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Web SQL Storage Made Easy
JavaScript Python
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db.js :: Simplified Web SQL Database Management

db.js goal is to simplify common Web SQL Database operations through an intuitive interface.

Main db.js features are:

  • CPU and memory safe thanks to an interface that does not require up to 3 callbacks per each asynchronous operations
  • tiny library with no external dependencies
  • simplified CREATE TABLE with primary id autoincrement shortcut
  • simplified INSERT operations, accepting one or more arrays or objects automatically
  • simplified TRUNCATE TABLE operation, by default not possible in SQLite
  • unified callback behavior via custom Event object so that one callback could be potentially used with every operation
  • NEW db.js interface and Web SQL Database in Firefox via dedicated, non obtrusive, and safe db.js add-on

Firefox add-on now has a passes same unit tests created for browsers with native Web SQL Database support.

The only known issue I am working on is the local file without a domain ... right now Firefox add-on does not work with empty documents or file:// protocol, a locl webserver or an online webpage is necessary.


The Firefox Add-on is out, what's missing now is Internet Explorer. Some "idiot" like me who thinks SQLite should be used, created a fully managed C# port of SQLite which actually performs like hell. If you have any experience with Silverlight and JS bindings, please help me to finalize this project and bring SQLite in every browser out there, included mobile.


following the list of methods and examples


Create a db instance following native JS behavior where new can or cannot be used.

var db = new Database;
 * default options:
 *  name            "db"        the database name
 *  size            (int)5Mb    the initial size of the db
 *  description     "data"      the database description
 *  version         "1.0"       the db version

var db2 = new Database({
    name: "personal_data",
    description: "my business",
    size: 1 * 1024 * 1024 // 1Mb


Simulate a close database action on native Web SQL Database implementations, close the opened file asynchronously in Firefox ad-on. Any active transaction will be completed/committed but it won't be possible to perform other operations with the current db object.

var db = new Database;
    .read("SELECT * FROM stuff", showStuff)

// to be sure we won't reuse the db further ...
db = null;

db.create(tableName, fields[, callback])

Create a tableName only if does not exist already. fields is an Array of field where if the first value is undefined or null an autoincrement id will be created automatically.

// contacts table creation example
db.create("contacts", [
    null,                   // id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT
    "name TEXT NOT NULL",   // the second field of this table
    "cell TEXT NOT NUll"    // the third field of this table

// table with no id
db.create("events", [
    "date INTEGER",         // used to store 20110827 as example
    "description TEXT"      // used to store the event description

// use a callback to be sure about the operation
db.create(name, fields, function (evt) {
    // if "success" either it was created
    // or it was already there
    if (evt.type === "success") {
        // keep working with this table
    } else if (evt.type === "error") {
        // inform the user it was not possible to create the table

db.insert(tableName, data[, callback])

Insert data into a table.

db.insert("contacts", [
    null,               // id, incremented by default
    "WebReflection",    // name
    "911"               // phone number ( for development emergencies! )

data can be an Array or a collection of Arrays

db.insert("contacts", [[
    null, "Mate", "01234"
], [
    null, "Dude", "56789"

insert(), as well as every other db method, can accept a callback as third argument. This will be invoked once when all operations have been completed.

Please note that databases are basically always homogenous collections of data. If you have a list of key/value pairs, consider JSONH as solution for its translation into a valid array for an insert().

// generic collection of data
var myData = [{
    id: 1,
    name: "Mate",
    cell: "01234"
}, {
    id: 2,
    name: "Dude",
    cell: "56789"

// create packed version of the data (it's FAST!)
    myDBData = JSONH.pack(myData),
    headers = myDBData[0]
// remove JSONH headers info (number of headers plus first index)
myDBData = myDBData.slice(headers + 1);

// create an array of values per table row
for (var dbData = [], i = 0; i < myDBData.length; i += headers) {
    dbData.push(myDBData.slice(i, i + headers));

// insert into db all of them
db.insert("contacts", dbData);

db.drop(tableName[, callback])

Drop/remove a table only if exists.

db.drop("contacts", function (e) {
    if (e.type === "success") {
        alert("... feeling lonely ...");

db.truncate(tableName[, callback])

Truncate is not natively supported by SQLite syntax but this method is clever enough and super fast: it saves the creation table statement first, and if db.drop(tableName) operation was successful, it creates the table again as it was before.

db.truncate("contacts", function (e) {
    if (e.type === "success") {
        alert("Ready for a new life!");

db.query(SQL[, arguments[, callback]])

Every db.query() call creates a new transaction and this method is able to accept one or more SQL statements per transactions.

// single UPDATE example
    'UPDATE TABLE contacts SET cell = ? WHERE name = ?',
        "76543",    // the new cell to update
        "Mate"      // the contact name which cell has to be updated

// multiple UPDATE example. One query, many updates
    'UPDATE TABLE contacts SET cell = ? WHERE name = ?', [
        "76543",    // the new cell to update
        "Mate"      // the contact name which cell has to be updated
    ], [
        "35468",    // the new cell to update
        "Dude"      // the contact name which cell has to be updated

// multiple query example. N queries, N updates
    'UPDATE TABLE contacts SET cell = ? WHERE name = ?',
    'UPDATE TABLE contacts SET name = ? WHERE cell = ?'
], [
        "76543",    // the new cell to update
        "Mate"      // the contact name which cell has to be updated
    ], [
        "Dooooode", // the new cell to update
        "35468"     // the contact name which cell has to be updated

Everything is still valid if the arguments is an object, rather than an array.

    'UPDATE TABLE contacts SET cell = :cell WHERE name = :name',
        cell: "76543",
        name: "Mate"

With db.query() arguments could be an object, an array, or a collection of both.[, arguments[, callback]])

The method is similar to the db.query() one except it uses readTransaction rather than transaction.

The difference between these two native methods, Firefox add-on a part, is that transaction operates in read/write mode while readTransaction operates in read only mode.

I could not measure performances but if a query is about reading, rather than inserting, deleting, or updating, is the method you are looking for, assuming things are optimized and faster on SQLite level.

Callback Event object

Every callback will always receive the same kind of Event objetct. This object has these peculiarities:

// if everything was fine ...
    type: "success",
    result: SQLStatementCallback,
    item: function (i) { // shortcut
        return this.result.rows.item(i);
    length: result.rows.length // as shortcut,
    db: reference // the database object that performed the query

// if something went terribly wrong ...
    type: "error",
    error: SQLStatementErrorCallback,
    db: reference // the database object that performed the query

In this way it is always possible to recycle callbacks rather than create a new function per each operation.

It is also convenient to have length and item method in the object itself ... things are less "boring" here.'SELECT * FROM contacts', function (e) {
    for (var i = 0; i < e.length; i++) {

Bear in mind every time you access an item of a result set, a fresh new object may be created. Store the reference once rather than e.item(i) or e.result.rows.item(i) each time to gain performances.


Regardless the fact Web SQL Database has been deprecated by W3C thanks to Mozilla influence, and probably somebody else as well, SQLite is present by default everywhere, starting from your mobile phone, tablet, Operating System ... etc etc. SQLite is a de-facto standard only W3C could drop so easily.

I mean ... my site is based on SQLite since ever without a single problem and you can bet I have never updated a single piece of code related to the SQLite engine.

Mozilla talked about advantages of IndexedDB over Web SQL Database and there isn't a single example where IndexedDb is faster, smaller, easier, or better, than SQLite. I call it epic-fail due somebody with pretending technicals knowledge able to make such political decision and the proof is under everybody eyes. In this explanation you can find the Mozilla reason here summarized:

  • despite the ubiquity that SQL enjoys, there isn’t a single normative SQL standard that defines the technology
  • We think SQLite is an extremely useful technology for applications, and make it available for Firefox extensions and trusted code
  • we don’t want changes to SQLite to affect the web later, and don’t think harnessing major browser releases (and a web standard) to SQLite is prudent
  • IndexedDB does not have this problem (n.d. as well as SQL92 standard)

As we can read, SQLite is integrated in Firefox since ever because it is a wonderful db engine and this is why Mozilla developers and XUL components can widely use it everywhere but "those stupid web developers should not" ... personal comment out of these facts.

As summary, Web SQL Database is everywhere except it's not exposed in Firefox and probably IE (... SURPRISEEEEE!!! ). SQL syntax and purpose is not easy to replace with whatever IndexedDb based indeed on SQLite behind the scene.

SQL is optimized on core level which is something Web Developers are missing when it comes to performances.

Moreover, JavaScript itself changed over these years as well as HTML, the argument we cannot be stuck behind SQLite is pointless out of a company that is updating the major version every few weeks.

Accordingly, I don't care about these decisions, all I care is about Web Development and since nobody else complained that much about SQLite out there, I do believe even if W3C decided it's deprecated it will last for very long time in all Chrome, Opera, and Webkit/Safari browsers ... aka: mobile!

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