ThatJeffSmith

SQL Developer: BLOBs and the External Editor

We already know how easy it is to view images and plain text with the BLOB editor, yes?

But what if I have in my column a bunch of PDFs stored? I want to see that stuff without having to save the file, finding it, and then opening it.

Why can’t I just automatically open it directly from the database?

Well, it seems you can.

Here’s how.

External Editors

Step 1: Make sure you have the file types and associated editors defined in the preferences.

External editors available from the BLOB viewer

External editors available from the BLOB viewer

Based on what’s going on in your OS, you’ll have several of these already defined. If not, it’s pretty simple to add them manually.

Now, assuming you’ve got some fun data loaded up, let’s try it out.

A PDF

As you can see in the screenshot above, PDF is mapped to Adobe Reader.

I just happen to have a PDF loaded into a BLOB, let’s send it to the external editor.

Click on the hyperlinked text to load the PDF straight to Adobe

Click on the hyperlinked text to load the PDF straight to Adobe

Here’s it working in action (click on the image to see the animation):

If it's a big file, you will see a dialog where we're downloading the data.

If it’s a big file, you will see a dialog where we’re downloading the data.

Now if I were to edit said document and save it back to the database via the ‘Load’ mechanism, then we’ve come full circle.