File Database recommendation

We are looking for a File Database Management system that is easy to use, long-lasting, can store emails, CAD Drawings, PDFS, Word Doc, ect. Hopefully it will not be very, very expensive. Any assistance offered would be greatly appreciated.
regsampAsked:
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pcelbaCommented:
Such weekly defined requirements are fully covered by any database management system or even by Windows NTFS or FAT32 file system because properly organized file system structure is the basement of what you need...

If you need more then you should tell.

Do you need special security access? Do you need encryption? Do you need file versioning? Do you need file locking? Do you need to store some metadata? Do you need to define relations and dependencies among files? Do you need to ensure file integrity and place digital signatures?  Etc. etc.

Just let us konw.
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regsampAuthor Commented:
We do not need special security access and encryption should not be needed but would be needed but would be nice as an option. We do not need file versioning. File integrity is needed and digital signatures is not required. Relations and metadata is not needed.

This is just something new for us as we are use to typical file servers and using a SQL database for Intranet information. What kind of options are out there for combing the two. How would we be able to save an email to a database or scan a pdf to the same database?
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pcelbaCommented:
You have two basic options:
1) Store the whole file in database
2) Store just the filename and a pointer to disk file

You may study SQL Server Blob objects to learn more about the option 2): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb895234.aspx

The first option is also available as varchar(max) data type on SQL Server and other database engines.

But you should really explain what added value you need or expect from the file stored in a database comparing to shared file folder.
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regsampAuthor Commented:
Let me take a look at the information but it is going to be many files. All this can be done in one SQL database?
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pcelbaCommented:
Yes, one SQL database can collect everything. BLOB objects are stored outside the database but you have to access them through the SQL server.
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regsampAuthor Commented:
So the recommendation is SQL to store Word Docs, CAD Drawings, Scanned files and such?
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pcelbaCommented:
No, this is not recommendation. I've just described one MS SQL Server feature (BLOB). Other SQL server engines allow similar functionality. You still did not tell what added value you need comparing to the standard file system.

This just means you may use SQL Server to collect data about your files and also your files. Of course, it will need some programming to implement it.

You may also read something about MS SharePoint Server (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SharePoint) which offers much more than you need now.
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regsampAuthor Commented:
I do not know what value we need. I need a database software package that is good for storing different file types such as Word Docs and CAD drawings.
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pcelbaCommented:
The database engine does not recognize the file type obviously so all files will be handled as unstructured data (or even as common filestream).

From this point of view you may use any database to store your files. E.g. we are storing several gigabytes of files (PDF, Word, Excel, ...) in FoxPro database.

More important is the speed of your network connection. Each file stored on the SQL server will be moved many times between the server and clients. This will slow the file access speed down and users may start complaining etc. etc.

Files having r/o status and no sensitive info inside can remain in client's local cache but that also needs some programming or setup at least.
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