Embedded database

An embedded database system is an embedded in an application database system that does not occur externally visible in appearance.


Some database system manufacturers distribute their database products not only as stand-alone products, but also as an embedded database systems that are integrated into other applications.

An embedded database system is not visible from the outside as such and can not be used by external systems for data storage. The advantages of embedded database systems arise from the fact that the manufacturer can make a targeted for the specific application customization that goes beyond the possibilities of the normal administration and acceleration.

Another advantage is a simpler installation and licensing of a product that uses an embedded database system. The product manufacturer can deliver the product as a whole to its customers. Licenses for the product can be negotiated without the participation of the database manufacturer between the product manufacturer and his customer. The product manufacturer may obtain a license agreement with the database vendor without the participation of its customers. A disadvantage is, for example, so that the stored data can be more difficult to transfer, to a system of another manufacturer.

The market for embedded databases was established in 2005 estimated at U.S. $ two billion with an increase to $ 3.2 billion for the year 2009.

Use in small and micro- devices

Many database systems ( DBS ) are subject to the requirement to always be able to manage large amounts of data and still provide broader functions. But there is also a growing need for small DBS for embedded systems and mobile devices with a weak computer performance.

Design goal of such DBS is the provision of a certain service in a resource-constrained environment.

The required performance is often not in full SQL3 functionality, but includes

  • Only the SQL1 functions
  • Only access to persistent tables via an API
  • Access only to index structures such as B- tree or hash table.

If a DPS is configured for use in a resource- constrained environment, then it may be that components are omitted, which are among the essential properties of a DBS.


  • The multi-user capability is not required
  • The system has only the task of accessing index structures
  • Data stored in an RFID chip ( storage volume <1 MB )

In these cases, it is no longer an " embedded database system ", but an " embedded file system ".

An example of an embedded file system Prevayler.

List of embedded database systems

List of client - server databases, which are suitable for use as an embedded database system:

  • DB2
  • Informix
  • MySQL

List of databases that can be directly embedded into other applications:

  • Axion - Java-based open source DB
  • Berkeley DB
  • DBM
  • db4o - Object-oriented database
  • Apache Derby - Java database part of the JDK from Java 6.0
  • Firebird
  • H2 - Java database HSQLDB new project from the initiator
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact
  • Metakit with interfaces to C, C , Python, and Tcl
  • McKoi
  • MySQL
  • One $ DB - Java-based open source version of DaffodilDB
  • Quadcap Embeddable Database ( QED) of the company Quadcap software, implemented in Java open source database
  • Raima RDM Embedded - Embedded database system with interfaces to C, C , Java
  • SmallSQL - a 100% pure Java Database
  • SQLite
  • Trans base - a relational SQL database system
  • TurboDB - a SQL implementation in exclusively managed NET code.