The Art of SQL Server FILESTREAM by Jacob Sebastian and Sven Aelterman

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Storing large object data in the database offers a number of benefits, but introduces performance challenges. Conversely, storing large object data in the file system has overriding performance advantages, but fails to offer some of the basic data integrity, security and manageability features that are required for business data, and which SQL Server provides.

Up to now, most people have adopted file system storage by necessity, and often struggled to overcome the associated shortcomings. This is exactly where SQL Server’s new FILESTREAM feature fits in. Introduced in SQL Server 2008, it is implemented as an extension to the VARBINARY(MAX) data type and allows large object data to be stored in a special folder on the NTFS file system, while bringing that data under the transactional control of SQL Server.

This book guides you step-by-step through every phase of FILESTREAM implementation, from enabling the feature, to creating FILESTREAM tables, to manipulating FILESTREAM data through the streaming APIs. We also cover, in detail, administration and troubleshooting of FILESTREAM databases and tables.

No feature is used in isolation, so we devote several chapters to explaining how this new feature can be integrated into ASP.NET and Silverlight web applications, and into applications using Entity Framework. We also take a look at how well FILESTREAM plays with other SQL Server features such as SSIS and SSRS, pointing out various issues and pain-points along the way. We also devote a full chapter to the FileTable feature, a long-awaited new addition to FILESTREAM, with SQL Server 2012, which allows Windows applications to access FILESTREAM data exactly as is it were stored directly on the file system.

We hope this book will get you started, quickly, with FILESTREAM, and then help you master all essential aspects of programming and administering FILESTREAM-enabled databases.

About the author

Sven Aelterman

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Sven Aelterman is a lecturer in Information Systems at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. He teaches undergraduate courses in data warehousing, network infrastructure and security. He is also the technology specialist for Troy University's Sorrell College of Business, and performs a variety of technology roles with a global scope. He continues consulting work through Adduxis, where he assists customers with software development projects using the Microsoft .NET Framework and related technologies. Sven focuses on application design and architecture and secure coding practices.

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About the author

Jacob Sebastian

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Jacob Sebastian is a SQL Server Consultant based in Ahmedabad, India. He's a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, a Moderator at the MSDN and Technet Forums, and volunteers with the Professional Association for SQL Server as Regional Chapter Coordinator for Asia. He also runs a SQL Server User Group in his home town and is a frequent columnist at SQLServerCentral.com. Jacob started his database career in the early nineties with Dbase and then moved to Clipper, Foxpro and finally settled on SQL Server. He's now been working with SQL Server for over 11 years and is a regular speaker at local User Groups and SQL Server events. He is also a well-known SQL Server trainer, and teaches at various SQL Server classes across the country.

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