mysql vs sqlite vs hsql

Steve Menard steve.menard at
Thu Jun 24 15:33:04 CEST 2004

stan k. wrote:
> First of all i'm on a win32 platform using java. I also have mysql
> installed. My question isabout benchmarks and multiple inserts &
> selects
> I current have a mysql database of approx. 80mb. 
> Each day I Insert approx .5mb of new records into this table,
> and I might also run mutiple Update, Delete, and Select queries as
> well.
> I'm trying to get an idea of how fast a sql database engine will run
> given that is is inside of the JVM. I know it's going to be slower
> than a db engine written in C and that's a trade off for being
> portable to different operating systems.
> What I want to know is how much of a trade off though - I don't want
> to have to wait 10 mins or deal with screen freezing... Right
> now on a windows platform using mysql things move really fast.
> Can anyone give me an idea of the time delay needed to do these
> Inserts in HSQL (ie: how much does the jvm slow things down)..
> Thanks in advance

<followup redirected to, since this question 
has nothing to do with python>

Quite a few things to address in this question ...

First, lemme dispell the very common misconception that java is slow. It 
USED to be, back when it was fully interpreted. Nowadays, most benchmark 
agree that java is on par with C/C++ in raw speed, depending on the kind 
of operation you are doing. Modern Java most notable problems are with 
memory usage and startup speed, both of which are being addressed (to a 
point) in the upcoming JRE 1.5.

Second, a database system is not even CPU bound, but rather IO bound. In 
that respect, the algorithm used for in-memory caching and indexing will 
have far more influence on overall speed.

As for hsqldb, past experience shows it to be remarkably fast. As you 
are clearly trying to embed the database, I would nto even be surprised 
that hsql would come out faster for you, since you can get rid of the 
network-call overhead of calling MySQL. It will have no problem handling 
  the 500 KB of data a day you wish to insert, and should cause no more 
"screen freezes" than any other databases.

Lastly sqlite does not (as far as I know) have a JDBC driver, not is it 
as full-featured are hsql.

I would recommend you look at your requirements (multi user, gui app, 
web app, etc ...) and make a choice based on that, rather than the 
mythical slowness of the JVM.


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