rejemy / UltraLiteDB

A bare-bones C# .NET Key-value Store in a single database file for Unity

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UltraLiteDB - A bare-bones C# .NET Key-value Store in a single database file, intended for use in Unity

UltraLiteDB is a trimmed down version of LiteDB 4.0 ( Anything that needs Linq or dynamic code generation has been removed to make it work in Unity's IL2CPP AoT runtime environment. Some additional features have been removed to reduce code footprint. What's left is a very small, fast key-value store that lets you save and load BSON-encoded data in any Unity environment.

Major features missing from LiteDB

  • Due to linq limitations, there are no expressions. Queries and indexes are limited to simple top level fields only.
  • Thread and file locking overhead has been removed, databases must be accessed from a single thread, which should not be an issue in Unity.
  • File storage and streaming have been removed as not needed in a Unity setting.
  • No cross-collection document referencing
  • No interactive shell

So what's still there?

  • The POCO to BSON mapper allows you to BSON-encode most any C# object or struct with little work.
  • A very fast way to save, load and update BSON-encoded data into a compact, encrypted, managable single file.
  • Basic queries on the primary key and user-created indexes (all, less than, greater than, between, in, etc)
  • Simple API similar to MongoDB
  • File format compatibility with LiteDB
  • 100% C# code for .NETStandard 2.0 Unity preset in a single DLL (~172 kb)
  • ACID in document/operation level
  • Data recovery after write failure (journal mode)
  • Datafile encryption using DES (AES) cryptography
  • Open source and free for everyone - including commercial use
  • What, you need more than that?

Use case

This is a great library to use for any project that needs to store lots of mutable data in a convenient and accessible way. For example:

  • Large save game files that have long lists of completed quests, NPC flags, explored area state, etc
  • A Minecraft-like game where a vast world can be edited by the user and must be persisted to disk
  • Game statistics, win/loss records, gameplay recording sessions

It could also be useful for large amounts of read-only data as well, where you need to locate records in a data-file too large to keep in memory all the time:

  • Large dialog trees
  • Monster/item stats
  • Quest scripts


For basic CRUD operations, the LiteDB documentation largely applies to UltraLiteDB.

The biggest difference is that any query or index method using a linq expression method are missing.

Installing in a Unity project

Download the UltraLiteDB.dll from the Releases page and put it in the ./Assets/Plugins folder of your Unity project. That should be it!

How to use UltraLiteDB

A quick example for storing and searching documents:

using UltraLiteDB;

void DatabaseTest()
    // Open database (or create if doesn't exist)
    var db = new UltraLiteDatabase("MyData.db")

    // Get a collection
    var col = db.GetCollection("savegames");

    // Create a new character document
    var character = new BsonDocument();
    character["Name"] = "John Doe";
    character["Equipment"] = new string[] { "sword", "gnome hat" };
    character["Level"] = 1;
    character["IsActive"] = true;
    // Insert new customer document (Id will be auto generated)
    BsonValue id = col.Insert(character);
    // new Id has also been added to the document at character["_id"]

    // Update a document inside a collection
    character["Name"] = "Joana Doe";

    // Insert a document with a manually chosen Id
    var character2 = new BsonDocument();
    character2["_id"] = 10;
    character2["Name"] = "Test Bob";
    character2["Level"] = 10;
    character2["IsActive"] = true;

    // Load all documents
    List<BsonDocument> allCharacters = new List<BsonDocument>(characters.FindAll());

    // Delete something

    // Upsert (Update if present or insert if not)

    // Don't forget to cleanup!

To be done

The BsonDocument class generates garbage every time you load or save to the database. I'm investigating allowing custom allocators and object reuse pools to reduce garbage generation from load and save operations. I don't think this library can be made 100% garbage free, but there is currently much room for improvement.


To build UltraLiteDB yourself:

  1. Make sure you have a recent .NET Core SDK installed (
  2. Download or clone this repository
  3. dotnet build -c Release
  4. Your new DLL is at ./UltraLiteDB/bin/Release/netstandard2.0/UltraLiteDB.dll



Copyright (c) 2017 - Maurício David


This project is entirely built upon Maurício David's excellent LiteDB, and would not exist without it.


A bare-bones C# .NET Key-value Store in a single database file for Unity

License:MIT License


Language:C# 100.0%