You’ve got a large set of data to import into your SQLite database, but you can’t find the bulk insert API in Microsoft.Data.Sqlite. That’s because there isn’t one! SQLite doesn’t have any special way to bulk insert data.

The two things you can to do to speed up inserts are:

  1. Use a transaction.
  2. Re-use the same INSERT command.
using (var transaction = connection.BeginTransaction())
using (var command = connection.CreateCommand())
    command.CommandText =
        "INSERT INTO contact(name, email) " +
        "VALUES($name, $email);";

    var nameParameter = command.CreateParameter();
    nameParameter.ParameterName = "$name";

    var emailParameter = command.CreateParameter();
    emailParameter.ParameterName = "$email";

    foreach (var contact in contacts)
        nameParameter.Value = contact.Name ?? DBNull.Value;
        emailParameter.Value = contact.Email ?? DBNull.Value;


Faster in 2.1

In Microsoft.Data.Sqlite version 2.1.0 this code will get even faster thanks to a contribution by @AlexanderTaeschner. He implemented SqliteCommand.Prepare() which allows you to precompile a command. But even if you don’t call the method, subsequent executions will reuse the compilation of the first one. My initial benchmarking indicates up to 4x more inserts per second in some cases!

Dangerously Fast

If you’re willing to take risks, you can squeeze even more speed out of it by using a couple PRAGMA statements. Make sure, however, that you understand the consequences of doing this.

PRAGMA journal_mode = MEMORY;
PRAGMA synchronous = OFF;