Friday, July 31, 2015


SQLite Release Notes:

Added the experimental FTS5 extension. Note that this extension is experimental and subject to change in incompatible ways.

SQLite FTS5 Extension:

The principle difference between FTS3/4 and FTS5 is that in FTS3/4, each instance-list is stored as a single large database record, whereas in FTS5 large instance-lists are divided between multiple database records. This has the following implications for dealing with large databases that contain large lists:

  • FTS5 is able to load instance-lists into memory incrementally in order to reduce memory usage and peak allocation size. FTS3/4 very often loads entire instance-lists into memory.

  • When processing queries that feature more than one token, FTS5 is sometimes able to determine that the query can be answered by inspecting a subset of a large instance-list. FTS3/4 almost always has to traverse entire instance-lists.

  • If an instance-list grows so large that it exceeds the SQLITE_MAX_LENGTH limit, FTS3/4 is unable to handle it. FTS5 does not have this problem.


FTS5 has no matchinfo() or offsets() function, and the snippet() function is not as fully-featured as in FTS3/4. However, since FTS5 does provide an API allowing applications to create custom auxiliary functions, any required functionality may be implemented within the application code.

The set of built-in auxiliary functions provided by FTS5 may be improved upon in the future.

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