This Skip framework is available at, which can be checked out and tested with skip test once Skip is installed.

The SkipSQL module is a dual-platform Skip framework that provides access to sqlite databases in Darwin and Android systems.


Connection example

To connect

let dbpath = URL.documentsDirectoryURL.appendingPathComponent("db.sqlite")

let ctx = try SQLContext(path: dbpath, flags: [.create, .readWrite])
defer { ctx.close() }


try sqlite.exec(sql: "INSERT INTO SOME_TABLE (STRING) VALUES ('ABC')")

let rows: [[SQLValue]] = ctx.query(sql: "SELECT STRING FROM SOME_TABLE")
assert(rows[0][0] == SQLValue.string("ABC"))

In-memory databases

When passing nil as the path, the SQLContext will reside entirely in memory, and will not persist once the context is closed. This can be useful for unit testing and performing in-memory calculations, or as a temporary engine for calculations and sorting.

let ctx = try SQLContext(path: nil)
defer { ctx.close() }

let rows: [[SQLValue]] = ctx.query(sql: "SELECT 1, 1.1+2.2, 'AB'||'C'")

assert(rows[0][0] == SQLValue.integer(1))
assert(rows[0][1] == SQLValue.float(3.3))
assert(rows[0][2] == SQLValue.text("ABC"))


Performing multiple operations in the context of a transaction will ensure that either all the operations succeed (COMMIT) or fail (ROLLBACK) together.

try ctx.transaction {
    try ctx.exec(sql: "INSERT INTO TABLE_NAME VALUES(1)")
    try ctx.exec(sql: "INSERT INTO TABLE_NAME VALUES(2)")

The default transaction type is .deferred, but it can be specified as a parameter to transaction to override the default, or nil to perform the operation without a transaction.

Bound parameters

Retaining a prepared SQLStatement will mean that the SQL doesn’t need to be re-parsed each time a query or insert/update statement is performed.

SQL statements with a ? symbol will expect those parameters to be applied with the bind function before the statement is executed.

let insert = try sqlite.prepare(sql: "INSERT INTO TABLE_NAME (NUM, STR) VALUES (?, ?)")
defer { insert.close() }

// insert 1,000 rows in a single transaction, re-using the insert statement
try sqlite.transaction {
    for i in 1...1_000 {
        let params: [SQLValue] = [
            SQLValue.text("Row #\(i)")
        try insert.update(parameters: params)

Schema Migration

There is no built-in support for schema migrations. Following is a part of a sample of how you might perform migrations in your own app (taken from the DataBake sample app). See the full app for details.

// track the version of the schema in the database, which can be used for schema migration
try ctx.exec(sql: "INSERT OR IGNORE INTO DB_SCHEMA_VERSION (id, version) VALUES (0, 0)")
var currentVersion = try ctx.query(sql: "SELECT version FROM DB_SCHEMA_VERSION").first?.first?.integerValue ?? 0

func migrateSchema(v version: Int64, ddl: String) throws {
    if currentVersion < version {
        let startTime =
        try ctx.exec(sql: ddl) // perform the DDL operation
        // then update the schema version
        try ctx.exec(sql: "UPDATE DB_SCHEMA_VERSION SET version = ?", parameters: [SQLValue.integer(version)])
        currentVersion = version
        logger.log("updated database schema to \(version) in \(startTime.durationToNow)")

let tableName = "TABLE_NAME"

// the initial creation script for a new database
try migrateSchema(v: 1, ddl: """

// incrementally migrate up to the current schema version
func addDataItemColumn(_ key: DataItem.CodingKeys) -> String {
    "ALTER TABLE \(tableName) ADD COLUMN \(key.rawValue) \(key.ddl)"

try migrateSchema(v: 2, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.title))
try migrateSchema(v: 3, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.created))
try migrateSchema(v: 4, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.modified))
try migrateSchema(v: 5, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.contents))
try migrateSchema(v: 6, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.rating))
try migrateSchema(v: 7, ddl: addDataItemColumn(.thumbnail))
// future migrations to follow…


As a thin layer over a SQLite connection, SkipSQL itself performs no locking or manages threads in any way. It is up to the application layer to set up reader/writer locks, or else just perform all the operations on one thread (e.g., using to enqueue operations from a Task).

The Sqlite guide on Locking And Concurrency can provide additional guidance.


SkipSQL speaks directly to the low-level SQLite3 C library that is included with all Darwin/iOS/Android operating systems. On Darwin/iOS, it communicates directly through Swift’s C bridging support. On Android, it uses the SkipFFI module to interact directly with the underlying sqlite installation on Android. (For performance and a consistent API, SkipSQL eschews Android’s android.database.sqlite Java wrapper, and uses JNA to directly access the SQLite C API.)

SQLite Versions

Since SkipSQL just uses the version of SQLite that is shipped with the platform, care should be taken when using recent SQLite features, such as the json function, which is new in SQLite 3.38, in which case it would raise an error on Android versions below 14.0 (API 34) and iOS versions below 16.0.

Be aware that some very useful SQL features may only have been added to more recent versions of SQLite, such as strict tables (added in 3.37). This may impact the Android API version you can deply back to, so be sure to test your code on the oldest available Android emulator and iOS simulator for your project.

Also be aware that the availability of some SQL features are contingent on the compile flags used to build the vendored sqlite implementation provided as part of the OS, such as SQLITE_ENABLE_JSON1 enabling the various json_ operations. In the case of Android, be aware that local Robolectric testing will be insufficient to identify any limitations resulting from sqlite compile flags, since local testing will use the local (i.e., macOS-vendored) version of SQLite. Testing against an Android emulator (or device) should be performed when developing new SQL operations.


iOS Version SQLite Version
13 3.28
14 3.32
15 3.36
16 3.39


Android API SQLite Version
9 (API 28) 3.22
10 (API 30) 3.28
11 (API 31) 3.32
12 (API 32) 3.32
13 (API 33) 3.32
14 (API 34) 3.39


This project is a Swift Package Manager module that uses the Skip plugin to transpile Swift into Kotlin.

Building the module requires that Skip be installed using Homebrew with brew install skiptools/skip/skip. This will also install the necessary build prerequisites: Kotlin, Gradle, and the Android build tools.


The module can be tested using the standard swift test command or by running the test target for the macOS destination in Xcode, which will run the Swift tests as well as the transpiled Kotlin JUnit tests in the Robolectric Android simulation environment.

Parity testing can be performed with skip test, which will output a table of the test results for both platforms.