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Michael Coles: Sergeant SQL

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T-SQL Tuesday #006: "What About BLOB?"

Invitation for T-SQL Tuesday #006:  "What About BLOB?"


It's getting warm outside just in time for the May T-SQL Tuesday blog party.  I’ll be your host this month--and the secret word for this T-SQL Tuesday is "Large Object (LOB) Data".


What About BLOB? 


What’s T-SQL Tuesday?


About 6 months ago Adam Machanic (Twitter: @AdamMachanic) decided to throw a worldwide blog party.  Every month Adam picks a host to post the topic and the rules.  Everyone who wants to participate publishes a blog entry on the topic of the day, all during the same 24 hour time period.


Here’s the shortlist of the roundups from the first 5 T-SQL Tuesdays:


  • #001 Adam Machanic asked for your favorite Date/Time tricks
  • #002 Adam followed up by asking for your favorite Puzzling Situations
  • #003 Rob Farley made the commitment with his topic: Relationships
  • #004 Mike Walsh kicked asked for your input on IO
  • #005 Aaron Nelson asked us to report on "Reporting"

And that brings us up-to-date for #006: LOB Data.  Anyone can participate - just post a blog entry related to the topic and link it back to this page.

To participate your post must go live between 00:00:00 GMT on Tuesday the 11th of May and 00:00:00 GMT on Wednesday the 12th.  See the table below for some quick conversions to other time zones.


Time Zone




2010-05-11 00:00:00

2010-05-12 00:00:00


2010-05-10 20:00:00

2010-05-11 20:00:00


2010-05-10 17:00:00

2010-05-11 17:00:00

What Is LOB Data?


MSDN conveniently defines Large Object ("LOB") data types for us: "LOB data types are those that exceed the maximum row size of 8 kilobytes (KB)."


There have been a several improvements in LOB data functionality in SQL Server 2008 (there were even some in SQL Server 2005).  In 2008 the XML, GEOMETRY, GEOGRAPHY data types can all hold 2.1 GB of data.  CLR data types can also hold up to 2.1 GB of data.  So the question of the day is how do you use LOB data?  Here are a few possible starting points:


  • LOB data storage, optimization, limitations, "under-the-hood"
  • Indexing, querying, optimization, tricks, tips, performance tuning of LOB data
  • Interesting uses/projects for LOB data types:
    • XML
    • GEOMETRY/GEOGRAPHY (spatial)
    • CLR data types
  • FILESTREAM hints, tips, tricks, .NET SqlFileStream Class

The only rule is that your topic has to involve SQL Server's LOB data types in some form.  If you want to demonstrate handling LOB data in .NET, for instance, go for it.  If you want to demonstrate Oracle LOB data handling, this might not be the place to do it (although a comparison of the two might be interesting...) :)


Here Come the Lawyers...


Once again, please note the time is in GMT (aka UTC). As other hosts have mentioned, feel free to write your post ahead of time and schedule it for publication. The rules are based on when the post goes live, not when it is written. The rules for T-SQL Tuesday haven’t changed, but I’ll cover them again here:

  1. Your post must go live between 00:00:00 GMT on Tuesday the 11th of May and 00:00:00 GMT on Wednesday the 12th (see my handy-dandy time zone conversion table above for more info). If your post doesn’t go live in the time limits, it won’t be included in the round-up post.
  2. Your post must link back to this post (by trackback or comment).
  3. "T-SQL Tuesday #006" MUST be in the title of the post.
  4. It is your responsibility to verify the trackback or comment appears here on this post.  If you don’t see your trackback add your own comment with a link back to your T-SQL Tuesday post and it will be included in the roundup.


Note that some bloggers have reported an issue that their blog sites don’t properly generate a trackback when they preschedule a post for publication.  After you publish your post, be sure to check here to see if a trackback was generated.  Feel free to post a comment here after your post goes live if you just want to play it safe.




A lot of the T-SQL Tuesday bloggers and bloggees are on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #TSQL2sDay and when your post goes live, tweet a link to it with that tag.


Want To Host?


It's easy to become a host (hey, even I did it!):


1.            Participate in at least two events.

2.            Let Adam Machanic know you want to host.


You can tweet Adam or leave a comment on his blog, as described in his first T-SQL Tuesday Invitation.


If you have any questions, concerns or general comments, leave me a message on this post.  I'll respond to your post and/or make updates to this post as required.  Have fun thinking of a topic and I’m looking forward to all the great posts!




This episode of T-SQL Tuesday was brought to you by the letters "M", "A", "X", and the number 2,147,483,647.


Published Monday, May 3, 2010 8:29 PM by Mike C

Attachment(s): what-about-blob.png



Michael J Swart said:

can't wait!!

May 3, 2010 9:01 PM

Adam Machanic said:

How long did it take you to create that image? Great work :-)

May 3, 2010 10:43 PM

Mike C said:

It didn't take too long... the hardest part was finding a picture of Richard Dreyfuss' new costar.  I'm still taking "baby steps" with the graphics work :)

May 3, 2010 11:40 PM

Adam Machanic said:

Just a quick note for those of you who may not have seen Michael Coles's post (and a reminder for the

May 6, 2010 1:34 PM

Josef Richberg said:

I love the "brought to you by the letters...and the number...", nice flashback..

May 10, 2010 3:40 PM

Not sure if the trackback I sent came through. If it did, you can nix this. said:

May 10, 2010 10:07 PM

Michael Zilberstein said:

This post is my contribution to T-SQL Tuesday #006 , hosted this time by Michael Coles . Actually this

May 10, 2010 11:51 PM

Rob Farley said:

I’m giving a presentation on May 12th at the Adelaide .Net User Group, around the topic of spatial data,

May 10, 2010 11:57 PM

Rob Farley said:

Wow - I'm really pleased my trackback worked. Must be that scheduling thing that I didn't do this month.

May 10, 2010 11:58 PM

Michael Zilberstein said:

May 11, 2010 12:06 AM

Rob Farley said:

Ah, Michael... the trackback link is your name. Like on my one, which points to

May 11, 2010 6:28 AM

Vamsi said:

May 11, 2010 8:30 AM

Steve Jones said:

May 11, 2010 11:57 AM

Stacia Misner said:

Host Michael Coles ( blog | twitter ) has selected LOB data as the topic for this month's T-SQL Tuesday

May 11, 2010 3:30 PM

Paul Randal said:

May 11, 2010 6:04 PM

Michael Coles: Sergeant SQL said:

May 11, 2010 7:35 PM

Adam Machanic said:

Just over a year ago I kicked off T-SQL Tuesday , "a recurring, revolving blog party." The idea was simple:

December 7, 2010 1:43 PM
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