SQLite temp table

SQLite temporary tables are special tables that are created and exist only for the duration of a database session. These tables are useful for storing intermediate results, temporary data, or for simplifying complex queries. Unlike regular tables, temporary tables are automatically dropped when the session ends, making them a convenient tool for managing temporary data within a SQLite database.

Key points

Here are some key points about SQLite temporary tables:

Syntax for Creating Temporary Tables

To create a temporary table in SQLite, you can use the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE statement. The syntax is similar to creating a regular table(CREATE TABLE), but with the addition of the keyword TEMPORARY.

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE temp_table_name (
    column1 datatype1,
    column2 datatype2,

Scope and Lifetime

Temporary tables in SQLite are session-specific, meaning they are only visible and accessible within the context of the current database connection. Once the connection is closed, the temporary table is automatically dropped, and its contents are lost.

Usage in Transactions

Temporary tables can be particularly useful within transactions. They allow you to store intermediate results during a transaction and reference them later in the same transaction. When the transaction is committed or rolled back, the temporary table is automatically dropped.

Global Temporary Tables

SQLite does not support global temporary tables that are shared across multiple database connections. Each connection to the database has its own set of temporary tables.

Temporary Table Naming

Temporary tables in SQLite follow the same naming rules as regular tables. However, it is a good practice to use a distinct naming convention for temporary tables to avoid confusion with permanent tables.

Performance Optimization

By using temporary tables strategically, you can optimize query performance. Storing intermediate results in temporary tables can eliminate the need to repeatedly compute the same data within a transaction or session, leading to faster query execution times.

Reduced Disk I/O and Memory Usage

Temporary tables are stored in memory by default, which can significantly reduce disk I/O and improve query performance. Since they exist only for the duration of a session or a transaction, temporary tables help in minimizing the use of physical storage and can be beneficial in situations where disk space or memory is a concern.


Here’s an example of creating a temporary table in SQLite:

-- Create a temporary table
    emp_id INTEGER,
    emp_name TEXT,
    emp_salary REAL

-- Insert data into the temporary table
INSERT INTO temp_employee VALUES (1, 'John Doe', 50000.00);
INSERT INTO temp_employee VALUES (2, 'Jane Smith', 60000.00);

-- Query the temporary table
SELECT * FROM temp_employee;

In this example, the temporary table temp_employee is created, data is inserted, and then a SELECT statement retrieves the contents of the temporary table.

Temporary tables in SQLite offer a flexible and efficient way to manage temporary data within a session, helping to simplify complex queries and transactions.

In summary, temporary tables in SQLite offer advantages in terms of performance, isolation, transaction support, and flexibility, making them a valuable tool in various database scenarios, particularly when dealing with complex queries or temporary data storage needs.