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Graph: DBPix image storage vs OLE Embedding and Linking in Microsoft Access


Building an Image Database with Microsoft Access

A comparison of techniques for handling images in Microsoft Access applications.

    
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 'Embedding' approaches (images stored in the database)

 Embedding with the Bound OLE Frame   
 Embedding with the Access Image Control   
 Embedding with the DBPix Image Control   
 
 'Linking' approaches (images stored as external files)

 Linking with the Bound OLE Frame   
 Linking with the Access Image Control   
 Linking with the DBPix Image Control   


 Embedding with the Bound OLE Frame

Simple to implement
Little (or no) code required for basic functionality.
Very high storage overhead
Storing jpeg images typically requires between 10 and 100 times the size of the original files.
Proprietary & undocumented storage format
Data not directly usable from other platforms, eg VB, IIS/asp etc.
Extraction of image data to files difficult, and usually results in additional lossy compression and loss of metadata (eg EXIF camera info in digital photos).
Highly susceptible to configuration problems
A specific 'OLE Server' application must be installed on every user's system, and registered for the relevant file types. This is a common source of problems, particularly when new software/OS is installed, and can be very difficult to maintain across multiple systems.

 Embedding with the Access Image Control

Complex to implement
Developer must code binary storage, extraction to temporary files and image control loading, file selection/browsing.
No storage overhead
Images occupy the same space that they would as files on disk.
Susceptible to configuration problems
Users must manually install the necessary graphics filters (not redistributable).
Image control behaviors require several workarounds
'Scroll too quick' crash, suppress progress dialog.

 Embedding with DBPix

Simple to implement
Little or no code required for basic functionality.
No storage overhead
Images occupy the same space that they would as files on disk.
Simple and reliable configuration
No reliance on optional system components, external applications, file registrations or other variables. One-time control install only.
Enhanced functionality
Zoom/fit/pan etc.
Resampling/create thumbnails.
Preserve and view EXIF (digital camera) info.
Built-in file browsing (load and save).
Background (asynchronous) decoding.
Rotation (including Lossless jpeg rotation).
Clipboard integration.
TWAIN scanner/camera integration.

 Linking with the Bound OLE Frame

Simple to implement
Little (or no) code required for basic functionality.
Very high storage overhead
Storing jpeg images typically requires between 10 and 100 times the size of the original files.
Highly susceptible to configuration problems
A specific 'OLE Server' application must be installed on every user's system, and registered for the relevant file types. This is a common source of problems, particularly when new software/OS is installed, and can be very difficult to maintain across multiple systems.

 Linking with the Access Image Control

Moderately simple to implement
Developer must code file selection/browsing, and Image Control loading.
No storage overhead
No binary data stored in the database.
Susceptible to configuration problems
Users must manually install the necessary graphics filters (not redistributable).
Image control behaviors require several workarounds
'Scroll too quick' crash, suppress progress dialog.

 Linking with DBPix

Simple to implement
Minimal code required - developer must code image control loading only.
No storage overhead
No binary data stored in the database.
Simple and reliable configuration
No reliance on optional system components, external applications, file registrations or other variables. One-time control install only.
Enhanced functionality
Zoom/fit/pan etc.
Resampling/create thumbnails.
Preserve and view EXIF (digital camera) info.
Built-in file browsing (load and save).
Background (asynchronous) decoding.
Rotation (including Lossless jpeg rotation).
Clipboard integration.
TWAIN scanner/camera integration.



Imaging for Access that's Easy, Efficient & Fast
  • NO OLE Bloat
  • NO App Dependencies
  • NO Complex Coding
  • NO Performance Penalty
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