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2021 Extensions for OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice

In 2021, two new OOo and LO extensions are developed and maintained on GitHub by the developer prrvchr. These extensions make it easy to use the latest version of HSQLDB 2.x with the latest versions of the Base program. One extension simply adds and loads the HSQLDB 2.x jar, ready for use. It also allows updating the jar to the latest version. The second extension extracts the database from the .odb file in the same directory and connects to the extracted database files.

The simple driver:
- https://prrvchr.github.io/HsqlDBDriverOOo/

The driver that extracts the files:
- https://prrvchr.github.io/HsqlDBembeddedOOo/

The extensions are easy to use, with clear visual instructions on how to add the extensions to the Office suite and how to create and open databases.

HSQLDB in Everyday Use

HSQLDB 1.8 has been included with OpenOffice.org since OOo 2.0 (2005), providing users with an integrated SQL database engine. It is also included with LibreOffice. Current release versions of  both OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice include a version of HSQLDB 1.8.0.x. The Base program of these office suites allow the user to create databases with a GUI and save them as a self-contained file.

Over a period of 18 months, HSQLDB 2.x was integrated into the development code for OpenOffice.org in cws hsqldb19 (a code branch of OOo Base). This was  a collaboration between OpenOffice.org and HSQLDB developers and the snapshots releases have been tested by volunteers. As of April 2011, this development branch was ready to be released as part of OpenOffice version 3.4 or 3.5. We are willing to collaborate with LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice to integrate the latest 2.x version of HSQLDB.

How to Use HSQLDB 2.x with OpenOffice or LibreOffice

Well before the new extensions were released, it was already possible to use HSQLDB 2.x as an external embedded or client-server database with both OpenOffice.org (OOo) and LibreOffice (LO) Base program. This configuration is currently the choice of many users with large or network-shared databases. Thanks to the OOo community, information on how to use HSQLDB 2.x with the current versions of OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice is widely available. One starting point is here:


These are some of the reasons why you may want to use an OOo database directly with HSQLDB:

- you have developed your DB app with OO Base, and want to share it among multiple OO Base users by running an HSQLDB server instance
- you want to use OOo Base's interactive interface to design and develop your HSQLDB database
- you want to scale up your OOo Base database into a client-server or web application

The OOo Base file format is the ZIP format and contains the HSQLDB database. First make a copy of the file in a differnet directory. Supposing the name of the copied file is mydb.odb, rename the file to mydb.zip, then unzip the contents into a directory. You will find the directories and files similar to those listed below:

<DIR> Configurations2
<DIR> database
<DIR> forms
<DIR> reports

The directory named "database" contains the HSQLDB database files. It always contains the following files:


In order to open the database with HSQLDB, rename these files by adding a prefix. You can use any prefix, which will become the name of your HSQLDB database. For example:


After renaming, the files can be used with the latest version of HSQLDB. You can use the HSQLDB DatabaseManager to open and query the database. The 2021 extensions automates the procedure.

Financial Contributions

In February 2005 we launched an appeal for funding to complete the development of HSQLDB 1.8.0 for integration with OpenOffice.org Base. Many individual users and user groups contributed to this appeal and enabled the release of 1.8.0, which was included with OpenOffice.org 2.0.

individual contributions by country code - AT: 2 , AU: 10 , BE: 2 , BH: 1 , CA: 4 , CH: 5 , DE: 13 , DK: 3 , ES: 3 , FR: 6 , GR: 4 , HU: 1 , IN: 1 , IT: 5 , JP: 1 , MX: 1 , NL: 2, NO: 4 , PH: 1 , PL: 1 , PT: 3 , SG: 1 , UK: 19 , US: 39

Group contributors included: CUsoon (French OOo user group), OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V, Team OpenOffice.org e.V.

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This page last updated {18 January 2021}
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