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databases that dont store records

We have a records management type application (similar to Sharepoint) whereby users upload, access and modify common types of office files, i.e. word documens, spreadsheets, individual msg email etc). In the mix of this application is a sql server database, I am only really familiar with databases that store actual data, i.e. text records, data/time, yes/no type data. I am not familiar with applications whereby the data is actual files, not just text.

However, I am informed the actual files are stored on a file server on a server, not within the database itself. So I wondered what the databases role in such an application is, i.e. what would it do/store, if it doesnt store the actual data - if anyone has a similar app I would be interested in what the database does/stores, if it isnt the actual data/files.
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pma111
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pma111
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Carl TawnSystems and Integration DeveloperCommented:
In your scenario the database would keep track of what documents it is supposed to be storing, where they are, additional meta-data about the file (display name, description, etc) - possibly access controls and workflow elements if they are in use.

Some systems will actually store small files in the database itself, in the form or binary fields. But if you are storing files on an external file server then your system will be providing the access to those files - hence your database needs to keep track of those files and where they are.
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ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Even when you don't store the files in SQL Server - which is easily possible using FILESTREAM - you have a lot of other (meta-)data to store.
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