Q

Does storing documents in a database hinder performance?

One reader asks if it is the best practice to store a document inside an Oracle database.

We are using binary large object (BLOB) object to store the document in database.

I want to ask whether document storing in database will hamper the performance of DB and is it ideal practice to store documents in DB?

Storing documents in a database is frequently used and is not something to avoid. However, what you need to do is to understand how the documents will be stored (via an application, via bulk periodic loads, etc) and how they will be retrieved/used.

The contents of a BLOB datatyped column can either be stored in-line with the other column data or out of line in a separate location depending, in part, on your definition of the object and the size of the BLOB. If it is stored in-line, the row data will take up more space in the block and thus fewer rows will fit into a single block. That means there will be more blocks of data that will have to be retrieved to get the row data you want when you only want columns that are not large object types.

But that's not necessarily a problem. Only testing your application usage of these columns will provide you with the detail you need to determine if the BLOB column has any adverse effect on performance. In general terms though, it's not the BLOB datatype that would be the problem. It's the way you store it, access it and use it that will need to be evaluated to verify that all your performance needs are met.

This was first published in February 2012

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