SQLite vs Realm: Which Database to Choose in 2021? by@hannah-gerstaecker

SQLite vs Realm: Which Database to Choose in 2021?

Hannah Gerstaecker HackerNoon profile picture

Hannah Gerstaecker

Full-stack Developer & Growth Hacker with a Goal of Helping Small Businesses and Startups.

Image a situation wherein you have just launched your app. But the data of your app is not being properly displayed or you are not able to fetch the data that is being entered by the users. What will be the impression of your app in the user’s mind?

Just developing an app is never enough. To enhance the user experience it is crucial for the app to run properly. This thing is important to take care of especially when the user is trying to fetch some data from the websites.

To build a perfect app, you need to think about every aspect of the development. Whether it is a frontend, backend, or the database of your application. If any of these three is not working properly, the whole app will be affected.

Many businesses get confused when it comes to choosing the right database for their application. In fact, it is quite crucial to choose the one between SQLite and Realm. They both are a type of react native database. Henceforth, in this write up, I will showcase a perfect comparison between SQLite vs Realm. I will sail you through the pros and cons of both the databases so that you can choose the one based on your business.

SQLite vs Realm: Introduction


A software library which offers an extraordinary relational database system. The “lite” in the SQLite stands for the lightweight database in terms of resources, database administration, and setup.

Some amazing qualities of SQLite are serverless, zero-configuration, transactional, and self-contained. To make interaction with the OS, SQLite uses SQLiteOpenHelper and SQLiteDatabase Java interface. The database is written in C programming language and even supports more than 30 other programming languages. However, thousands of apps are built with an SQLite database.


To put it short, the Realm is a non-relational database that lets you declare the relationship among the various objects. This database is mainly used for mobile application development. To the fact, Realm is much younger than SQLite. Though, it is widely popular among the developers across the globe.

The Realm is available with objective C as well as Swift, hence it is designed for Android as well as iOS. The thing which makes the Realm stand out of the crowd is it requires a lesser amount of code to be written.

SQLite vs Realm: Performance & Efficiency

Since the Realm is specially designed for mobile apps, there is no doubt in the performance.

A few factors which make it perform well are:

● Realm does not use any third-party storage engine

● No need to convert the data back and forth when read and write on the disk

● There is no intermediate query language like SQL.    

Basically, for SQLite - It will work until the appropriate amount of storage is available. The database performs well with the data up to 100 GB of storage space. For an extremely large database, sometimes SQLite will lack in terms of efficiency and performance. Henceforth, SQLite is specially used for smaller applications.

SQLite vs Realm: Security

However, there are a few security issues due to a specific structure of SQLite. If you are looking forward to going with SQLite, then you must be aware of the security issues being faced by it. The first and foremost issue here is SQL data is stored in one file. And, you can place this file wherever you wish too. In the beginning, you might feel it very convenient, but with the passing time, you will realize that the database can be reopened and can be accessed by any hacker.

Henceforth, if you’re running with some personal information of the users, you need to do it once before opting for the SQLite.

As Realm is a younger database, they have built it keeping the major security concerns in mind. The database comes with many features which handle the security issues in a far better way.

SQLite vs Realm: Complexity & Speed

Successfully handling a complex database is important for every online platform. With managing complex data, speed should never be ignored. Here is a graph which shows a comparison of SQLite vs Realm for the speed,


When it comes to complexity, Realm can handle it quite easily in comparison to SQLite. For SQLite, the complex structures feel like a headache to the developers. Henceforth, choosing the Realm for the complex structure is an ideal choice.

SQLite vs Realm: Advantages


● The database can run nearly anywhere i.e on any device
● Reduces the application cost
● Easily portable across all systems
● Content can be updated easily and automatically
● Data lives longer than the cost


● Simplicity in writing the code lines
● Handles the complex operations easily
● Easily accessible from any device
● Comes with hundreds of additional features
● Data is represented with great documentation

SEE ALSO: Single Page Applications: The Rise of Web Apps in 2020

SQLite vs Realm: Which One Should You Choose?

Every business should choose the database which provides a seamless experience to the users. Hence, I would say that if you’re looking for a database which can handle complex structures, then Realm could be a choice for you.

SQLite is an ideal choice for the business who want to have a smaller application. Henceforth, choose the one which suits best for your business. Make a checklist of your requirements, it will let you have a perfect choice for a database of your business.

Though, I would say that the simplicity of the Realm database would give better results for your business.


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