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Brandon Rozek

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PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

Simple Key-Value Store using Sqlite3

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3 minute reading time

A lot of software nowadays are built for scale. You have to setup a Kubernetes cluster and deploy Redis for duplication in order to have a key-value store. Though for many small projects, I feel like it’s overkill.

I’ll show in this post, that we can have a nice simple1 key-value store using sqlite3. This gives us the benefit that we don’t need to use system resources to run a daemon the entire time and only spin up a process when we need it.

For our key-value store, we’re going to use a table with two columns:

  • A key, which we’ll call name. This will be a unique TEXT type that has to be set.
  • The value, which we’ll call value (Creative, I know.) For our purposes, this will also be a TEXT type.

The SQL to create this table is

CREATE TABLE config(
    name TEXT NOT NULL UNIQUE,
    value TEXT
);

Let’s say we want to get the value of the key author. This is a SELECT statement away:

SELECT value FROM config where name='author';

Now let’s say that we want to insert a new key into the table.

INSERT INTO config(name, value) VALUES ('a', '1');

What about updating?

UPDATE config SET value='2' WHERE name='a';

The tricky part is if we want to insert if the key does not exist, and update if it does. To handle this we’ll need to resolve the conflict.

INSERT INTO config(name, value) VALUES ('a', '3') ON CONFLICT(name) DO UPDATE SET value=excluded.value;

Lastly if you want to export the entire key-value store as a CSV:

sqlite3 -header -csv data.db "SELECT * FROM config;"

This is nice and all, but it’s inconvinient to type out all these SQL commands. Therefore, I wrote two little bash scripts.

sqlite3_getkv

#!/bin/sh

set -o errexit
set -o nounset
set -o pipefail

show_usage() {
    echo "Usage: sqlite3_getkv [db_file] [key]"
    exit 1
}

# Check argument count
if [ "$#" -ne 2 ]; then
    show_usage
fi

# Initalize database file is not already
sqlite3 "$1" "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS config(name TEXT NOT NULL UNIQUE, value TEXT);"

# Get value from key
sqlite3 "$1" "SELECT value FROM CONFIG where name='$2';"

ssqlite3_setkv

#!/bin/sh

set -o errexit
set -o nounset
set -o pipefail

show_usage() {
    echo "Usage: sqlite3_setkv [db_file] [key] [value]"
    exit 1
}

# Check argument count
if [ "$#" -ne 3 ]; then
    show_usage
fi

# Initalize database file is not already
sqlite3 "$1" "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS config(name TEXT NOT NULL UNIQUE, value TEXT);"

# Set key-value pair
sqlite3 "$1" "INSERT INTO config(name, value) VALUES ('$2', '$3') ON CONFLICT(name) DO UPDATE SET value=excluded.value;"

Example Usage:

$ ./sqlite3_setkv.sh test.db a 4
$ ./sqlite3_setkv.sh test.db c 5
$ ./sqlite3_getkv.sh test.db a
4
$ ./sqlite3_setkv.sh test.db a 5
$ ./sqlite3_getkv.sh test.db a
5

  1. Somehow my idea of easier, simpler, and more maintainable is writing bash scripts. ↩︎

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