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Programming Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2008 by Leonard Lobel, Andrew Brust, and Stephen Forte

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What’s in an Attribute?

Of course, this discussion has been leading toward the new FILESTREAM feature, which combines the best of both worlds (and then some) in SQL Server 2008. First, to be clear, this is not technically a new data type in SQL Server. Instead, FILESTREAM is implemented as an attribute that you apply to the varbinary(max) data type. It might look innocent enough, but merely applying this attribute unleashes the FILESTREAM feature—an extremely efficient storage abstraction layer for managing unstructured data in the database. With this attribute applied, we continue to treat the varbinary(max) column as though its contents were stored inline with our table data. Under the covers, however, the data is stored externally from the ...

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