Simple Access Berkeley DB Using STLdb4

STLdb4 makes C++ programming with the Berkeley DB simpler and more effective.
Database Environments

Database environments are convenient for configuring a group of Berkeley databases that will be used together. Using database environments together with the Concurrent Data Store mode with multiple database files allows you to have multiple applications all reading and writing to the database files, and Berkeley DB takes care of locking to make sure that the files don't become corrupt.

The default database environment in STLdb4 is effectively a null environment. New database environments are created using the Environment class. The static Environment::setDefault() method can be used in applications using a single database environment to avoid having to pass the database environment object to the Database constructor.

The code shown in Listing 11 uses a database environment to protect two database files from simultaneous update by multiple running processes. First, a new database environment is created and set to use the Concurrent Data Store mode. This database environment is set to be the default STLdb4 environment. The first Database object is created using the default database environment; the second Database object is created by specifying the database environment explicitly and opening the database file as a separate call.

Other Things of Interest

The ordering of elements in the database can be changed with Database::set_bt_compare() using either a function pointer or a Loki functor object. For details on Loki functors, refer to the Modern C++ Design book (see the on-line Resources). As the comparison function is a relatively low-level operation, no implicit conversions happen for this, and you must compare two Dbt values. A collection of functions for numeric comparison, such as getInt32Compare() and string comparison with and without case sensitivity using getCISCompare(), are available in STLdb4. The ordering of a comparison functor can be reversed by passing it to makeReverseCompare() to create a new functor. These operations must be performed before the database is open, so you have to use the open() or create() calls and the non-opening Database constructor as shown in Listing 12.

Increasing the default Berkeley DB cache size using Database::set_cachesize() can improve read-only database performance significantly.

Future Directions

A template subclass of Database taking parameters similar to std::map<> would be nice. There would need to be some extra work to allow both the key and value to be (de)serialized on demand perhaps by assuming that both can be Boost serialized.

Resources for this article: /article/9512.

Ben Martin has been working on filesystems for more than ten years. He is currently working toward a PhD at the University of Wollongong, Australia, combining Semantic Filesystems with Formal Concept Analysis to improve human-filesystem interaction.



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STLdb4 looks good but seems a pain to compile

Rich20B's picture

Having read the article STLdb4 looks very good, though trying to get it compiled and installed is a pain.

If anybody else is having problems then I've written my experiences of compiling on Debian Etch here:


Anonymous's picture

After reading this article, I have been using STLdb4, and am very pleased with it! It could use a few touchups, but since you can
always get the raw BerkeleyDB pointer there's nothing I haven't been
able to accomplish yet. *SO* much nicer to work with than the existing C++ implementation. Good job!

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