(blog entry brought to you by time snapper. This entry would have been lost to an electricity outage if not for my screen recorder.)
When I want a relational database, I might want something that can handle a billion transactions per second, never loses data, and can be updated by 1000 users simutaneously without corrupting data. If my application just needs a single small table, the overhead of a relational DB is overkill.
[likewise for ETL scenarios-- writing SQL based ETL code in a full-blown RDBMS for an ETL process incurs a lot of overhead that just slows data processing down. On the otherhand, dropping back to using text isn't very good either as you forego the power of SQL]
In particular I want an embedded database that is:
- works in ASP.NET & ADO.NET
- supports all important SQL statements
- is very fast
- does’t require setting up a secure service (i.e. daemons or windows services)
- Support for bi-directional databinding in .NET
- Doesn’t require an installer/COM component registration, etc. i.e. nothing that would be a barrier on a hosted account
- Runs in medium trust
- Secure against executable code (should be able to call OS shell functions like one can in MS-SQL, MS-Access and the like)
- Can zip up the data with the source code and send in an email
MS-SQL 2005, MySQL, etc
These require an install, administrator rights to set up, some non-trivial know how to configure the database and users. Nope. Too much work.
Text and Excel
Database drivers for text files tend to be pretty primitive, low performance and often don’t support updating. Excel has limitations on the number of rows you can deal with.
MS-SQL SQL Compact/Mobile Etc
Doesn’t allow for hosting inside of an ASP.NET worker process. End of story.
Not supported for bidirectional databinding with default ASP.NET controls. I’m pretty sure this works in medium trust
If MDAC is available, you probably can use the Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB4.0 driver.
Berkley DB was bought by Oracle. Oracles distribution is slanted towards support of the Java world, but a .NET driver does exist.
See my blog entry on SQLite. Of all my options, this is the one I liked the most. It runs well in ASP.NET, can support large numbers of users, has Visual Studio support (better in the full version than the express versions).