How to use Ole for images without inserting the image

I would like to use the Ole server controls in Powerbuilder to link scanned
documents to my Microsoft SQL database.  Right now I am using them to insert
an image in my database, but my database size exploded big time with very
few documents.  My question is can I use the Ole server/client controls to
do the same thing but only point to a filename instead of inserting the
image?  I love the way it works now except for the size of the images.  We
are using an HP4si workgroup scanner, so the user goes to the scanner, puts
a stack of invoices in the feeder, chooses himself as user, hits scan and
goes back to his desk.  Then he goes to the Powerbuilder application, opens
a window, chooses a vendor and invoice number, double-clicks on the
datawindow which takes him to the Paperport software where the documents
that he scanned are waiting, chooses the invoice and does a return.  He hits
save and is done!  He doesn't have to save the files first, remember where
to put them, what to name them etc.  The images can be viewed in the future
by just retrieving the row from the database.

I would like to save the images somewhere else to keep my database size
down....

Any help would be appreciated.

Melanie Ellingson





0
Melanie
2/13/1998 8:22:30 PM
sybase.ole-ocx-activex 6324 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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Of course you can simply save the image filenames in the database and
then either shell out (using Run(), ShellExecute() or OLE) when you want
to display them. But this will invariably bring up another problem: if
you store these images in some place other than the database, then you
are not guaranteed that the image files will be there when you want
them. People will move, delete and rename files, restructure
directories, clean up their hard drive, etc. without updating the
location of the image files in the database. Users may go so far as to
copy the entire database to another system (forgetting to also copy the
referenced files in a consistent directory structure). Inotherwords the
whole database (which really consists now of the DBMS and the external
files) loses referential integrity and you will gain only the headaches
that a DBMS was designed to eliminate. 

My question to you is this: is it worthwhile to allow these
possibilities or would you rather keep everything in the database? 

I too was amazed at how rapidly one database grew when images were
added, although I should have expected it. On one subsystem I initially
provided a means whereby the user could either "link" to an external
file or store the image(s) in the database. Later I removed the
"linking" mechanism because users did not understand the ramifications:
if an image file was not found, it was considered a programming problem
(and in a sense, I must agree). 

Once the "linking" option was removed, everything worked as expected.
All images are now stored in the database. Only the database needs to be
backed up or copied. Of course it's larger now!

Good Luck,
Michael D. Kersey
Melanie Ellingson wrote:
> 
> I would like to use the Ole server controls in Powerbuilder to link scanned
> documents to my Microsoft SQL database.  Right now I am using them to insert
> an image in my database, but my database size exploded big time with very
> few documents.  My question is can I use the Ole server/client controls to
> do the same thing but only point to a filename instead of inserting the
> image?  I love the way it works now except for the size of the images.  We
> are using an HP4si workgroup scanner, so the user goes to the scanner, puts
> a stack of invoices in the feeder, chooses himself as user, hits scan and
> goes back to his desk.  Then he goes to the Powerbuilder application, opens
> a window, chooses a vendor and invoice number, double-clicks on the
> datawindow which takes him to the Paperport software where the documents
> that he scanned are waiting, chooses the invoice and does a return.  He hits
> save and is done!  He doesn't have to save the files first, remember where
> to put them, what to name them etc.  The images can be viewed in the future
> by just retrieving the row from the database.
> 
> I would like to save the images somewhere else to keep my database size
> down....
> 
> Any help would be appreciated.
> 
> Melanie Ellingson
0
Michael
2/13/1998 9:39:59 PM
Reply:

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