after 25 years of use, ESENT gives way to SQLite

Little by little, Microsoft is introducing changes in Windows 11 that go beyond aesthetics or functionality. It’s true that the design is what jumps out at the first sight, but under the hood there are also improvements that are only noticeable on a daily basis. And that’s what Microsoft did with the search system.

It is true that it draws more attention to how they gradually forget about the Control Panel or the new changes in the interface. But perhaps it’s just as important that Windows Search has stopped using ESENT (Extensible Storage Engine), an engine it had been using for years and years.

ESENT Retreat

A change which was not announced in any way by Microsoft and which was made known thanks to a well-known Twitter user. Yellowfin or what is the same, @thebookisclosed is an expert on leaks and has detected the presence of this change in the latest builds of Windows 11 that were distributed in the Dev Channel in the Insider program.

I just noticed that the Windows Search database format changed from ESENT to SQLite in the latest Windows 11 Insider Previews (Dev) releases

Maybe that’s why the service is eager to reindex everything after every upgrade? Evolution of formats?

– Albacore (@thebookisclosed) December 16, 2021

Yellowfin detected the change after noticing that the search index was no longer displayed, as usual, in the path C: Program Data Microsoft Search Data Applications Windows on Windows.edb but on Windows .db. In addition, this new file offered the same structure as SQLite.

ESENT, not to be confused with ESET, is a Windows database engine and a central component of the operating system that has been present in Windows since Windows NT 3.51, then under the name Jet Blue. Now with Windows 11 ESENT this is becoming old history.

Microsoft has chosen to replace ESENT in its operating system in favor of SQL (the most widely used programming language in the field of databases). Specifically, Microsoft has chosen to use SQLite, an ultralight public domain library, the most widely used in the field of mobile applications.

Microsoft thus equates Windows searches with the technology it already uses in applications such as Skype or third-party programs and applications such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, Firefox or OpenOffice.

ESENT, the latest novelty of which dates from January of this year, no longer counts for Microsoft. The company has abandoned a current system since making the jump to 32-bit and it is to be expected, since there is no official note, that they will do so because SQLite offers more indexing. fast and lighter databases.

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