Database software that will run off a USB stick?

I am introducing some year 10 students to databases. We are using Access2003 at the moment, and I am about to show them SQL (via Access).

I have two questions which I will post seperately.

Is there an alternative to Access which can run without installation (such as running from a network drive, or USB stick)?
I would like my students to experience something other then Access, but have no way of getting software such as mySQL installed.

Perhaps this may be useful to you:

SQLite3 is based on flat files, so your whole database is stored in say foo.db. All you need to do is grab the executable file at and open that .exe. A command prompt will open, and it will automatically create a new database. So you can do a query automatically, eg

ID int not null auto_increment primary key,
NAME text

And to save this, do:

“.backup mydatabase.db”;

I’d checkout the mini tutorial they have. SQLite3 is highly preferred for lightweight databases that are embedded within applications.

Brilliant, thanks.

I will try both of those on the school network tomorrow.

AFAIK Safari (the browser on Macs and recently also on PCs) uses SQLite to store stuff like cookies, bookmarks, browsing history etc.

Tell us what worked for you :stuck_out_tongue:

One thing to watch out for–while USB memory sticks are rewritable, there is a finite number of writes one can make to a given memory stick before it gives up the ghost. Database files tend to have alot of little writes and you can easily kill a memory stick unexpectedly, losing any data on said stick.

wwb_99, really? funny thing is I have ubuntu loaded on a USB stick (Which I have had for about 3 years now) and it still works perfectly… and you can only imagine how many writes an entire OS with preloaded software would perform. :slight_smile:

Yes, really. Google a bit for “flash memory write endurance” or “flash memory wear.” While it won’t necessarily happen before you, say, lose the USB stick in a pub crawl, it is very real.

Given that it takes a very long time, it’s sort of like worrying about hard drive bearings wearing out. Anyways, in this application, the stick only has to last the length of the course.

Really depends on the USB stick, etc. What are the chances of a school system not buying the cheapest possible option? What are the chances of said school system recycling said cheapest possible sticks?

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about your stick failing, especially given the application. I’ve had several outlast hard drives.