February 12, 2023 By Matthew Rathbone *

PostgreSQL and SQLite are two popular relational database management systems (RDBMS) that are commonly used in web applications. While both systems are capable of storing and managing data, there are some key differences between the two that may make one more suitable for your needs than the other.

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SQLite Is Embedded

One of the main differences between PostgreSQL and SQLite is the type of applications they are designed to support. PostgreSQL is a full-featured RDBMS that is designed to support complex and demanding applications with a large number of concurrent users. It offers many advanced features such as support for complex SQL queries, foreign keys, and user-defined functions. In contrast, SQLite is a lightweight RDBMS that is designed for use in embedded systems and applications with fewer users and simpler data requirements.

PostgreSQL Performance Is Better

Another important difference between the two systems is their performance. PostgreSQL is generally considered to be faster and more efficient than SQLite, particularly when dealing with large amounts of data or many concurrent users. This is because PostgreSQL uses a multi-process architecture, which allows it to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and handle multiple connections simultaneously. SQLite, on the other hand, uses a single-process architecture and is unable to fully utilize multiple CPU cores, which can limit its performance in demanding applications.

PostgreSQL Has More DataTypes

Another key difference between the two systems is their support for data types. PostgreSQL offers a wide range of data types, including support for advanced data types such as arrays and JSON documents. This makes it well-suited for applications that require the storage and manipulation of complex data structures. SQLite, on the other hand, has a more limited set of data types, which can make it less suitable for applications with complex data requirements.

SQLite is useful in development

One popular use case for SQLite is as a development database. Becuase SQLite requires no extra system process it is very convenient to use it when developing a software application. Many web frameworks use SQLite as a default for development, like Ruby on Rails.

SQLite is used for Android

Because SQLite can be embedded into any application, it is used widely for Android applications. In fact Google provides many developer tools that help to create, manage, and debug SQLite data on Android devices.

PostgreSQL vs SQLite Summary

Overall, both PostgreSQL and SQLite are powerful and widely-used RDBMS, but they are designed for different types of applications and have different strengths and weaknesses. If you need a full-featured RDBMS with support for complex data structures and many concurrent users, then PostgreSQL may be the right choice for you. If you are looking for a lightweight RDBMS for a simple application with fewer users and simpler data requirements, then SQLite may be a better option.