storing images in SQL Server vs. filesystem

storing images in SQL Server vs. filesystem

Post by Mike Dichiric » Tue, 19 Dec 2000 22:48:13

I'm trying to get together a database for an online casting service.  With
that, I'll have to show photos of actors and so forth.  I keep hearing
different opinions about where I should store my photos.  I have been told
to keep them under a separate directory on the hard drive and merely provide
a reference to it in the database itself.  I've also heard that I should
keep everything in the database itself.

Anyone know of any stats to back up either claim as being better?  Also, if
I do store the images in the SQL Server 7.0 database, is BLOB the choice I
want?  Thanks in advance.



storing images in SQL Server vs. filesystem

Post by David Lapsle » Thu, 21 Dec 2000 21:27:28

Hi Mike

I have successfully used both techniques. If security is an issue (which
users can see which images etc) then storing the images in the database
(image type column) makes a lot of sense.

For small images (icons etc) the database is definately more efficient
(sorry, no figures).

I have found the main disadvantage of storing many large images within the
database is the size of the resulting backup. If the file system is used,
the images can be backed up separately and if the images are stored in a
logical manner (e.g. a folder for each month) backup volume/time can be
significantly reduced.

Hope this helps


1. SQL Image Data vs FileSystem

Let's say I have a messaging type app that allows documents(generally pdf or
word) to be transmitted with a requirement to keep a history of all the
documents sent.(possibly for retrieval well into the future).

My question is

a)is the DB or filesystem a better storage medium(note using SQL Server 2000
and Windows 2000)
b)any particular reasons for choosing one over the other.

Really I'm most interested in if there is a good argument for not storing
the document data in the DB.

Here's some background to help in addressing my question(s).  Basically I
have a service that receives the transfer request and logs it to the DB.  A
second process reads from the DB to transfer the message/document.  This is
the only time the document data will be read unless the need arises to
reconstruct a particular message(this should be rare, but necessary to

The service logging the request may be a process on one server or could be
implemented across multiple servers(possibly as a webservice).

Any insight/suggestions/comments would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Chris Torgerson

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