When comparing SQL Server Express vs SQLite, the Slant community recommends SQLite for most people. In the question“What are the best relational databases?” SQLite is ranked 3rd while SQL Server Express is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose SQLite is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Rich developer tools
SQL Server Express has deep integration with Visual Studio, Visual Web Developer and SQL Server Management allowing for ease-of-use and rich table and query designers. It may be the best choice for someone who develops in the Microsoft environment.
Pro Easily manage SQL Server instances
"Manage SQL Server Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans, and access management and maintenance options."
With a variety of versions to choose from the SQL Server Express version is free of charge. It is capable of upgrading to higher tiers, but that requires a fee.
Pro Easy backup and restore
Can be deployed to all editions of SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database
Pro Great language support
SQLite is also only 350KiB in size.
SQLite is largely self-contained. It requires very minimal support from external libraries or from the operating system.
An SQLite database is a single ordinary disk file that can be located anywhere in the directory hierarchy. It works by sending requests to a single file where all the data is kept instead of communicating with a hosted database which gives access to an interface by making use of sockets and ports. The file format used is also cross-platform, so can easily be migrated to various machines.
This makes SQLite extremely portable throughout different applications, all that's needed to transfer the whole database is to make a copy of the file.
With less complication, there is less to go wrong.
Pro Great for testing and first stages of development
Because of it's ability to scale and with the portability that a single-file database gives you without losing much of the power and features that SQL gives developers, it's a great choice for testing applications and for the early stages of development when the workload and the data that needs to be stored is not that large.
Pro Not unnecessarily fiddly
Pro Zero configuration
There is literally no configuration required to get SQL lite up and running. This is mainly due to SQLite being serverless, there is no separate server process to install, setup, configure, initialize, manage, and troubleshoot.
Con Hardware limitations
Maximum number of cores: 4
Maximum memory utilized per instance: 1GB
Maximum size: 10GB
This hardware could be limiting with some high profile apps and sites.
Con No multi user
Lacks multi-user capabilities, see SQLite vs. MySQL vs. PostgreSQL: A Comparison of Relational Databases.
Also see: Appropriate Uses For SQLite.
Con Some SQL features are missing
SQLite is made to be extremely lightweight and portable, but it still uses SQL. However, some SQL features such as
RIGHT OUTER JOIN and
FOR EACH STATEMENT are missing.