Let’s dive into the iOS World

Let’s dive into the iOS World

Two days ago, we attended the Swift Lighting Talks Meetup in Munich for the very first time. We had beer, pizza and listened to Sebastian Sellmeier’s presentation on making programming accessible and Denis Grebennicov’s presentation on the process of developing a Document Scanner app. It was fun and very instructive, thanks!

We also gave a 15 minute sneak peek talk about our ObjectBox iOS binding. Markus covered the basics of ObjectBox before sharing how we managed to overcome iOS constraints in our APIs. Finally, he disclosed the first (early) performance benchmarks on iOS, which we think are quite encouraging…

Check out the full talk in the video below.

In case you want to learn more about ObjectBox on iOS, sign up here for news and Early Access.
Special thanks to Stefan Mayer-PoppThe Munich iOS Developers Meetup for organizing this event and to Mayflower for hosting it.


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Loading Data – SQLite DB vs. ObjectBox DB

Loading Data – SQLite DB vs. ObjectBox DB

Code Example n°1


Loading data.
In just 2 lines.


Loading data in a Mobile App can be lenghty… if you work with SQLite directly. That’s why we built the fastest ORM on the market: greenDAO. With greenDAO its only 2 lines of code. With ObjectBox, our Mobile Database, its also 2 lines of code. Objectbox simply gives you additional speed out of the box. If you are already working with greenDAO, you can switch to using ObjectBox almost seamlessly. Check out our greenDAO CompatLayer to learn how you can easily switch and boost your app performance with minimal effort.


SQlite / greenDAO / ObjectBox


String[] columns = { “note”, “date_changed” };

String[] idArgs = { String.valueOf(id) };

SQLiteCursor cursor = (SQLiteCursor) db.query(“notes”, columns, “_id=?”, idArgs, null, null, “note”);

try {

if (cursor.getCount() != 1) {

throw new Exception(“Unexpected count: ” +cursor.getCount());



String note = cursor.getString(0);

String date = cursor.getString(1);

updateUi(note, date);

} finally {




Note note = noteDao.load(id);

updateUi(note.getNote(), note.getDate());


Note note = noteBox.get(id);

updateUi(note.getNote(), note.getDate());

ObjectBox 0.9.10 – getting closer to 1.0

ObjectBox 0.9.10 – getting closer to 1.0

ObjectBox 0.9.10 - getting closer to 1.0

Do you know our new super fast mobile database ObjectBox yet? With versions 0.9.9 and the just released 0.9.10, ObjectBox made great progress to stabilize features for the 1.0 release. With an increasing number of apps using ObjectBox, we were able to spot and fix some less obvious issues. We believe that ObjectBox 0.9.10 is the most stable release ever. If you did not dare to check out the beta version yet: now is a good time to have a closer look.


Mobile Database Comparison: SQLite and SQLite alternatives compared in a handy matrix

Mobile Database Comparison: SQLite and SQLite alternatives compared in a handy matrix

Mobile databases: SQLite and SQLite alternatives for Android and iOS

Updated comparison
Note: This is an updated version of an earlier Mobile Database Comparison.

What is a mobile database?

While Wikipedia defines a mobile database as “either a stationary database that can be connected to by a mobile computing device […] over a mobile network, or a database which is actually stored by the mobile device,” we solely refer to databases that run on the mobile device itself (on-device).

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with SQLite?

SQLite is easily the most established mobile database, probably the only “established” mobile database. SQLite has been around since the year 2000 and is embedded with iOS and Android since the beginning. SQLite is a relational database.



  • Toolchain, e.g. DB browser
  • No dependencies; included with Android and iOS
  • Developers can exactly define the data schema they want
  • Developers have full control, e.g. they can do handwritten SQL queries
  • SQL is a powerful and established query language, and SQLite supports most of it
  • Debuggable data: developers can grab the database file and analyze it
  • Rock-solid, widely used technology, established since the year 2000
  • Using SQLite means a lot of boilerplate code and thus inefficiencies (also in the long run with the app maintenance)
  • 1 MB BLOB Limitation on Android
  • No compile time checks (e.g. SQL queries)
  • SQLite performance is unreliable
  • SQL is another language to master
  • SQL queries can get long and complicated
  • Testability (how to mock a database?)
  • Especially when database views are involved, maintainability may be poor with SQLite

What are SQLite alternatives?

There are plenty of alternatives to working with SQLite directly. If you simply want to avoid writing lots of SQL and boilerplate code, you can use an object abstraction on top of SQLite. This abstraction is usually an ORM (object/relational mapper).

However, if you rather seek a replacement for SQLite completely, there are also a few alternative databases: Couchbase Lite, Interbase, LevelDB, Oracle Berkeley DB (formerly Oracle’s mobile database was “Oracle Database Lite”), Realm, SnappyDB, SQL Anywhere, and UnQLite.

Obviously, if your also looking for alternatives that are not on-device mobile databases, there are a lot of cloud / server options out there that you can use as a replacement like e.g. Firebase. Generally speaking, with these your app will not be (fully) offline-capable, costs on the serverside will go up, and they may also be rather slow in execution.

To give you an overview, we have compiled a small comparison table:

NameAndroid / iOSType of data storedSync CentralSync P2PData level encryptionLicense / business modelShort descriptionMinimum Footprint sizeCompany
Couchbase Lite, now Couchbase Mobile
Android / iOSJSON Documents / NoSQL db YesYesDatabase encryption with SQLCipher (256-bit AES)Apache 2.0Embedded / portable db with P2P and central synchronization (sync) support. Secure SSL.Couchbase
Android / iOSKey-value pairs / NoSQL dbNoNoNoApache 2.0Portable lightweight key-value store, NoSQL database.
InterBase ToGo / IBLite
Android / iOSRelationalNoNo256bit AES strength encryptionProprietaryEmbeddable SQL database.400 KBEmbarcadero
Android / iOSKey-value pairs / NoSQL dbNoNoNoNew BSDPortable lightweight key-value store, NoSQL db, doesn't support indexes, very fast for some use cases; earlier available enchmarks from 2011 have been removed unfortunately.350kBLevelDB Team
Oracle Database Lite
Android / iOSRelational and Key-Value-StoreWith Oracle Mobile ServerWith Oracle Mobile Server128-bit AES Standard encryptionProprietaryEmbedded / portable db with P2P and central sync support as well as support for sync with SQLite.< 1MBOracle Corporation
Snappy DB
AndroidKey-value pairs / NoSQL dbNoNoNoApache 2.0Portable lightweight key-value store, NoSQL db based on LevelDB.Nabil HACHICHA
Android / iOSObject DatabaseNoNoYes Apache 2.0 License APIs with proprietary sync.Embedded object db.Realm Inc.
SQL Anywhere; Ultralite is the mobile version
Android / iOSRelationalDependantNoAES-FIPS cipher encryption for full database or selected tablesProprietaryEmbedded / portable db with central snyc support with a stationary database.Database memory footprint: only 300KB for mobile devicesSybase iAnywhere
embedded on iOS and AndroidRelationalNoNoNo, Use SQLCipher to encrypt SQLitePublic domainC programming library; clear market leader).500KiBHwaci
Android / iOSKey-value pairs / document store / NoSQL dbNoNo2-Clause BSDPortable lightweight embedded db; self-contained C library without dependency.Symisc systems
If you are interested in an indication of the diffusion rate of databases and mobile databases, check out the following database popularity ranking: http://db-engines.com/en/ran.

Thanks for reading and sharing. Please let us know what you’re missing.