I am developing a desktop application where an embedded database is required. I need to choose database based on a few requirements:

  1. Ability to store binary data.
  2. Ability to encrypt data at rest.
  3. Least Administration required.

I am familiar with MS SQL Server Express. But not sure if it can provide encryption. Thought of SQLLite but not sure about binary data. Free software is 1st choice.



  1. Binary concern

    2. Storage Classes and Datatypes .... BLOB. The value is a blob of data, stored exactly as it was input.

  2. Encryption concern

  3. Least Administration required.

    Seriously,.. well, that's specific..

  • Pls correct me if I'm wrong. BLOBs are actually stored in file system and not int table. I need it in table only. – Mashhoor Gulati Jun 9 '17 at 13:45

SQL Server Express

  1. SQL Server has binary and varbinary data types.
  2. As of SQL Server Express 2016 SP1 you can use Always Encrypted to handle the encryption concern. The data is encrypted by the application before it is sent to the database.
  3. SQL Server Express is free. It has several limitations, including a max size of 10 GB and 1 GB of memory.
  • Note that SQL Server Express is not an "embedded" database which is what Mashhoor wants – a_horse_with_no_name Jun 9 '17 at 5:11

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