Metakit is an efficient embedded database library with a small footprint. It fills the gap between flat-file, relational, object-oriented, and tree-structured databases, supporting relational joins, serialization, nested structures, and instant schema evolution. There is a C++ API, a Python binding called "Mk4py", and a Tcl binding called "Mk4tcl". You can manipulate and exchange data with any of these. Data files are portable, use auto-sizing ints and strings, and have the ability to very efficiently store binary data, from single bits to multi-Mb objects. The library has been used on Unix, Windows, Macintosh, VMS, and others, spanning a range of 16- to 64-bit architectures, from PDA to S390. Here's an ancient sales blurb and a pretty dated introduction. This library is in active use in various commercial projects and products.
Metakit works really well for moderate-size (a hundred Mb) datasets, and offers good performance well beyond that size when its column-wise data model is fully taken advantage of. But it's still not as scalable as it could be, nor does it offer true concurrent access.
Author: Jean-Claude Wippler <jcw [at] equi4 [dot] com>
Maintainer: The T2 Project <t2 [at] t2-project [dot] org>
Build time (on reference hardware): 10% (relative to binutils)2
Installed size (on reference hardware): 0.31 MB, 11 files
Installed files (on reference hardware): n.a.
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2) Compatible with Linux From Scratch's "Standard Build Unit" (SBU).