Overview Back in
the "old days", the types of data that databases were required
to store were fairly straight forward--text, numbers, maybe a true/false
field. Modern database users, however, want to store all sorts of things
in databases. Music files, specialized graphics, even video footage can be
stored as fields in a database. How do DBMSs (Database Management Systems)
handle all these different file types? One solution is to store data as a
BLOB--a binary large object. Data stored as a BLOB is stored in the
database in binary format, the same format used to represent the data in
computer memory. Because every type of data can be expressed in binary
format, any type of data can be stored as a BLOB, making the format
extremely flexible and popular for storing diversely formatted data.
Follow the links below to find out more about the BLOB data type.
General Information Wikipedia.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blob_%28computing)
is a great place to start looking for information about the BLOB data
type. In addition to an accurate definition, the page also provides links
to other database-related terms. The definition found at this TechTarget.com
page provides additional insight into the history of BLOBs and
their current applications. Wayne Lambright, the author of the Web page, answers questions that you
might have about the BLOB data type in his article “BLOB Upload /
Starting Point.” For more general information about BLOB data, visit
To see a detailed overview about BLOB and databases, visit this Oracle.com Web page. This
MSDN.com page also contains information about managing BLOB data
in many of today’s most popular DBMS.