This week we released greenDAO 3.2.2 with a couple of bug fixes. We want to highlight better interoperability with the Android Gradle plugin. With each new release of Android Gradle plugin, there have been conflicts with greenDAO plugin as both use “JDT”, a library to parse and manipulate Java Sources. To solve those conflicts once and for all, we now ship the greenDAO plugin with a repackaged version of JDT. Thus we are independent of other tools and can use the latest JDT versions. For best developer experience, we recommend everybody to update to greenDAO 3.2.2.
With greenDAO 3.2.x we are improving Android studio compatibility. Actually, greenDAO 3.2.0 was already released a couple of weeks ago, without a notification post. The first 3.2 release aligned an internal dependency (JDT ) to work nicely with Android Studio 2.2. Also, it added Protocol Buffers support to annotations. Today we are releasing 3.2.1 for the greenDAO plugin. Note that the core greenDAO lib and the generator did not have to be updated and thus remain at V3.2.0. This plugin update further improves Android Studio and Jack compiler integration and fixes some bugs. Check the changelog for details.
What is an Object-Relational-Mapper (ORM)?
An ORM is a layer between the relational SQLite database and the object-oriented app code. The ORM allows the developer to use the database without the need to transform objects into a format suited for the relational database.
Do I need an ORM to work with SQLite?
4 weeks ago we released greenDAO 3.0 introducing @Entity annotations as an alternative to the generator project. We noticed some issues with this rather big update, and fixed most of those in greenDAO 3.1 (thanks to everyone who reported bugs!). The update also brings two new features:
With greenDAO 3 released, it’s time again to look at the Android ORM performance landscape and do some benchmarks. This time, we also tested newer ORMs for SQLite like DbFlow, requery, SQLDelight, and SquiDB. Also, we had an extensive look at benchmarks done by others. Let’s get started with our results:
We are happy to announce greenDAO Version 3 today. Since its initial release 5 years ago, greenDAO has always been the fastest ORM for Android. It was also the first ORM to apply code generation for maximum performance. With greenDAO 3, we made code generation much more convenient: by adopting entity annotations you can drop the generator project. In its place comes the all new Gradle plugin, which automatically triggers code generation at build time. Like that, you can simply use greenDAO 3 annotations on your entities:
That's really good news. Just by using the new version 3.5.0 of SQLCipher, you can reduce your APK size (and build/deployment time). Not just the binary .so files got smaller, also the big "icudt46l.dat" file was removed in 3.5.0.
To see the effect in an app, we took the greenDAO example app and compared the resulting sizes. Of course, the version using built-in SQLite is by far the smallest, but your APK may lose 4.4 MB if you were using a previous version of SQLCipher:
We noticed one incompatibility with SQLCipher 3.5.x however. Android's SQLiteDatabase defines two additional collations:
In addition to SQLite's default BINARY collator, Android supplies two more, LOCALIZED, which changes with the system's current locale, and UNICODE, which is the Unicode Collation Algorithm and not tailored to the current locale.
Running SQL ORDER commands with "COLLATE LOCALIZED" does not work anymore starting with SQLCipher 3.5.0. That is the downside of the ICU (and ASOP code) removal.
So, what about greenDAO support for SQLCipher 3.5.x? greenDAO used "COLLATE LOCALIZED" in the QueryBuilder when specifying orders using string properties. To ensure compatibility with SQLCipher 3.5, we just released greendao-encryption V2.2.2 without the LOCALIZED collation.
We just released greenDAO 3 beta: it makes the generator project optional and moves to Java annotations. Before the final release however, we want to get your feedback. In particular, we experimented with alternative annotation processing that gives greenDAO more power while it avoids byte code manipulation.Our goal with greenDAO3 is to put the developer in control over entity classes while augmenting the entity code with a little bit of generated code.
At yesterday’s Droidcon Berlin barcamp, we compared different database approaches (SQLite, ORMs, NoSQL). In our interactive session we asked about 80 developers how they use databases on Android and what advantages and disadvantages they see in each approach. Here are the gathered results:
~40% of the participants have used SQLite without additional tools.