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Storing multimedia data

Can an Oracle8i or 9i DBMS be used to store multimedia data? If so, what additional software, if any, is required to support such a system?

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Yes, you can STORE multimedia data in either 8i or 9i without the use of any special or additional software. You can store any type of data in an Oracle database. There are large object types that allow you to hold single data elements of up to 4 gigabytes in size. These objects that are stored could be .avi files, .jpg files, .html files and the list goes on. The large object types include CLOB, BLOB and BFILE datatypes.

There is a special package called DBMS_LOB which lets you do most anything you want with very large objects that need to be stored and manipulated. See the Oracle9i Supplied PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference ( to learn more about this package and how to use it.

Note that I emphasized that you can STORE anything you want. To be able to manipulate the stored objects your applications would need to use the appropriate controls etc. to interact with the stored data accordingly. But... that's another story!

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This was first published in November 2002

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