Little Bit of Large Objects

The system I work on makes small use of large objects in the Oracle database. We send letters for faxing companies. The letters are signed with an image of the sender's signature. Those signatures are bitmap images stored as LOBs in the Oracle database. Let's see what the latest book I am reading has to say about large objects.

Prior to Oracle 8, large objects were represented by the LONG and LONG RAW types in the database. There could be at most one column of this type per table. The data was stored inline with the other columns in the table.

Now we have two general types of large objects (LOBs): internal and external. The internal variety are stored in the database in tables. Examples of this are the CLOB, NCLOB, and BLOB. I am most familiar with the BLOB. You can manage these objects with the DBMS_LOB built in package.

Then there are external LOBs. An example of this is a BFILE. The data is stored on disk. And the access to the data is read only. I don't recall ever working with external LOBs. Maybe it is time for a small practice project with them?