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DocLite - PHP NoSQL database

A powerful PHP NoSQL document store built on top of SQLite.


A powerful PHP NoSQL database and document store built on top of SQLite.

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About DocLite

DocLite is a powerful NoSQL document store for PHP built on top of SQLite, providing a robust, fast and ACID compliant alternative to flat-file databases like SleekDB. It uses the PHP PDO SQLite library to access a SQLite database and automatically manage documents organized in to named collections, which are stored as JSON.

DocLite takes advantage of the SQLite JSON1 extension (this is usually bundled in to the libsqlite included with your PHP distribution, so you probably already have it) to store, parse, index and query JSON documents - giving you the power and flexibility of a fully transactional and ACID compliant NoSQL solution, yet contained within the local file system. No need for more complex systems like Mongo, CouchDB or Elasticsearch when your requirements are slim. No need for any external dependencies, just PHP with PDO SQLite enabled.

DocLite provides a simple, intuitive, flexible and powerful PHP library that you can learn, install and start using in minutes.

Why DocLite?

DocLite lends itself well to a variety of use cases, including but not limited to:

Broadly speaking, DocLite is suitable for the same uses cases as the underlying SQLite engine it is built on, but where you desire a NoSQL solution.

Getting Started

System requirements

(on most systems, if you’re running PHP 7.4 you probably already meet the second requirement)


Install with Composer

composer require dwgebler/doclite

Usage Overview

DocLite provides both a FileDatabase and MemoryDatabase implementation. To create or open an existing database, simply create a Database object, specifying the file path if using a FileDatabase.

If your FileDatabase does not exist, it will be created (ensure your script has the appropriate write permissions). This will include creating any parent directories as required.

If you specify an existing directory without a filename, a default filename data.db will be used.

use Gebler\DocLite\{FileDatabase, MemoryDatabase};

// To create or open an existing file database.
$db = new FileDatabase('/path/to/db');

// To open an existing file database in read-only mode.
$db = new FileDatabase('/path/to/existing/db', true);

// To create a new in-memory database.
$db = new MemoryDatabase();

Once you have opened a database, you can obtain a document Collection which will be automatically created if it does not exist.

$users = $db->collection("user"); 

The Collection object can then be used to retrieve, create and manipulate documents.

// Create a new User in the collection
$user = $users->get();

// Get the automatically generated document ID
$id = $user->getId();

// Set properties by magic set* methods
$user->setPassword(password_hash("admin", \PASSWORD_DEFAULT));
$user->setCreated(new \DateTimeImmutable);

// Update the user in the collection

// Retrieve this user later on by ID
$user = $users->get($id);

// Or search for a user by any field
$user = $users->findOneBy(["username" => "dwgebler"]);

In the example above, $user is an instance of a DocLite Document, but you can also hydrate objects of your own custom classes from a collection.

class CustomUser
    private $id;
    private $username;
    private $password;
    public function getId() {...}
    public function setId($id) {...}
    public function getUsername() {...}
    public function setUsername($username) {...}    

// Retrieve a previously created user and map the result on to a CustomUser object.
// You can also pass a null ID as the first parameter to create a new CustomUser.
$user = $users->get($id, CustomUser::class);

// $user is now an instance of CustomUser and can be saved through the Collection.

For full documentation, please see the project on GitHub