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Shipping a Prepopulated Database with PhoneGap

I needed to prepopulate a database file for a Phonegap project that I was working on. My database was 10mb, so loading it from a SQL file via AJAX on the first launch was not an option. After many hours, I finally figured out how to do it. Enjoy! I hope this can be useful to some of you.
Materials Required:

  • PhoneGap
    1. Android Version, I used version downloaded on 8/7/2012.
    2. Versions differed a lot for me in updates. For example, the latest version automatically appends “.db” to your window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase() function.

Steps to take:

    • Place your SQLite Database file in /assets directory for your project. DO NOT PUT IT IN /assets/www/.
      1. My database in this example is called “vvmf.db”.
    • In our main Activity file (the one that extends DroidGap), we will need to copy the database from the /assets/ directory to the DB directory if necessary. To do this, use code similar to the following below:
              File dbFile = getDatabasePath("vvmf.db");
           catch (Exception e)
      //And our copy function:
         void copy(String file, String folder) throws IOException
           File CheckDirectory;
           CheckDirectory = new File(folder);
           String parentPath = CheckDirectory.getParent();
           File filedir = new File(parentPath);
           if (!filedir.exists()) {
               if (!filedir.mkdirs()) {
              InputStream in = this.getApplicationContext().getAssets().open(file);
              File newfile = new File(folder);
              OutputStream out = new FileOutputStream(newfile);
              byte[] buf = new byte[1024];
              int len; while ((len = > 0) out.write(buf, 0, len);
              in.close(); out.close();


  • Make sure chbrody’s SQLitePlugin is installed properly.
    • Get it from
  • In your main JS file, in your “deviceready” event listener, use the following function call to load your database file:
    1. window.sqlitePlugin.openDatabase(“vvmf”, “1.0”, “vvmf”, 20000);

That’s it, Enjoy!

-Scott Buckel – Email me scott at CorporateZen dot com

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