In easiest terms, SQLite is a software offering a relational database management system(RDBMS). When it comes to storing user defined records in large tables, relational database management systems are the best to opt for. Apart from functioning as a tool for storing and managing data, a relational database can also be used for running complex query commands to combine data from various tables and generate data summaries and reports. Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's DB2 and Oracle database are some other popular RDBMS products. PostGreSQL and MYSQL are popular as open source products.
The word "Lite" in SQLite does not imply that this software has lesser capabilities. Instead, SQLite is a lightweight application that comes with minimum administrative overhead and setup complexity. The first version of SQlite was launched in August 2000
Here are some of the features for which SQLite is known for:
In contrast to most RDBMS products, SQLite doesn't have a client/server architecture. Most large databases have huge server packages that make up the database engine. This can make it a bit difficult to reliably backup or move a database instance. SQLite does not need a separate system or server package to function. It has a library to directly access its storage files. The only resource that is shared is a database file that sits on a hard disk. You can just copy the file and move the database to its desired location.
Having no server also means that there is no setup. Making a SQLite database instance is as easy as opening a file.
Cross - Platform
A single cross platform file carries the entire database instance. This means there is no need for any administration.
A single library carries the entire database system. This database system is integrated directly in to the host application.
Little Runtime Footprint
The default build consumes only a few megabytes of memory. In addition to that, little code adjustment can further reduce the memory used to a great extent.
The transactions made in SQLite fully comply with ACID. This allows for safe access from several processes and threads. Full featured version of SQLite can support most of the query language features present in SQL2 standard.
Overall, SQLite offers a highly flexible and functional database environment with minimum hassle for both users and developers. In addition, SQLite doesn't need any license for its use as it is an open source software present in public domain.