android – What is the limit of SQL variables one can specify in a single execSQL query-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I am trying to improve the speed of my android database inserts. What I am currently doing is generate a string like:

SELECT ? as title, ? as musician_id, ? as album_id, ? as genre
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?

And then executing it with

SQLiteDatabase database = //initialized in some way
String insertQuery; // the string of the query above
String [] parameters; // the parameters to use in the insertion.
database.execSQL(insertQuery.toString(), parameters);

I am getting the following error when I try to insert about 2000 rows:

Caused by: android.database.sqlite.SQLiteException: too many SQL variables (code 1): , while compiling: INSERT INTO songs (title, musician_id, album_id, genre)
SELECT ? as title, ? as musician_id, ? as album_id, ? as genre
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?
UNION SELECT ?, ?, ?, ?

When I try to insert about 200 rows everything works fine.

I suppose it is obvious – I am trying to pass in too many variables in a single execSQL. Does anyone know what is the limit so that I can split the rows I insert in appropriate batches?

How to solve:

The limit is hardcoded in sqlite3.c and is set to 999. Unfortunately it can be changed but only at compile time. Here are the relevant snippets:

/*
** The maximum value of a ?nnn wildcard that the parser will accept.
*/
#ifndef SQLITE_MAX_VARIABLE_NUMBER
# define SQLITE_MAX_VARIABLE_NUMBER 999
#endif


/*
** The datatype ynVar is a signed integer, either 16-bit or 32-bit.
** Usually it is 16-bits.  But if SQLITE_MAX_VARIABLE_NUMBER is greater
** than 32767 we have to make it 32-bit.  16-bit is preferred because
** it uses less memory in the Expr object, which is a big memory user
** in systems with lots of prepared statements.  And few applications
** need more than about 10 or 20 variables.  But some extreme users want
** to have prepared statements with over 32767 variables, and for them
** the option is available (at compile-time).
*/
#if SQLITE_MAX_VARIABLE_NUMBER<=32767
typedef i16 ynVar;
#else
typedef int ynVar;
#endif

###

I am trying to improve the speed of my android database inserts. What
I am currently doing is generate a string like:

Did you think about use TRANSACTION? I suggest you to use it instead of yours approach. I think use UNION clause is not a “win” at all and there is better and mainly safer way how to achieve it.

db.beginTransaction();
try {
   for (int i = 0 ; i < length ; i++ ) { // or another kind of loop etc.
     // make insert actions
   }
   db.setTransactionSuccessful(); // now commit changes
}
finally {
    db.endTransaction();
}

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