hd_keywords *affshort {file-format benefits} Benefits of SQLite As A File Format

SQLite As An Application File Format

(Note: The current page is a brief summary of why SQLite makes a good application file format. The topic is considered at greater detail in a [application file-format | separate technical note].)

SQLite has been used with great success as the on-disk file format for desktop applications such as version control systems, financial analysis tools, media cataloging and editing suites, CAD packages, record keeping programs, and so forth. The traditional File/Open operation calls sqlite3_open() to attach to the database file. Updates happen automatically as application content is revised so the File/Save menu option becomes superfluous. The File/Save_As menu option can be implemented using the [backup API].

There are many advantages to using SQLite as an application file format, including:

  1. Better performance
  2. Reduced application cost and complexity
  3. Portability
  4. Reliability
  5. Accessibility

SQLite allows database files to have any desired filename extension, so an application can choose a custom filename extension for its own use, if desired. The [application_id pragma] can be used to set an "Application ID" integer in the database file so that tools like [http://www.darwinsys.com/file/ | file(1)] can determine that the file is associated with your application and is not just a generic SQL database.