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Posted 18 Aug 2007

An Easy to Use Wrapper for SQLite3 (Totally Free Embedded Database Engine!)

, 23 Dec 2007 CPOL
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I have created classes to wrap the SQLite3 library, to remove many headaches...


Recently I was looking for a solution for an embedded SQL/database library so I won't have to redistribute DAO/Jet/SQL Server Express/ODBC or some other database driver...

I ran into SQLite3, which is a portable library, written completely in C, that allows you to create/manage databases, with SQL statements. It is Open Source, does not need any kind of license, has a compact footprint (size depending on compiler optimization, but just about 200 KB!), and it has no external dependencies.

I downloaded SQLite3 ( and wanted to immediately start using it.

Wait a moment, no OOP??? (Object oriented programming, C++...)

As I mentioned before, the library is completely written in C. And not only that - it also works with multi-byte UTF-8 encoding...

I found out immediately that I needed to create some classes to wrap the library so I will be able to use it without any headaches...

SQLite is a database engine that you can download, add to your project, and run! There's absolutely zero-configuration needed!

Using the Code

There are basically two classes: Database and Table, under the namespace SQLite.

Later update: Another class TablePtr to wrap a pointer to Table class.

Both classes use TCHAR to support Unicode. The use is very simple, everything is documented inside the code. The classes expect sqlite3 in folder .\SQLite\. You can change it in the source code for wherever you want.

When a function is specified as 'Safe', it means that even if it is a null object (e.g., Table * pTbl=0) the show will go on...

In the Database class, there are the following methods:

  • int Open( LPCTSTR strFileName)
  • Opens a new database, creating it if it does not already exist.

  • void Close()
  • Closes the database...

  • bool IsOpen()

    Is a database open? (Safe function)

  • sqlite3 * GetPtr()
  • Returns the handle to the sqlite3 database.

  • int GetLastError()
  • Returns the last error...

  • void CleanError()
  • Cleans the last error...

  • Table QuerySQL( LPCTSTR strSQL )
  • Executes a SQL query, returning the results in the Table class.

  • TablePtr QuerySQL2( LPCTSTR strSQL)
  • The same as above, except it returns a pointer to the Table class, wrapped in a TablePtr.

  • int ExecuteSQL( LPCTSTR strSQL)
  • Executes a SQL query, without expecting any results.

  • bool IsSQLComplete()
  • Checks if a SQL statement is complete (by the SQLite3 ideas and specs...).

  • int GetLastChangesCount()
  • Returns the count of changes made by the last SQL statement.

  • int ReadBlob( LPCTSTR strSQL, BYTE ** pData, int * iLenBlob)
  • Reads a BLOB value into pData, and the length of the BLOB goes into iLenBlob. Expects only 1 record, 1 column!

  • int WriteBlob( LPCTSTR strSQL, BYTE * pData, int iLenBlob)
  • Writes a BLOB value using an INSERT or UPDATE SQL statement.

  • sqlite_int64 GetLastInsertRowID()
  • Gets the row-ID of the last row inserted using INSERT. See the SQLite documentation for more information.

  • Functions Open(), GetLastError(), and ExecuteSQL() return a SQLITE_ error, see sqlite3.h in the library for error definitions.

In the Table class, there are the following methods:

  • int GetColCount()
  • Returns the number of columns. Safe function.

  • int GetRowCount()
  • Returns the number of rows. Safe function.

  • int GetCurRow()
  • Returns the currently selected row. Safe function.

  • LPCTSTR GetColName( int iCol)
  • Returns the name of the column at index iCol.

  • bool GoFirst()
  • Navigates to the first record, returning false if no records exist. Safe function (returns false if Table is null).

  • bool GoLast() / GoNext() / GoPrev() - Navigates through the records...
  • bool GoRow()
  • Navigates to a specific record. Safe function (returns false if Table is null or out of bounds).

  • LPCTSTR GetValue(LPCTSTR lpColName)
  • Gets the value of the current row, in the column specified by lpColName (name of column).

  • LPCTSTR GetValue(int iColIndex)
  • Gets the value of the current row, in the iColIndex column (by column index).

  • LPCTSTR operator [] (LPCTSTR lpColName)
  • Same as GetValue(), for using with [].

  • LPCTSTR operator [] (int iColIndex)
  • Same as GetValue(), for using with [].

  • void JoinTable(Table & tblJoin)
  • Adds the rows of tblJoin to this table, if the column count is equal (or empty).

In the TablePtr class:

  • Table * m_pTable
  • public member which points to a Table class.

  • Table * Detach()
  • Detaches the class from the Table, and returns the Table that was just detached...

  • void Attach( Table * pTable)
  • Frees the current Table, and attaches the pTable.

  • operator ()
  • Now you do not have to use TablePtr::m_pTable, you can just use TablePtr().

  • operator bool()
  • Now you do not have to check if m_pTable is valid. Just "if (TablePtr) {...}".

Points of Interest

You may have noticed that you can only get values as strings... That is because SQLite3 does not restrict any field to its data type... so you can put a float instead of a string or an integer, or a string instead of an integer for example...

But SQLite3 tries to convert to the 'preferred' datatype when it is possible.

So you can always expect a string, then if you know that it should be an integer, use _ttoi() to convert, or _tstof() to convert to float...


If you have any comments, requests, bugs... feel free to contact me, and I will update as soon as I can.


  • 20/08/2007
    • Just added a basic interface for BLOB reading and writing, see the comments in the source code.
  • 25/08/2007
    • Added the TablePtr class to wrap a pointer to the Table class. Suggested by Douglas R. Keesler, thanks!
  • 01/10/2007
    • Made some modifications to make the code more safe.
    • Also implemented JoinTable() for joining two table classes, and a () operator for the TablePtr.
    • Also, GetLastInsertRowID() is implemented now.
  • 20/11/2007
    • Added the simple GetCurRow() to the Table class...
    • Also added the documentation about GoRow().
  • 23/12/2007
    • Added the bool operator for TablePtr, so you can "if (TablePtr) {...}" to check if the m_pTable member is valid.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Daniel Cohen Gindi
Software Developer (Senior)
Israel Israel
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralLack of Samples Pin
yarp15-Jan-08 5:19
memberyarp15-Jan-08 5:19 
GeneralRe: Lack of Samples Pin
Daniel Cohen Gindi28-Jan-08 8:05
memberDaniel Cohen Gindi28-Jan-08 8:05 

This article is not intended for someone who have just learned that there is something called "c++", first you have to learn some about for,while,if,;,++,--...
Hey! I'm just kidding!

Now seriously:
The classes that I've written here, does not require any samples to be written, and it does not even require great knowledge in c++.
All you have to do, is add the classes to your project, add the SQLite library (found at as source code or as a .lib,
And start using it!
The code is self explanatory! I mean, do you not understand word like "Open Database" or "Execute SQL"?
You simply supply the filename, and it opens the database... You give it an SQL, it executes it...
If SQL examples is what you need - then this is not the right article.
If you need to know how to include the .lib of sqlite in your project, this is also basics and not for this article.

I assume that if a developer is looking for an embedded SQL engine, he is already an experienced programmer, and knows more than he has to know to understand my code.


Daniel Cohen Gindi
danielgindi (at) gmail dot com

GeneralRe: Lack of Samples Pin
P.Pronk15-Dec-08 5:26
memberP.Pronk15-Dec-08 5:26 

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