I have been asked to develop a database of imagery from a company’s slide collection that needs to be incorporated into a Web site. Does SQL support binary files? I would prefer to use another format apart from CGI. The database will consist of approximately 2,000 images, complete with descriptions, etc.
SQL does support storing binary large objects. As your question indicates, there are a couple of things to decide up front, such as do you put the whole picture into the database or use a pointer to a location that holds the picture instead?
Frankly, I’ve come to hate stuff in the database that I don’t think belongs there, such as images, documents, and even text. In my opinion, pointers are much better, although I have done systems with text partitioned into one-to-one relations with the supporting data record.