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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 500 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
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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
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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
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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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