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Lesson 2What is Multimedia?
ObjectiveDescribe multimedia as it applies to a database.

What is multimedia?

Multimedia, when broken down into its two root words, simply means "many ways." In the communications field, it generally refers to a presentation that uses several different methods to convey information, such as slides, speakers, film, and live performances.
In the context of a computerized database system, multimedia refers to data of many forms. Typical examples of multimedia data are shown in the graphic below.

figcaption>Typical Multimedia

Multimedia data presents the following challenges to the traditional relational database:
  1. Multimedia data is not text or numbers, so it cannot be queried using traditional Structured Query Language (SQL) queries.
  2. Multimedia data is often in large chunks, so it can take up many times more space than typical text or numerical data.
  3. Multimedia data is in specialized formats, so it cannot be displayed directly from the database the way text and numbers can be displayed.
All of these challenges are being addressed in Oracle to some degree. Some of the solutions we will explore in this module are new extensions to SQL, object methods, specialized handling for large objects, and ew methods of loading and modifying multimedia files. The next lesson will explore the connection between Java and the Oracle database.