What Is the Use of BLOB Data Type?


Heather Bennett

The BLOB (Binary Large Object) data type is used to store large amounts of binary data in a database. It is commonly used to store multimedia files such as images, videos, and audio files. BLOBs can also be used to store other types of binary data, such as documents or serialized objects.

Why Use BLOB Data Type?

There are several advantages to using the BLOB data type:

  • Flexibility: BLOBs can store any type of binary data, making them versatile for a wide range of applications.
  • Efficiency: Storing binary data directly in the database allows for efficient retrieval and manipulation.
  • Data Integrity: By storing binary data in a BLOB column, you ensure that the data is always associated with its corresponding records.

Working with BLOB Data Type

To work with BLOB data type, you need to consider the following:

Inserting BLOB Data

To insert a BLOB into a database table, you typically use an INSERT statement with appropriate syntax. The actual process may vary depending on the database management system (DBMS) you are using.

The following example demonstrates how to insert an image file into a table with a BLOB column:

INSERT INTO my_table (image_blob)
VALUES (LOAD_FILE('/path/to/image.jpg'));

Retrieving BLOB Data

To retrieve and display a BLOB from the database, you need to use appropriate HTML tags and server-side scripting languages like PHP or ASP.NET.

The following example demonstrates how to retrieve and display an image stored in a BLOB column:

<img src="blob.php?id=123" alt="Image">

Here, “blob.php” is a server-side script that retrieves the BLOB data based on the provided ID and outputs it with the appropriate content type header.

Updating BLOB Data

To update an existing BLOB, you can use an UPDATE statement with appropriate syntax. Again, the specific syntax may vary depending on the DBMS you are using.

The following example demonstrates how to update a BLOB column with a new image:

UPDATE my_table
SET image_blob = LOAD_FILE('/path/to/new_image.jpg')
WHERE id = 123;

Deleting BLOB Data

To delete a BLOB from a database table, you can use a DELETE statement with appropriate syntax. The exact process may vary depending on your DBMS.

The following example demonstrates how to delete a row containing a specific BLOB:

DELETE FROM my_table
WHERE id = 123;


The BLOB data type is essential for storing large binary data in databases. It provides flexibility, efficiency, and data integrity for applications that require handling multimedia files or other types of binary data. By understanding how to insert, retrieve, update, and delete BLOBs, you can effectively manage binary data in your database-driven applications.

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