In this chapter, you learned what LOBs are and how they are useful in storing large text and binary data. You learned how to read from and write to CLOBs and BLOBs, and how to read from BFILEs. You then looked at some Oracle-specific alternatives to using BFILE: the UTL_FILE PL/SQL package and external tables. Also, you discovered that UTL_FILE can be used to read and write to text and binary files, whereas external tables can be used only to read from text files. Finally, you compared these alternatives in terms of features and performance.
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