I've used LevelDB for other projects (Java/C) (similar architecture and works great on android - chrome uses it for it's metadata-storage). Rock/Level can achieve multi-million writes on cheap hardware thanks to it's trade-offs.

I'm very familiar with SQLite.. Personally my least favorite, but it's the most portable database format, and it does support ACID.. I have many gripes, but biggest issue is parallel access (you really need a single process/thread to own the data-model, then use IPC to communicate with your process/thread).. (same could be said for LevelDB, but that's so efficient, it's almost never an issue).

If your'e using Java, then JavaDB/DerbyDB/HSQLDB are EXCELLENT systems.. highly multi-threaded, good stand-alone tools. (embedded or TCP-connected). Perfect for unit-tests. Can use simple dumb portable formats (e.g. text-file containing only inserts) all the way to classic journaled binary B-tree formats to pure-in-memory. Java has a lot of overhead, so this is only really viable if you're already using Java in your project.

For high performance "memsql" is mysql API to a hybrid in-memory index + on-disk column-database (feels like classic SQL to you though). Falls into the mysql-swiss-army-knife tool-kit.

Similarly with in-memory there is "redis".. Absolutely a joy to work with. It too is a specialty swiss army knife. Steer clear of redis for primary data that you can't lose.. while redis does support persisting data, it isn't very efficient and will become the bottleneck. redis is great for micro-queue's, topics, stat-aggregators, message-repositories (password-management systems, where writes are rare so persistance is viable). Plus I love that redis uses a pure-text protocol so I can netcat or telnet directly into it and do stuff.

I've loved cloud-data-stores.. Amazon "DynamoDB" or Google BigTable are awesome!!! Cheap compared to normal hosting fees of an AWS EC2 instance.. You can play all day.. put a terabyte up, then blow it away.. pay for what you play with. It's a very very different data-model though.. They give you a very very few set of tricks that let you do complex data-modeling - and you have to be clever and have enough foresight to not block yourself into a hole (or have customer abuse expensive queries).

Then there's Cassandra/Hadoop (HBase). These are petabyte scale databases (technically so is Dynamo/BigTable). They're incredibly efficient at what they do. And they have a lot of plugins to do almost anything you need. I personally love these the best (and RocksDB/LevelDB are like their infant children offspring). You can run these on your laptop (unlike Amazon/Google engines above). But their discipline is very different than all the other's above.

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Decisions about SQLite and WatermelonDB

Backend:

  • Considering that our main app functionality involves data processing, we chose Python as the programming language because it offers many powerful math libraries for data-related tasks. We will use Flask for the server due to its good integration with Python. We will use a relational database because it has good performance and we are mostly dealing with CSV files that have a fixed structure. We originally chose SQLite, but after realizing the limitations of file-based databases, we decided to switch to PostgreSQL, which has better compatibility with our hosting service, Heroku.
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Pros of SQLite
Pros of WatermelonDB
  • 163
    Lightweight
  • 135
    Portable
  • 122
    Simple
  • 81
    Sql
  • 29
    Preinstalled on iOS and Android
  • 2
    Free
  • 2
    Tcl integration
  • 1
    Portable A database on my USB 'love it'
  • 1
    Undefined is not an object (evaluating 'columnSchema.ty

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Cons of SQLite
Cons of WatermelonDB
  • 2
    Not for multi-process of multithreaded apps
  • 1
    Needs different binaries for each platform
    Be the first to leave a con

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is SQLite?

    SQLite is an embedded SQL database engine. Unlike most other SQL databases, SQLite does not have a separate server process. SQLite reads and writes directly to ordinary disk files. A complete SQL database with multiple tables, indices, triggers, and views, is contained in a single disk file.

    What is WatermelonDB?

    WatermelonDB is a new way of dealing with user data in React Native and React web apps. It's optimized for building complex applications in React Native, and the number one goal is real-world performance. In simple words, your app must launch fast.

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    What companies use SQLite?
    What companies use WatermelonDB?
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      What are some alternatives to SQLite and WatermelonDB?
      MySQL
      The MySQL software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL Server is intended for mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed software.
      PostgreSQL
      PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management system that supports an extended subset of the SQL standard, including transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, user-defined types and functions.
      MongoDB
      MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
      LiteDB
      Embedded NoSQL database for .NET. An open source MongoDB-like database with zero configuration - mobile ready
      Firebase
      Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
      See all alternatives