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Embedding PowerPoint files, video clips, and photos into a relational database

How can you embed a PowerPoint file, video clip, or photo in a relational database system?

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In order to store binary files in an Oracle database, you will need to create a table that has a column with the BLOB (binary large object) datatype. BLOBs handle binary objects. These binary objects can be PowerPoint files, video files, images, Microsoft Word documents, or any other binary file.

So the big question is, "How do you put a binary file in a BLOB column of a table and pull it out again?" That is a very large subject. So large, in fact, that Oracle's documentation devotes an entire book to this subject. You can find a copy of that document at the following URL:

http://download-west.oracle.com/docs/cd/B14117_01/appdev.101/b10796/toc.htm

Your development platform will dictate the exact steps you will take to store and retrieve large objects from the Oracle database.


This was first published in September 2004

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