What Is BLOB Data Type in Oracle?


Heather Bennett

The BLOB data type in Oracle is a powerful and versatile feature that allows you to store large amounts of binary data in your database. BLOB stands for Binary Large Object, and it can be used to store images, audio files, video files, and any other type of binary data.

What Is BLOB Data Type?

The BLOB data type is a binary data type that can hold variable-length binary data up to 4 gigabytes in size. It’s commonly used to store large objects like images or documents that are too big to be stored as regular text or numbers.

Advantages of Using BLOB Data Type

Using the BLOB data type has several advantages:

1. Efficient Storage: BLOBs are stored in a compact format, which means they take up less space compared to storing the same data as individual files on the file system.

2. Data Integrity: Storing binary data directly in the database ensures that the data remains intact and is not accidentally modified or deleted.

3. Data Accessibility: Storing binary data in the database allows for easy retrieval and management alongside other related data.

How to Create a Table with a BLOB Column

To create a table with a BLOB column in Oracle, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE my_table (
image_data BLOB

In this example, we create a table called “my_table” with two columns: “id” and “image_data”. The “image_data” column is defined as a BLOB type, which will hold our binary image data.

How to Insert Data into a BLOB Column

To insert data into a BLOB column, you can use the INSERT statement along with the EMPTY_BLOB() function:

INSERT INTO my_table (id, image_data)

This will insert a new row into the “my_table” table with the specified ID and an empty BLOB value for the “image_data” column.

How to Update Data in a BLOB Column

To update data in a BLOB column, you can use the UPDATE statement along with the DBMS_LOB package:

l_blob BLOB;
SELECT image_data INTO l_blob FROM my_table WHERE id = 1 FOR UPDATE;

DBMS_LOB.WRITEAPPEND(l_blob, LENGTH(‘new_image_data’), ‘new_image_data’);


In this example, we first select the BLOB value from the table using a SELECT statement. We then use the DBMS_LOB.WRITEAPPEND procedure to append new data to the existing BLOB value. Finally, we commit our changes to save them permanently.

How to Retrieve Data from a BLOB Column

To retrieve data from a BLOB column, you can use the SELECT statement:

SELECT image_data FROM my_table WHERE id = 1;

This will return the binary data stored in the “image_data” column for the row with ID 1.


The BLOB data type in Oracle is a powerful tool for storing and managing large binary objects in your database. It offers efficient storage, data integrity, and easy accessibility. By understanding how to create tables with BLOB columns, insert and update data, and retrieve data from these columns, you can effectively leverage this feature in your Oracle applications.

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