c# - unable - what is sqlite interop dll

Options for using System.Data.SQLite in a 32bit and 64bit C# world (5)

I understand WHY the System.Data.SQLite.dll is provided in 32 bit and 64 bit builds. So lets not dwell on that and move on. :)

Since it is done this way it seems to make pure C# development a tad more difficult with 3 choices to make.

  1. Is to support only 32-bit and force there managed assembly to compile x86 and deal with that in running in 32 or 64 bit, and there by lose advantages of when you are on a 64 bit environment.

  2. Is to force 64 bit and only support 64 bit and losing the ability to run on 32 bit but gaining all the advantages of 64 bit.

  3. Is to create two versions of their assembly one that compiles x86 and uses 32 bit SQLite and another that compiles x64 and uses 64bit SQLite. It prevents using "ANY" as a compile option and being able to easily deploy a single build to either type. Its not so horrible to manage from a development point of view as we will need two projects. Only having the C# code officially in one, and the other will just use "links" to the code in the other. This is for compiling purposes only. Still leaves us with having to manage two outputs to for deployments.

With all that said I am only looking for confirmation that the above are the only correct choices.

If however there are other choices that I am overlooking please let me know. Specifically if there is way to get a single C# DLL that can compile to ANY so it can take advantage of 32 or 64 bit depending on where its run and still use System.Data.SQLite.dll.

Its not so horrible to manage from a development point of view as we will need two projects.

That's not true - you can use two build configurations within the same project. At deployment time, you'll need to build for both x86 and x64, but the code base and project can be the same.

I currently do this in a larger production project, both due to SQLite, but also other native/interop libraries that include x64 and x86 variants.

Branko Dimitrijevic said, "I'm sure you can do something similar for SQLite." And that is correct. :)

Having the very same issue, I found Rodney's question and Branko's answer and tried it myself. For anyone who wants to see my working SQLite implementation, here you go:

  <When Condition="'$(Platform)' == 'x64'">
      <Reference Include="System.Data.SQLite, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=db937bc2d44ff139, processorArchitecture=AMD64">
  <When Condition="'$(Platform)' == 'x86'">
      <Reference Include="System.Data.SQLite, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=db937bc2d44ff139, processorArchitecture=AMD64">

  <Reference Include="Microsoft.CSharp" />
  <Reference Include="System" />
  <Reference Include="System.configuration" />
  <Reference Include="System.Core" />
  <Reference Include="System.Windows.Forms" />
  <Reference Include="System.Xml.Linq" />
  <Reference Include="System.Data.DataSetExtensions" />
  <Reference Include="System.Data" />
  <Reference Include="System.Xml" />

Of course, you can name HintPath to anything you like.

I found this to be the perfect solution: I can maintain a single project and quickly switch between target platforms as needed. The only potential downside is I can't see the Reference in the Solution Explorer. But that's a small price to pay for the overall functionality.

There are 2 common solutions for keeping your main application at AnyCPU:

  • Install both the x86 and the x64 assemblies into the GAC: They can (should!) have identical assembly names and the GAC will automatically decide whether to use x86 or x64 version.

  • Hook into AppDomain.AssemblyResolve and serve the right assemblies from subdirectories using Assembly.LoadFrom

This is an elaboration of the answer from Springy76. Do this:

public class AssemblyResolver
    public static void HandleUnresovledAssemblies()
        AppDomain currentDomain = AppDomain.CurrentDomain;
        currentDomain.AssemblyResolve += currentDomain_AssemblyResolve;

    private static Assembly currentDomain_AssemblyResolve(object sender, ResolveEventArgs args)
        if (args.Name == "System.Data.SQLite")
            var path = Path.Combine(pathToWhereYourNativeFolderLives, "Native");

            if (IntPtr.Size == 8) // or for .NET4 use Environment.Is64BitProcess
                path = Path.Combine(path, "64");
                path = Path.Combine(path, "32");

            path = Path.Combine(path, "System.Data.SQLite.DLL");

            Assembly assembly = Assembly.LoadFrom(path);
            return assembly;

        return null;

Make sure the paths generated point to the correct locations for either your 32 bit or 64 bit SQLite Dlls. Personally I've had good results with those in this NuGet package: http://www.nuget.org/packages/SQLitex64

(You only need to use the NuGet package to get hold of the compiled SQLite Dlls. Once you've got them, remove the reference to SQLite in your project created by NuGet and the NuGet package itself. Indeed, leaving the reference in place can interfere with this solution as SQLite will never be recognised as an unresolved assembly.)

Call 'HandleUnresolvedAssemblies()' as early as possible, preferably during any Bootstrapping.

You can also resolve this by changing the compile options in your Visual Studio:

To change your compile settings in Visual Studio:

  1. Go to the startup project of your program.
  2. Open the properties window.
  3. Click the compile tab.
  4. Click advanced compile options.
  5. Change the target CPU options to x86.

Your program will now always run in 32 bit mode, even when run on a 64 bit machine.

You could also provide two distributions, one for each environment as mentioned above. While this will become the standard in the future, for my current project this was the best and easiest option.