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SQLite vs MySQL – How Different They Are?

 5 min

Database is the heart of any website or development design. You will find several databases available in the market.

Both SQLite and MySQL are evenly popular open source databases. In this article, we are going to see the essential differences between the two and learn about them.

The database management system also called as a DBMS is many times referred to as RDBMS. RDBMS means Relational Database Management System. Simply speaking, all databases are used to manage, maintain, and manipulate data.

Data models can divided into two:

1. NoSQL – an unstructured and is still developing model.
2. Relational DBMS – a structured and more significantly used model.

Introduction to Database Management System

A software that interacts with a database is called as DBMS. It supports several operations over the databases managed by it. Below are few of these operations:

• Manage the access of a database
• Run SQL queries
• Write data into the database
• Update the database
• Delete data from the database

In several circumstances, database and DBMS are swapped. But, a database is a collection of stored data while a DBMS is the software required to access the database.

Every DBMS comes with an underlying model which decides the database structure and the way in which data can be recovered. A relational DBMS uses the relational data model. In this, data is arranged in the form of tables. Each table comprises of a set of attributes or columns, and each row also called as tuples have a relation. Therefore, the structuring is referred to as RDBMS.

For working on RDBMS, it is important to use SQL or Structured Query Language. Each RDBMS includes a different language.

SQLite vs MySQL

Both SQLite and MySQL are open source RDBMS. Let’s check their differences.

Architectural Difference – SQLite vs MySQL

• SQLite is an open source project which can be found in the public domain.
• MySQL is an open source project owned by Oracle.

SQLite is a server-less database and also, self-contained. Sometimes it is referred to as an embedded database which means the DB engine runs as a part of the app.

MySQL needs a server to run and it will need a client and server architecture for interacting over a network.

Data Type Support – SQLite vs MySQL

SQLite assists datatypes such as Blob, Integer, Null, Text, Real.

MySQL assists datatypes such as:
Tinyint, Smallint, Mediumint, Int, Bigint, Double, Float, Real, Decimal, Double precision, Numeric, Timestamp, Date, Datetime, Char, Varchar, Year, Tinytext, Tinyblob, Blob, Text, MediumBlob, MediumText, Enum, Set, Longblob, Longtext.

This shows that MySQL is highly flexible when it comes to data types.

Storage and Portability – SQLite vs MySQL

The size of the SQLite library is about 250 KB, while that of MySQL server is about 600 MB. The info is directly stored by SQLite in a single file which makes it easy to copy. You don’t need to configure anything and you can follow the process by using minimal support.

Prior to copying or exporting MySQL, it needs to be reduced to a single file. Therefore, if you have a larger database, it will require lot of time.

Multiple Access and Scalability – SQLite vs MySQL

There isn’t any specific user management functionality in SQLite and hence, multiple users can’t access it. MySQL comprises of a well-constructed user management system wherein multiple users can be given various levels of permission.

SQLite is best for smaller databases. When the database increase the memory requirement also increases while using SQLite. When you use SQLite, it is hard to optimize performance as there are a few write limitations.

On the other hand, MySQL can be easily scaled and is able to handle a bigger database with less effort.

Security and Setup – SQLite vs MySQL

You won’t find an inbuilt authentication mechanism in SQLite. Anyone can access the database files. But, MySQL offers a lot of inbuilt security features such as authentication with a username, password, and SSH.

Not much configurations are required by SQLite and so, is easy to set up. However, MySQL requires more configurations in comparison to SQLite. So you will find amny setup guides for MySQL.

Best Time to Use SQLite

SQLite can be more effective at certain time than the alternative. Below are some of the scenarios:

• Want to develop small standalone apps.
• Run smaller projects which don’t need much scalability.
• When it is required to read and write directly from the disk.
• Basic development and testing.

Best Time to Use MySQL

Go through the few scenarios where MySQL is the superior option:

• Multiple user access is required to apps.
• Need of strong security and authentication features.
• When systems are distributed.
• Apps that require a larger database.
• Projects that require more scalability.
• Web-based applications.
• Customized solutions are developed.

Pros and Cons – SQLite vs MySQL

Let’s now check the essential differences between the two options:

Advantages of SQLite

• It is file-based and easy to set up as well as use.
• Best for basic development and testing.
• Easily portable.
• Uses standard SQL syntax with minor alterations.
• Easy to use.

Disadvantages of SQLite

• No user management and security features.
• Can’t be scalable easily.
• Big databases can’t use it.
• Not possible to customize.

Advantages of MySQL

• Easy to use.
• Offers good amount of database related features.
• Offers good security features.
• Can be scaled easily and best suits for big databases.
• Offers good speed and performance.
• Good user management and multiple access controls provided.

Disadvantages of MySQL

• Some technical expertise is required to setup.
• Uses slightly different syntax as compared to conventional SQL.


That’s all. In this article, you have learned about what a DBMS, RDBMS, and the difference between SQLite and MySQL is! Both are slightly different in terms of architecture and features. At last, only you can decide what suits best for your project. Hope you will be able to take a more clear decision! Happy developing!

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