Database forms an integral part of any application, unless an application is dealing with the simple data. Applications need database to store the structured data. As computer applications connect to databases, mobile applications also require databases for the information storage. However, mobile devices use relatively lighter version of web database.
Android uses database for availability of persistent and updated data even when the device shuts down. In case of Android, we use SQLite. The SQLite database version is specially designed to efficiently run at the backend for many platforms. You may wonder that in the genre of cloud computing what is the need for phone’s local database. Local database is used like a cache for Android devices. Although cloud database is a good concept, local database enables faster retrieval of frequently used data, making data available even when the network goes down.
This article is a part of our Android mobile application development training exercise. In this article, we will learn the basics of Getting Started with Web Database Application Development: Connecting Android to SQLite web database application development and connectivity for Android.
A Brief Handshake with SQLite
As mentioned above, SQL is the most popular platform for mobile and wireless devices. It has been around for a long time and is stable to use on miniature devices. Some of the core benefits of SQLite are:
Zero Configurations: Install and get going. SQLite can be used without the need of a DBA, making it relatively simple to use.
No Server Requirement: SQLite is a simple set of libraries that provide the basic database functionality in SQLite, which means there is no database process running. This eliminates the need of a database server, further eliminating the need for server management.
Portability: SQLite was designed with portability in mind. It runs on all major platforms, architectures and byte orders. You create a SQLite database on Linux and you can run it on Windows, Mac, iPhone and other devices.
Prerequisites for Android web database application development
In order to begin with connecting the web database to your application, you need to be equipped with several tools as follows:
- Install the latest Java Development Kit (JDK):
It is imperative to check the system prerequisites before you get started. For example, check for minimum hardware and space requirements. JDK is one among the prerequisites. Either JDK 5 or 6 is required for Android development.
- Download and Install Android SDK (starter package):
Android SDK starter package is not the core SDK, but is a core set of tools, which guides you to download additional required components.
- If your Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supports, “download and install the Android Developers Tool” (ADT):
If you choose to install IDE then you don’t need ADT. To install ADT, run Eclipse and Choose Help | Install New Software. Click Add and enter the ADT repository URL in the resulting ADT dialog box. Click Ok and return to the Install screen. You should see developer’s tools and can add components.
- Add any target Android platforms and other useful components to your environment (components typically depend on the app concept):
This is the final task to get you ready for SQL web database application development. Use Android SDK and AVD manager to install the required components.
Downloading and installing through the above steps will get you started with SQLite-based Android app development. We will see details in the following articles.