Tech Note 15: Using SQLite

November 19, 2007

© 2016 NS BASIC Corporation. All rights reserved.

SQLite is a fast, popular and easy to use database. Using some controls from NewObjects.com, it's easy to integrate SQLite into NS Basic/CE or NS Basic/Desktop applications. Best of all, it's free. Its speed and easy of use make it a practical choice for use when you need an indexed file system for an app. Databases you create can be accessed, without change, using SQLite on a Windows CE system or on any other platform SQLite runs on.

SQLite COM (or precisely SQLite3 COM) is a zero-configuration, in-process, SQL database engine which is implemented in a single DLL. It is a member of the newObjects ActiveX Pack1 Family and depends on the AXPack1 core DLL only. 

The SQLite COM is based on the source code of the version 3.3.5 of the popular SQLite database engine (see http://www.sqlite.org). However SQLite COM contains not only the engine but also the COM interface to it and set of added features making it more convenient for Windows environments.

There are two sets of commands: the ones implemented as part of the wrapper control, and the SQLite commands themselves, called using the wrapper's Execute function. Documentation on the wrapper's functions comes with AXPack1; documentation on SQLite itself is here.

NS Basic/Desktop installs the SQLite control automatically, so there is no need to download or install anything before use. If you are redistributing your app, make sure you include NewObjectsPack1.dll and SQLite3ComUTF8.dll.

To use the controls with NS Basic/CE, you must run the AXPack.xxx.exe installer from the Run menu in the IDE to install the controls to your device. If you are redistributing your app, make sure you include NewObjectsPack1.dll and SQLite3ComUTF8.dll.

To see a sample of NS Basic code using SQLIte, click here.

You can download the full documentation for these controls from http://www.newobjects.com/downloads/NDLInstall.zip

If you are creating an installer for your customers, the two files that you must include are SQLite3ComUTF8.dll and NewObjectsPack1.dll.

1. Add the SQLite object to your program.

AddObject "newObjects.sqlite3.dbutf8","db"
This will create an object called 'db' which will perform the database operations for you.

2. Open the database file

SQLite keeps the entire database in a single physical file. Use the Open method to open the file. If it does not exist, it is opened:

	'Open the database
	If db.Open("Name.db")  Then 'create the database if it doesn't exist yet
		db.AutoType = True
		db.TypeInfoLevel = 4
	Else
		MsgBox "Error on db.Open: " & db.lastError
	End If
If it opens sucessfully, we set a couple of options: setting AutoType to True means that database values will automatically get their types from the data that is assigned to them, much like NS Basic does with all variables. TypeInfoLevel=4 sets the level of type info returned by the Execute method to a reasonable level of data for debugging. Setting TypeInfoLevel to 0 would require less processing. You'll want to read more about this in the AXPack1 documentation as you get more experienced.

3. Get a set of records

If step 4 created a new database file, it will be empty. A database is made up of tables. A Table is simply a collection of records with a defined format. We can see if our table exists as follows:

	On Error resume next
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	On Error Goto 0
	If  Left(db.lasterror, 13)="no such table" Then Call createDatabase
We attempt to get a set of records. This is our first use of the Execute statement, which sends a command to the SQLite engine. We ask it to select all the records in the NameDB table. If the NameDB table hasn't been created yet, we need to do so.

The SELECT command is very powerful - you can use it to collect all kinds of different sets of records. Read more about it in the SQL Documentation.

4. Create the table if it does not exist

	cmd="CREATE TABLE NameDB(""FirstName"", ""LastName"","" Age"", PRIMARY KEY(""FirstName""))"
	On Error resume next
	Set res=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.lasterror<>"" Then MsgBox "Create Table error " & db.lasterror
For convenience, we build the next command for SQLite in a string, then feed it to the Execute method. The double quote signs inside a string resolve themselves into single quotes, so the actual command to SQL is:
	CREATE TABLE NameDB("FirstName", "LastName","Age", PRIMARY KEY("LastName"))
We're creating a table with three columns, indexed by the first name: each record therefore has 3 fields. There are, of course, many more options on this command.

5. Add a record to the table

	cmd="INSERT OR REPLACE INTO  ""NameDB""  VALUES( """ & tbFirstName.text & """,""" & tbLastName.text &""",""" & tbAge.text & """)"
	showstatus cmd
	
	On Error resume next
	Set r=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.LastError<>"" Then MsgBox "INSERT error: " & db.lasterror
Once again, all the quotes get resolved in the command. The actual command sent to SQLite is:
	INSERT OR REPLACE INTO "NameDB" VALUES("John","Kemeny","80")
Using the last name as the key, the record is added or replaced. Once again, there are many more options on this command: we're just trying to get you started here. Once you have added the record, you'll need to do your selection again. It won't to automatically added.
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	showStatus  "Database now has " & records.count & " records."

6. Delete a record

This is pretty easy:

	cmd="DELETE FROM NameDB WHERE lastname = """ & tbLastName.Text & """"
	
	On Error resume next
	Set r=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.LastError<>"" Then MsgBox "DELETE error: " & db.lasterror
The command sent to SQLite resolves to:
	DELETE FROM NameDB WHERE lastname = "Kemeny"

7. Accessing records in the table

When we did the SELECT command, the result was put into the records object. Using that, we can easily get at any field in any record. This code fills a comboBox with a list of all the records:

	cbList.clear
	For row=1 To records.count
		cbList.addItem records(row)(1) & " " & records(row)(2)
	Next
Treat the records as a large array. The first argument is the record number and the second is the field in the record. In this case, we're adding the first and list name of from each record as a line in the combobox.

9. Closing the table

When you are done using a table, it is important to close it. Otherwise, many work files could be left in memory.

	db.close

Sample Program

You can copy this code, save it as a .txt file, then open it in NS Basic. It is also in the Samples folder.

'SQLite -- Show some simple SQLite operations
'This program runs on Windows XP, 2000 and CE
'This program will compile in NS Basic/Desktop and NS Basic/CE.
'See http://www.nsbasic.com for more information

'This program show how to create a simple SQLite database and do additions and deletions..
'The code may be copied freely.

AddObject "newObjects.sqlite.dbutf8","db"
Dim records	'The current record set
Dim rec		'The current record number

openDatabase

Sub Form1_Load
	form1.caption="SQLite Demo"
	showStatus "Welcome to SQLite Version " & db.SQLiteVersion
	showStatus "NameDB database opened with " & records.count & " records."
	
	'Display the first record in the database
	rec=1
	displayRecord(rec)	
	
End Sub

Sub cbSave_Click
	Dim cmd 
	Dim r
	If tbLastName.text="" Then Exit Sub
		
	cmd="INSERT OR REPLACE INTO  ""NameDB""  VALUES( """ & tbFirstName.text & """,""" & tbLastName.text &""",""" & tbAge.text & """)"
	showstatus cmd
	
	On Error resume next
	Set r=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.LastError<>"" Then MsgBox "INSERT error: " & db.lasterror
		
	'Get new selection, now that a record has been added
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	showStatus  "Database now has " & records.count & " records."

End Sub
	
Sub cbDelete_Click
	Dim cmd
	cmd="DELETE FROM NameDB WHERE lastname = """ & tbLastName.Text & """"
	showStatus cmd
	
	On Error resume next
	Set r=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.LastError<>"" Then MsgBox "DELETE error: " & db.lasterror
		
	'Get new selection, now that a record has been added
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	showStatus "Database now has " & records.count & " records." 
	
	'display new record since current one was deleted
	If rec>1 Then
		rec=rec-1
	Else
		rec=records.count
	End If
	displayRecord(rec)
	
End Sub
	
Sub openDatabase
	'Open the database
	If db.Open("Name.db")  Then 'create the database if it doesn't exist yet
		db.AutoType = True
		db.TypeInfoLevel = 4
	Else
		MsgBox "Error on db.Open: " & db.lastError
	End If
		
	'Get the initial selection of all records
	On Error resume next
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	On Error Goto 0
	If  Left(db.lasterror, 13)="no such table" Then Call createDatabase
End Sub

Sub createDatabase
	Dim cmd
	Dim res
	cmd="CREATE TABLE NameDB(""FirstName"", ""LastName"","" Age"", PRIMARY KEY(""FirstName""))"
	On Error resume next
	Set res=db.Execute(cmd)
	On Error Goto 0
	If db.lasterror<>"" Then MsgBox "Create Table error " & db.lasterror
		
	'Get the initial selection of records - it will be empty at first
	Set records=db.Execute("Select * from NameDB")
	
End Sub

Sub cbForward_Click
	If rec < records.count Then rec=rec+1
	displayRecord(rec)	
End Sub

Sub cbBack_Click
	If rec > 1 Then rec=rec-1
	displayRecord(rec)
End Sub

Sub displayRecord(n)
	If n<1 Or n>records.count Then Exit Sub
	tbFirstName.Text = 	records(n)(1)
	tbLastName.Text = records(n)(2)
	tbAge.Text = records(n)(3)
	showStatus "Record " & n & " of " & records.count 
End Sub

Sub showStatus(txt)
	tbStatus.text=txt & vbcrlf & tbStatus.Text
End Sub

Sub cbList_DropDown
	cbList.clear
	For row=1 To records.count
		cbList.addItem records(row)(1) & " " & records(row)(2)
	Next
End Sub

Sub cbList_Change
	rec=cbList.ListIndex+1
	displayRecord(rec)
End Sub

Sub Output_Close
	db.close
End Sub

'*** Begin Generated Code ***

Dim AppEXEName: AppEXEName = "SQLite"
Dim AppPath: AppPath = "E:\NSBD2\Files\technotes\TN05\SQLite.txt"

Form1_Show 'Default Form

Dim Form1_Temp
Sub Form1_Show
   On Error Resume Next

   UpdateScreen

   If IsEmpty(Form1_Temp) Then
      AddObject "Frame", "Form1_Form", 0, 0, Output.Width, Output.Height
      Form1_Form.Visible = False
      Form1_Form.BackColor = 12632256
      AddObject "PictureBox", "Form1", 0, 0, 0, 0, Form1_Form
      Form1.BorderStyle = 0
      Form1.Move 0, 0, Form1_Form.Width * 15, Form1_Form.Height * 15
      Set Form1_Temp = Form1
      Form1_Form.Caption = "Form1"
   
      Execute "AddObject " & chr(34) & "Form" & chr(34) & ", " & chr(34) & "Form1" & chr(34) & ", 0, 0, 240, 320, Form1_Form"
      '--------
      AddObject "Label", "lbFirstName", 12, 16, 56, 21, Form1_Form
      lbFirstName.BackColor = 12632256
      lbFirstName.Caption = "First Name"
      lbFirstName.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "Label", "lbLastName", 12, 44, 56, 21, Form1_Form
      lbLastName.BackColor = 12632256
      lbLastName.Caption = "Last Name"
      lbLastName.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "Label", "lbAge", 12, 72, 56, 21, Form1_Form
      lbAge.BackColor = 12632256
      lbAge.Caption = "Age"
      lbAge.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "TextBox", "tbFirstName", 112, 16, 120, 20, Form1_Form
      tbFirstName.BackColor = 16777215
      tbFirstName.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "TextBox", "tbLastName", 112, 44, 120, 20, Form1_Form
      tbLastName.BackColor = 16777215
      tbLastName.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "TextBox", "tbAge", 112, 72, 120, 20, Form1_Form
      tbAge.BackColor = 16777215
      tbAge.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "CommandButton", "cbSave", 48, 104, 68, 20, Form1_Form
      cbSave.Caption = "Save"
      cbSave.FontSize =  8.25
      cbSave.BackColor = 12632256
      '--------
      AddObject "CommandButton", "cbDelete", 124, 104, 68, 20, Form1_Form
      cbDelete.Caption = "Delete"
      cbDelete.FontSize =  8.25
      cbDelete.BackColor = 12632256
      '--------
      AddObject "CommandButton", "cbBack", 12, 104, 20, 20, Form1_Form
      cbBack.Caption = "<"
      cbBack.FontBold = True
      cbBack.FontSize =  8.25
      cbBack.BackColor = 12632256
      '--------
      AddObject "CommandButton", "cbForward", 212, 104, 20, 21, Form1_Form
      cbForward.Caption = ">"
      cbForward.FontBold = True
      cbForward.FontSize =  8.25
      cbForward.BackColor = 12632256
      '--------
      AddObject "ComboBox", "cbList", 12, 132, 220, 100, Form1_Form
      cbList.BackColor = 16777215
      cbList.FontSize =  8.25
      '--------
      AddObject "TextBox", "tbStatus", 12, 160, 216, 92, Form1_Form
      tbStatus.BackColor = 16777215
      tbStatus.FontSize =  8.25
      tbStatus.MaxLength = 1000
      tbStatus.Multiline = True
      tbStatus.Scrollbars = 3
      '--------
   End If
   Form1_Form.Visible = True
   Form1_Load
End Sub  'Form1_Show

Sub Form1_Hide
   If IsEmpty(Form1_Temp) Then
      Err.Raise 44000, , "Form not loaded"
      Exit Sub
   End If

   On Error Resume Next
   Form1_Form.Visible = False
   Form1_Unload
End Sub  'Form1_Hide

'*** End Generated Code ***