[OSGeo-Discuss] Raster data on a DBMS

Chris Puttick chris.puttick at thehumanjourney.net
Tue Nov 4 07:53:56 PST 2008

----- "P Kishor" <punk.kish at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/4/08, Chris Puttick <chris.puttick at thehumanjourney.net> wrote:
> > It is not necessary to store the image file itself in the database
> to get concurrency control, data protection, integrity and management
> features. There are a number of good document management systems
> (Alfresco, KnowledgeTree) that offer all the above for files, and the
> Zimbra collaboration system makes use of database for emails much the
> same reason. None of these actually store the files in database; the
> database is used to provide all the controls, and the access to the
> files is only via an interface that references the database and the
> additional functionality it provides.
> >
> That doesn't make much sense to *me*. It is one thing to not want to
> deploy an rdbms to store images as it allegedly creates unnecessary
> complexity. It makes no sense to replace that complexity with some
> other complexity, that of a document management system in this case.
> Given that I have personally never heard of Alfresco or Knowledge
> Tree
> or other such document management systems, but I *have* heard of
> PostGres/MySQL/SQLite, I would much rather deal with known complexity
> than with unknown complexity.

That would make no sense to me either. I wasn't suggesting you use a DMS or Zimbra to store image data for geospatial purposes, merely pointing out that these large enterprise class solutions use a DBMS to provide a number of features that a normal file system does not, without actually putting the files into the database. That is, you can have your raster-cake and eat it...

> >  OTOH Microsoft put all their Exchange emails into the database and
> anyone who has ever managed an Exchange installation of any size
> >  can tell you just how many problems that can cause you...
> Yeah, but one allegedly bad or problematic approach doesn't
> necessarily speak for all other such approaches. Besides, while I may
> not like MS, for whatever reason, Exchange seems to be doing quite
> well in the marketplace.

Actually, ask any non-technical decision maker and I think you'll find it is not Exchange that is doing well but Outlook, and that mostly as an engrained habit base on never having learnt to use any other collaboration tool.

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