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PostgreSQL vs SQLite

PostgreSQL and SQLite are the most extensively used relational database management systems (RDMS). They both are open-source software, but they have some major differences, which should be considered when selecting a database for our business purposes.

In this section, we are going to discuss the differences between PostgreSQL and SQLite database systems based on various aspects. But, first, we are going to learn the necessary information about SQLite.

What is SQLite?

SQLite is an embedded, relational database management system. It is an open-source system that requires less configuration as it is a stand-alone, transaction relations database system, which is designed to be embedded into software and application.

Richard Hipp introduced it in 2000. The primary objective of SQLite is to operate a program, which does not need any administration. It can be easily accessed on Windows (Win32, WinCE, WinRT) and UNIX (Linux, Mac OS-X, Android, iOS).

In this, the variable length of columns is not fixed because it provides us to allocate only space according to field requirements. It is different from other SQL databases because it does not have any distinct server process as it writes and reads directly to standard disk files.

Let us see some of the essential differences between PostgreSQL and SQLite, which will help us to enhance our knowledge:

PostgreSQL vs SQLite
Different Parameters PostgreSQL SQLite
Definition It is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) that is compatible with various SQL features. It follows the transaction along with the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) properties. It provides the complete support for foreign keys, View, Joins, Triggers, and Stored procedures. It is an embedded, relational database management system. It has a stable file format. It is cross-platform that why it can be run on various platforms.
And it required zero configuration and transactional SQL database engine.
Developed The PostgreSQL global development group develops it. The Dwayne Richard Hipp develops it.
Released PostgreSQL was released in 1996. SQLite was released in 2000.
Latest release version The latest release version is PostgreSQL 12.3 [May 2020] The latest release version is 3.32.0 [May 2020]
License PostgreSQL license comes under the MIT-style. SQLite contains only one license of GPLv2.
Programmed or Written in It has primarily written in C language. It has primarily written in ANSI-C languages.
Programming languages PostgreSQL supports several programming languages such as C, C++, Java, .Net, Perl, Python, Tcl, JavaScript (Node.js), and PHP. SQLite supports various programming languages such as C, C++, Java, C#, Ruby, Scala, JavaScript, Python, MatLab, and so on.
Platforms Primarily it supports Unix, Window, Linux, FreeBSD, HP-UX, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OS X, and Solaris. Primarily it supports UNIX (Linux, Mac OS-X, Android, iOS) and Windows (Win32, WinCE, WinRT).
Other accessing methods and APIs In PostgreSQL, we can access the following methods JDBC, ODBC, native C library, ADO.NET, and streaming API for large objects. In SQLite, we can access the following methods, including ODBC, ADO.NET, JDBC.
Server-side scripting It is compatible with user-defined functions. It does not support server-side scripting.
Ease to set up PostgreSQL is easy to install as it contains advanced features. But the configuration is a bit complex. SQLite is easy to install and work with, as its database is easy to use even for the beginner.
Partitioning methods It can be divided by List, Range, and hash (later PostgreSQL 11). It does not include partition methods.
Features Following are the characteristics of PostgreSQL:
  • It is free to download.
  • It is highly extensible.
  • It is compatible with Data Integrity.
  • It supports various programming languages.
  • It supports multiple features of SQL.
  • It is compatible with secondary indexes.
  • It provides the XML support.
  • It is highly reliable.
  • Compatible on several operating systems.
  • PostgreSQL is consistent with the data scheme.
Following are essential features of SQLite:
  • It is open-source. Thus, no license is needed to operate with it.
  • It is
  • It is flexible that's why It enables us to work on various databases in the same session at the similar time.
  • It does not require any further Configuration.
  • It is a cross-platform database management system where we do not require a large number of various environments such as Linux, Windows, Unix, and Mac OS.
  • It can also be compatible with a lot of embedded operating systems such as Window CE and Symbian.
  • It offers an effective way to store data.
  • It also offers a large number of API for a vast range of programming languages such as C, Java, PHP, .Net (Visual Basic, C#), Python, and another several programming languages.
Extensibility It is extensible with stored procedures. As compare to PostgreSQL, it is rather limited to basic operations through the asset of an advanced RDMS.
Authentication and Security To protect the database, PostgreSQL provides many security features, along with complex built-in configurations. It does not offer any authentication system because the database files itself can be updated or read by everyone.
Storage It is more significant compared to SQLite. In this, the library size is less than 500kb as compare to PostgreSQL.
Multiple access In PostgreSQL, several users can access it with proper authorization. It does not offer access to various users as they do not have user management.
Functionality It provides a complete feature set. For most common uses, it provides the basic feature set.
When to use PostgreSQL is mostly used when we have the following conditions:
  • It gives us the functionality to keep the complex database efficiently without any restrictions.
  • It is used when the data reliability and data integrity are highly concerned.
  • It is compatible with the customs procedures that are extensible to execute challenging jobs.
SQLite is most widely used when we have the following conditions:
  • In the small application which does not need any expansion.
  • It is the most recommended software for Standalone applications
  • It is used in developing as well as testing.
  • When the form is necessary to write and read data files to disk directly.
Replication It supports Master-slave Replication, such as cascading, streaming, and synchronous replications. It does not support replication.
Portability It is portable only after we export it to a file and upload it to another server because sometimes it is tedious. It stores the database in a single regular disk file, which can be set anywhere in the directory. And the file format can also be used in cross-platform. Therefore, it is easy to copy and move.
In memory competences PostgreSQL does not have memory capabilities. SQLite does have memory capabilities.
Supported Data Types It is compatible with most of the data types. It is compatible with limited data types such as Integer, Null, Blob, Real, and Text.
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