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Need a replacement data type in Oracle

Posted on 2016-11-23
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a couple of tables in a database that are using the LONG data type. It's a horrible data type and we need to get rid of it. The question is what do I replace it with? I've narrowed it down to LOB, BLOB, or CLOB but the differences between those seem subtle and I can't quite figure out which is the best choice and why. Some of the LONG fields are storing bitmap image data. Others are storing HTML markup text. I'm OK with using a different data type for each of those. I just need to get rid of the LONG.
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Question by:Russ Suter
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johnsone earned 2000 total points
ID: 41899757
LONG data types are actually no longer supported.  I believe that support for them was dropped in Oracle 9.

For character data (like HTML) use CLOB.
For binary data (like images) use BLOB.

LOB is just a general term for both of them.
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by:Mark Geerlings
ID: 41899758
For bitmap image data, you have to use a: BLOB (short for Binary Large OBjects).  For html data, you can use a: CLOB (short for Character Large OBjects).  I think a LOB is just a newer replacement for LONG, but still ambiguous, since it can contain either binary or character data.
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by:Russ Suter
ID: 41899760
That's basically what I thought. Is there any reason why I can't use a BLOB to store the HTML data also?
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by:johnsone
ID: 41899763
There is no reason you cannot store HTML in a BLOB.  CLOB has more features (like you can do substrings and things like that).
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by:Russ Suter
ID: 41899767
That's good to know. Obviously we're not using substrings and things like that with the LONG data type so it sounds like we won't be missing anything by just using BLOB.
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by:johnsone
ID: 41899770
You probably wouldn't be missing anything, but it allows you do do more things without having to convert it later.
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