Which Data Type Is a Binary Large Object?


Larry Thompson

Which Data Type Is a Binary Large Object?

A Binary Large Object (BLOB) is a data type that can store large amounts of binary data in a database. It is commonly used to store multimedia files such as images, audio, and video. In this article, we will explore the different database systems and programming languages that support the BLOB data type.

Database Systems

Many popular database systems support the BLOB data type, including:

  • MySQL: In MySQL, you can use the BLOB data type to store binary data up to 65,535 bytes in size. For larger files, you can use the LONGBLOB data type.
  • Oracle: Oracle provides the BLOB data type for storing binary large objects.

    The maximum size of a BLOB in Oracle is 4 gigabytes.

  • SQL Server: SQL Server has the VARBINARY(MAX) data type, which can be used to store binary data of any size. It allows you to store up to 2^31-1 bytes of binary data.
  • PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL supports the BYTEA data type for storing binary strings. It can hold up to 1 GB of binary data.

Languages and Frameworks

The following programming languages and frameworks also provide support for working with BLOBs:


In Java, you can use the java.sql.Blob interface to handle BLOBs. This interface provides methods for retrieving and updating BLOB values from a database.


In .NET, you can use the System.Data.SqlTypes.SqlBinary class to work with BLOBs. This class represents a variable-length stream of binary data.


PHP has built-in functions for handling BLOBs, such as fopen(), fread(), and fwrite(). These functions allow you to read and write binary data from files or other sources.


In Python, you can use libraries like psycopg2 for PostgreSQL or cx_Oracle for Oracle to handle BLOBs. These libraries provide methods to insert, retrieve, and update BLOB data in the respective databases.


The Binary Large Object (BLOB) data type is essential for storing large amounts of binary data in databases. Various database systems and programming languages support this data type, allowing developers to efficiently work with multimedia files and other binary data. Whether you are working with MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Java, .NET, PHP, or Python, you can take advantage of the BLOB data type’s capabilities and handle binary data seamlessly.

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