1.0.3 • Public • Published

Cordova sqlite storage adapter

Build Status Build status Bountysource

** Deprecated: ** Please use sqllite-storage plugin !!

** Not developed anymore !!! **

Native interface to sqlite in a Cordova/PhoneGap plugin for Android, iOS, Windows Universal (8.1), Amazon Fire-OS, and WP(7/8) with API similar to HTML5/Web SQL API.


License for Android, Windows, Amazon Fire-OS, and WP8 versions: MIT or Apache 2.0

License for iOS version: MIT only


  • Stable version available at PhoneGap build
  • Windows Universal (8.1) version is in pre/alpha state:
    • No background processing
    • Database close and delete operations not yet implemented
    • Not all Windows CPU targets are supported by automatic installation
  • Status for the other target platforms:
    • Android: now using the sqlite4java library (sqlite 3.8.7 embedded)
    • iOS: sqlite 3.8.9 embedded
    • WP8: performance/stability issues have been reported with the CSharp-SQLite library. Windows (universal) platform is recommended for the future.
  • API to open the database may be changed somewhat to be more streamlined. Transaction and single-statement query API will NOT be changed.


  • Windows Universal version now supports both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1
  • Android version is now using the sqlite4java library by default configuration:
    • NDK part rebuilt with -DSQLITE_TEMP_STORE=3 CFLAG to support UPDATE properly;
    • option to use the built-in Android database classes described below.
  • iOS version is now fixed to override the correct pluginInitialize method and should work with recent versions of iOS
  • Project has been renamed to prevent confusion with davibe / Phonegap-SQLitePlugin (original version for iOS, with a different API)
  • New project location (should redirect)
  • Discussion forum at / @litehelpers / Cordova-sqlite-storage
  • The test suite is completely ported to Jasmine (2.2.0) and was used to verify the functionality of the new Windows version
  • SQLCipher for Windows (8.1) in addition to Android & iOS is now supported by litehelpers / Cordova-sqlcipher-adapter
  • New openDatabase and deleteDatabase location option to select database location (iOS only) and disable iCloud backup
  • Pre-populated databases support for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire-OS is now integrated, usage described below
  • Fixes to work with PouchDB by @nolanlawson


  • Works with Cordova 3.x tooling and stable version available at PhoneGap build
  • Drop-in replacement for HTML5 SQL API, the only change should be window.openDatabase() --> sqlitePlugin.openDatabase()
  • Failure-safe nested transactions with batch processing optimizations
  • As described in this posting:
    • Keeps sqlite database in a user data location that is known; can be reconfigured (iOS version); and synchronized to iCloud by default (iOS version; can be disabled as described below).
    • No 5MB maximum, more information at:
  • Android is supported back to SDK 10 (a.k.a. Gingerbread, Android 2.3.3); support for older versions is available upon request.
  • Pre-populated database option (usage described below)

Some apps using this plugin

Known issues

  • Issue reported with PhoneGap Build Hydration.
  • Multi-page apps are not supported and known to be broken on Android and Amazon Fire-OS.
  • Using web workers is currently not supported and known to be broken on Android and Amazon Fire-OS.
  • Triggers have only been tested on iOS, known to be broken on Android (in case sqlite4java is disabled) and Amazon Fire-OS.
  • INSERT statement that affects multiple rows (due to SELECT cause or using triggers, for example) does not report proper rowsAffected on Android (in case sqlite4java is disabled) or Amazon Fire-OS.
  • On Windows (8.1), rowsAffected can be wrong when there are multiple levels of nesting of INSERT statements.

Other limitations

  • The db version, display name, and size parameter values are not supported and will be ignored.
  • This plugin will not work before the callback for the "deviceready" event has been fired, as described in Usage. (This is consistent with the other Cordova plugins.)
  • The Android and Amazon Fire-OS versions cannot work with more than 100 open db files due to the threading model.
  • UNICODE line separator (\u2028) is currently not supported and known to be broken in iOS version.
  • UNICODE characters not working in WP(7/8) version
  • Blob type is currently not supported and known to be broken on multiple platforms.
  • UNICODE \u0000 (same as \0) character not working in Windows (8.1) or WP(7/8) versions
  • Case-insensitive matching and other string manipulations on Unicode characters, which is provided by optional ICU integration in the sqlite source and working with recent versions of Android, is not supported for any target platforms.

Limited support (testing needed)

  • DB Triggers (as described above - known to be broken for Amazon Fire-OS)
  • UNICODE characters not fully tested in the Windows Universal (8.1) version

Other versions

Other SQLite adapter projects


The idea is to emulate the HTML5/Web SQL API as closely as possible. The only major change is to use window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase() (or sqlitePlugin.openDatabase()) instead of window.openDatabase(). If you see any other major change please report it, it is probably a bug.

Opening a database

There are two options to open a database:

  • Recommended: var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db", location: 1});
  • Classical: var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase("myDatabase.db", "1.0", "Demo", -1);

The new location option is used to select the database subdirectory location (iOS only) with the following choices:

  • 0 (default): Documents - visible to iTunes and backed up by iCloud
  • 1: Library - backed up by iCloud, NOT visible to iTunes
  • 2: Library/LocalDatabase - NOT visible to iTunes and NOT backed up by iCloud

IMPORTANT: Please wait for the "deviceready" event, as in the following example:

// Wait for Cordova to load
document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
// Cordova is ready
function onDeviceReady() {
  var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db"});
  // ...

NOTE: The database file name should include the extension, if desired.

Pre-populated database

For Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire-OS (only): put the database file in the www directory and open the database like:

var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db", createFromLocation: 1});

or to disable iCloud backup:

db = sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db", location: 2, createFromLocation: 1});


  • Put the pre-populated database file in the www subdirectory. This should work well with using the Cordova CLI to support both Android & iOS versions.
  • The pre-populated database file name must match exactly the file name given in openDatabase. The automatic extension has been completely eliminated.
  • The pre-populated database file is ignored if the database file with the same name already exists in your database file location.

TIP: If you don't see the data from the pre-populated database file, completely remove your app and try it again!

Android sqlite implementation

By default, this plugin uses sqlite4java which is more efficient than the built-in Android database classes. The sqlite4java library consists of a Java part and a NDK part.

Unfortunately some app developers have encountered problems using sqlite4java with Ionic and Crosswalk. To use the built-in Android database classes instead:

var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db", androidDatabaseImplementation: 2});

Workaround for Android db locking issue

Issue #193 was reported (as observed by several app developers) that on some newer versions of the Android database classes, if the app is stopped or aborted without closing the database then:

  • (sometimes) there is an unexpected database lock
  • the data that was inserted is lost.

This issue is suspected to be caused by this Android sqlite commit, which references and includes the sqlite commit at:

There is an optional workaround that simply closes and reopens the database file at the end of every transaction that is committed. The workaround is enabled by opening the database with options as follows:

var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db", androidDatabaseImplementation: 2, androidLockWorkaround: 1});

This option is ignored if androidDatabaseImplementation: 2 is not specified.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This workaround is only applied when using db.transaction() or db.readTransaction(), not applied when running executeSql() on the database object.

Background processing

The threading model depends on which version is used:

  • For Android, Amazon Fire-OS, and WP(7/8), one background thread per db;
  • for iOS, background processing using a thread pool;
  • for Windows Universal (8.1), no background processing (for future consideration).

Sample with PRAGMA feature

This is a pretty strong test: first we create a table and add a single entry, then query the count to check if the item was inserted as expected. Note that a new transaction is created in the middle of the first callback.

// Wait for Cordova to load
document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
// Cordova is ready
function onDeviceReady() {
  var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase({name: "my.db"});
  db.transaction(function(tx) {
    tx.executeSql('DROP TABLE IF EXISTS test_table');
    tx.executeSql('CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS test_table (id integer primary key, data text, data_num integer)');
    // demonstrate PRAGMA:
    db.executeSql("pragma table_info (test_table);", [], function(res) {
      console.log("PRAGMA res: " + JSON.stringify(res));
    tx.executeSql("INSERT INTO test_table (data, data_num) VALUES (?,?)", ["test", 100], function(tx, res) {
      console.log("insertId: " + res.insertId + " -- probably 1");
      console.log("rowsAffected: " + res.rowsAffected + " -- should be 1");
      db.transaction(function(tx) {
        tx.executeSql("select count(id) as cnt from test_table;", [], function(tx, res) {
          console.log("res.rows.length: " + res.rows.length + " -- should be 1");
          console.log("res.rows.item(0).cnt: " + res.rows.item(0).cnt + " -- should be 1");
    }, function(e) {
      console.log("ERROR: " + e.message);

Sample with transaction-level nesting

In this case, the same transaction in the first executeSql() callback is being reused to run executeSql() again.

// Wait for Cordova to load
document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
// Cordova is ready
function onDeviceReady() {
  var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase("Database", "1.0", "Demo", -1);
  db.transaction(function(tx) {
    tx.executeSql('DROP TABLE IF EXISTS test_table');
    tx.executeSql('CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS test_table (id integer primary key, data text, data_num integer)');
    tx.executeSql("INSERT INTO test_table (data, data_num) VALUES (?,?)", ["test", 100], function(tx, res) {
      console.log("insertId: " + res.insertId + " -- probably 1");
      console.log("rowsAffected: " + res.rowsAffected + " -- should be 1");
      tx.executeSql("select count(id) as cnt from test_table;", [], function(tx, res) {
        console.log("res.rows.length: " + res.rows.length + " -- should be 1");
        console.log("res.rows.item(0).cnt: " + res.rows.item(0).cnt + " -- should be 1");
    }, function(e) {
      console.log("ERROR: " + e.message);

This case will also works with Safari (WebKit), assuming you replace window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase with window.openDatabase.

Delete a database

window.sqlitePlugin.deleteDatabase({name: "my.db", location: 1}, successcb, errorcb);

location as described above for openDatabase (iOS only)

NOTE: not implemented for Windows Universal (8.1) version.


Windows Universal target platform

WARNING: This is still in pre/alpha state. Please read and follow these items very carefully.

  • Please make sure your Cordova tooling is updated: npm update -g cordova cordova-windows
  • To create a new project: cordova create MyProjectFolder MyProject (and then cd into your project directory)
  • To add the plugin: cordova plugin add
  • To add the Windows target platform (if it does not exist): cordova platform add windows
  • If you are using Visual Studio Express (2013), you may have to remove the Windows 8.0 build from the Visual Studio solution.
  • Due to CB-8866: If you use Cordova CLI for fully-automatic installation (as described here), you cannot run the project for "Any CPU" or "Mixed Platforms". Please specify a CPU type (such as x86 or x64).

To target all CPUs (partially manual)

Make a clone of this project and in your clone, remove (or comment out) the items that include the SQLite3.Windows.vcxproj and SQLite3.WindowsPhone.vcxproj framework projects:

--- a/plugin.xml
+++ b/plugin.xml
@@ -75,8 +75,6 @@ 
         <!-- Thanks to AllJoyn-Cordova / cordova-plugin-alljoyn: -->
-        <framework src="src/windows/SQLite3-WinRT/SQLite3/SQLite3.Windows.vcxproj" custom="true" type="projectReference" target="windows" />
-        <framework src="src/windows/SQLite3-WinRT/SQLite3/SQLite3.WindowsPhone.vcxproj" custom="true" type="projectReference" target="phone" />
          <!-- old:
         <framework src="src/windows/SQLite3-WinRT/SQLite3/SQLite3-Windows8.1.vcxproj" custom="true" type="projectReference" target="windows" />


  • In your Cordova CLI project, use the Cordova CLI tool to install the plugin from the location of your clone (can be from your filesystem);
  • Use the Cordova CLI tool to add the windows target;
  • open the Windows target solution, add the SQLite3.Windows.vcxproj and SQLite3.WindowsPhone.vcxproj projects (located in to your app solution project, and add the references in your solution explorer.

Easy install with plugman tool

plugman install --platform MYPLATFORM --project --plugin

where MYPLATFORM is android, ios, or wp8.

A posting how to get started developing on Windows host without the Cordova CLI tool (for Android target only) is available here.

NOTE: Automatic installation for the Windows target platform is not properly supported by the plugman tool.

Easy install with Cordova CLI tool

npm install -g cordova # if you don't have cordova
cordova create MyProjectFolder MyProject && cd MyProjectFolder # if you are just starting
cordova plugin add

You can find more details at this writeup.

WARNING: for Windows target platform please read the section above.

IMPORTANT: sometimes you have to update the version for a platform before you can build, like: cordova prepare ios

NOTE: If you cannot build for a platform after cordova prepare, you may have to remove the platform and add it again, such as:

cordova platform rm ios
cordova platform add ios

Source tree

  • platform-independent (Literate coffee-script, can be read by recent coffee-script compiler)
  • www: SQLitePlugin.js platform-independent Javascript as generated from (and checked in!)
  • src: platform-specific source code:
    • android - Java plugin code for Android (along with sqlite4java library);
    • android-classic - Java plugin code for Amazon Fire-OS
    • ios - Objective-C plugin code for iOS;
    • windows - Javascript proxy code and SQLite3-WinRT project for Windows Universal;
    • wp - C-sharp code for WP(7/8)
  • spec: test suite using Jasmine (2.2.0), ported from QUnit test-www test suite, working on all platforms
  • Lawnchair-adapter: Lawnchair adaptor, based on the version from the Lawnchair repository, with the basic Lawnchair test suite in test-www subdirectory

Manual installation - Android version

These installation instructions are based on the Android example project from Cordova/PhoneGap 2.7.0, using the lib/android/example subdirectory from the PhoneGap 2.7 zipball.

  • Install SQLitePlugin.js from www into assets/www
  • Install and from src/android/io/liteglue into src/io/liteglue subdirectory
  • Install the libs subtree from src/android/sqlite4java/libs into your Android project
  • Add the plugin element <plugin name="SQLitePlugin" value="io.liteglue.SQLitePlugin"/> to res/xml/config.xml

Sample change to res/xml/config.xml for Cordova/PhoneGap 2.x:

--- config.xml.orig 2015-04-14 14:03:05.000000000 +0200
+++ res/xml/config.xml 2015-04-14 14:08:08.000000000 +0200
@@ -36,6 +36,7 @@ 
     <preference name="useBrowserHistory" value="true" />
     <preference name="exit-on-suspend" value="false" />
+    <plugin name="SQLitePlugin" value="io.liteglue.SQLitePlugin"/>
     <plugin name="App" value="org.apache.cordova.App"/>
     <plugin name="Geolocation" value="org.apache.cordova.GeoBroker"/>
     <plugin name="Device" value="org.apache.cordova.Device"/>

Before building for the first time, you have to update the project with the desired version of the Android SDK with a command like:

android update project --path $(pwd) --target android-19

(assuming Android SDK 19, use the correct desired Android SDK number here)

NOTE: using this plugin on Cordova pre-3.0 requires the following changes to and

--- Cordova-sqlite-storage/src/android/io/liteglue/ 2015-04-14 14:05:01.000000000 +0200
+++ src/io/liteglue/ 2015-04-14 14:15:23.000000000 +0200
@@ -24,7 +24,7 @@ 
 import java.util.regex.Matcher;
 import java.util.regex.Pattern;
-import org.apache.cordova.CallbackContext;
+import org.apache.cordova.api.CallbackContext;
 import org.json.JSONArray;
 import org.json.JSONException;
diff -u Cordova-sqlite-storage/src/android/io/liteglue/ src/io/liteglue/
--- Cordova-sqlite-storage/src/android/io/liteglue/ 2015-04-14 14:05:01.000000000 +0200
+++ src/io/liteglue/ 2015-04-14 14:10:44.000000000 +0200
@@ -22,8 +22,8 @@ 
 import java.util.regex.Matcher;
 import java.util.regex.Pattern;
-import org.apache.cordova.CallbackContext;
-import org.apache.cordova.CordovaPlugin;
+import org.apache.cordova.api.CallbackContext;
+import org.apache.cordova.api.CordovaPlugin;
 import org.json.JSONArray;
 import org.json.JSONException;

Manual installation - iOS version

SQLite library

In the Project "Build Phases" tab, select the first "Link Binary with Libraries" dropdown menu and add the library libsqlite3.dylib or libsqlite3.0.dylib.

NOTE: In the "Build Phases" there can be multiple "Link Binary with Libraries" dropdown menus. Please select the first one otherwise it will not work.

SQLite Plugin

  • Copy SQLitePlugin.[hm] from src/ios into your project Plugins folder and add them in XCode (I always just have "Create references" as the option selected).
  • Copy SQLitePlugin.js from www into your project www folder
  • Enable the SQLitePlugin in config.xml

Sample change to config.xml for Cordova/PhoneGap 2.x:

--- config.xml.old 2013-05-17 13:18:39.000000000 +0200
+++ config.xml 2013-05-17 13:18:49.000000000 +0200
@@ -39,6 +39,7 @@ 
     <content src="index.html" />
+        <plugin name="SQLitePlugin" value="SQLitePlugin" />
         <plugin name="Device" value="CDVDevice" />
         <plugin name="Logger" value="CDVLogger" />
         <plugin name="Compass" value="CDVLocation" />

Manual installation - Windows Universal (8.1) version

Described above.

Manual installation - WP(7/8) version


Quick installation test

Make a change like this to index.html (or use the sample code) verify proper installation:

--- index.html.old 2012-08-04 14:40:07.000000000 +0200
+++ assets/www/index.html 2012-08-04 14:36:05.000000000 +0200
@@ -24,7 +24,35 @@ 
       <link rel="stylesheet" href="master.css" type="text/css" media="screen" title="no title">
       <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="cordova-2.0.0.js"></script>
-      <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="main.js"></script>
+      <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="SQLitePlugin.js"></script>
+      <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
+      document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
+      function onDeviceReady() {
+        var db = window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase("Database", "1.0", "Demo", -1);
+        db.transaction(function(tx) {
+          tx.executeSql('DROP TABLE IF EXISTS test_table');
+          tx.executeSql('CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS test_table (id integer primary key, data text, data_num integer)');
+          tx.executeSql("INSERT INTO test_table (data, data_num) VALUES (?,?)", ["test", 100], function(tx, res) {
+          console.log("insertId: " + res.insertId + " -- probably 1"); // check #18/#38 is fixed
+          alert("insertId: " + res.insertId + " -- should be valid");
+            db.transaction(function(tx) {
+              tx.executeSql("SELECT data_num from test_table;", [], function(tx, res) {
+                console.log("res.rows.length: " + res.rows.length + " -- should be 1");
+                alert("res.rows.item(0).data_num: " + res.rows.item(0).data_num + " -- should be 100");
+              });
+            });
+          }, function(e) {
+            console.log("ERROR: " + e.message);
+          });
+        });
+      }
+      </script>
   <body onload="init();" id="stage" class="theme">

Common traps & pitfalls

  • The plugin class name starts with "SQL" in capital letters, but in Javascript the sqlitePlugin object name starts with "sql" in small letters.
  • Attempting to open a database before receiving the "deviceready" event callback.


Reporting issues

If you have an issue with the plugin please check the following first:

  • You are using the latest version of the Plugin Javascript & platform-specific Java or Objective-C source from this repository.
  • You have installed the Javascript & platform-specific Java or Objective-C correctly.
  • You have included the correct version of the cordova Javascript and SQLitePlugin.js and got the path right.
  • You have registered the plugin properly in config.xml.

If you still cannot get something to work:

  • Make the simplest test program you can to demonstrate the issue, including the following characteristics:
    • it completely self-contained, i.e. it is using no extra libraries beyond cordova & SQLitePlugin.js;
    • if the issue is with adding data to a table, that the test program includes the statements you used to open the database and create the table;
    • if the issue is with retrieving data from a table, that the test program includes the statements you used to open the database, create the table, and enter the data you are trying to retrieve.

Then you can raise the new issue.

Community forum

If you have any questions about the plugin please post them to the new discussion forum at / @litehelpers / Cordova-sqlite-storage.

Professional support

Professional support is available, please contact

Unit tests

Unit testing is done in spec.

running tests from shell

To run the tests from *nix shell, simply do either:

./bin/ ios

or for Android:

./bin/ android

To run then from a windows powershell do either

.\bin\test.ps1 android

or for Windows (8.1):

.\bin\test.ps1 windows

or for Windows Phone (7/8):

.\bin\test.ps1 wp8


Lawnchair Adapter

Common adapter

Please look at the Lawnchair-adapter tree that contains a common adapter, which should also work with the Android version, along with a test-www directory.

Included files

Include the following Javascript files in your HTML:

  • cordova.js (don't forget!)
  • lawnchair.js (you provide)
  • SQLitePlugin.js (in case of Cordova pre-3.0)
  • Lawnchair-sqlitePlugin.js (must come after SQLitePlugin.js in case of Cordova pre-3.0)


The name option determines the sqlite database filename, with no extension automatically added. Optionally, you can change the db filename using the db option.

In this example, you would be using/creating a database with filename kvstore:

kvstore = new Lawnchair({name: "kvstore"}, function() {
  // do stuff

Using the db option you can specify the filename with the desired extension and be able to create multiple stores in the same database file. (There will be one table per store.)

recipes = new Lawnchair({db: "cookbook", name: "recipes", ...}, myCallback());
ingredients = new Lawnchair({db: "cookbook", name: "ingredients", ...}, myCallback());

KNOWN ISSUE: the new db options are not supported by the Lawnchair adapter. The workaround is to first open the database file using sqlitePlugin.openDatabase().


The adapter is now part of PouchDB thanks to @nolanlawson, see PouchDB FAQ.



WARNING: Please do NOT propose changes from your master branch. In general, contributions are rebased using git rebase or git cherry-pick and not merged.


  • Patches with bug fixes are helpful, especially when submitted with test code.
  • Other enhancements welcome for consideration, when submitted with test code and are working for all supported platforms. Increase of complexity should be avoided.
  • All contributions may be reused by @brodybits (Chris Brody) under another license in the future. Efforts will be taken to give credit for major contributions but it will not be guaranteed.
  • Project restructuring, i.e. moving files and/or directories around, should be avoided if possible.
  • If you see a need for restructuring, it is better to first discuss it in the forum at / @litehelpers / Cordova-sqlite-storage (or in a new issue) where alternatives can be discussed before reaching a conclusion. If you want to propose a change to the project structure:
    • Remember to make (and use) a special branch within your fork from which you can send the proposed restructuring;
    • Always use git mv to move files & directories;
    • Never mix a move/rename operation with any other changes in the same commit.


@brodybits (Chris Brody) and others contribute their valuable time and expertise to maintain this project for the benefit of the mobile app community. Small consulting relationships can help strengthen the business viability of this project (see contact below).

Major branches

  • common-src - source for Android (not using sqlite4java), iOS, Windows (8.1), and Amazon Fire-OS versions (shared with litehelpers / Cordova-sqlcipher-adapter)
  • new-common-src - source for Android (using sqlite4java), iOS, Windows (8.1), and Amazon Fire-OS versions
  • new-common-rc - pre-release version for Android/iOS/Windows (8.1), including library dependencies for Android and Windows (8.1)
  • wp-src - source for Android (not using sqlite4java), iOS, WP(7/8), and Amazon Fire-OS versions
  • wp-master-rc - pre-release version for Android(not using sqlite4java)/iOS/WP(7/8), including source for CSharp-SQLite (C#) library classes
  • master-rc - pre-release version for all supported platforms, including library dependencies for Android, Windows (8.1), and WP(7/8)
  • [FUTURE TBD] master - version for release, to be included in PhoneGap build.


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