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Video Uploader Control for SQL Server

, 28 Nov 2007 CPOL
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Upload and insert video, audio, or image to SQL Server, and show it in an ASPX page.


This article will explain how to upload and insert files into SQL Server (specially audio, video, and image files) using C# and ADO.NET, and then how to show the video file in an ASP.NET page with a player control.


Before we start, I don't know what is better, uploading files to a database or uploading files to a server system and storing only their paths in the database. Well, I think, if those files are small in size (like images), I'd prefer to store them in the database, but if they are large (I don't have a number), then I think this will take time with the stream while reading and writing binary data (I'd like to know about your experience).


  • Create a table in a SQL Server database that will store the file data, file name, and file size.
  • ID Int
    Video varbinary(MAX)
    Video_Name nvarchar(50)
    Video_Size bigint
  • In the control, add a FileUpload control, a Button, a Label.
  • Add the control to your page.

Using the code

The idea when uploading a file to a database is to convert it to bytes. Converting a file to bytes is easy by getting the HTTPPostedFile and read it with a stream to bytes, then inserting them in a varbinary column in SQL Server (in the case of video or audio files) or an image column (in the case of images).

using System.IO;
using System.Data.SqlClient;

public partial class UploadVideo : System.Web.UI.UserControl
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    byte[] buffer;
    //this is the array of bytes which will hold the data (file)

    SqlConnection connection;
    protected void ButtonUpload_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        //check the file

        if (FileUpload1.HasFile && FileUpload1.PostedFile != null 
            && FileUpload1.PostedFile.FileName != "")
            HttpPostedFile file = FileUpload1.PostedFile;
            //retrieve the HttpPostedFile object

            buffer = new byte[file.ContentLength];
            int bytesReaded = file.InputStream.Read(buffer, 0, 
            //the HttpPostedFile has InputStream porperty (using System.IO;)
            //which can read the stream to the buffer object,
            //the first parameter is the array of bytes to store in,
            //the second parameter is the zero index (of specific byte)
            //where to start storing in the buffer,
            //the third parameter is the number of bytes 
            //you want to read (do u care about this?)

            if (bytesReaded > 0)
                    string connectionString = 
                    connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString);
                    SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand
                    ("INSERT INTO Videos (Video, Video_Name, Video_Size)" + 
                     " VALUES (@video, @videoName, @videoSize)", connection);
                        SqlDbType.VarBinary, buffer.Length).Value = buffer;
                        SqlDbType.NVarChar).Value = FileUpload1.FileName;
                        SqlDbType.BigInt).Value = file.ContentLength;
                    using (connection)
                        int i = cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();
                        Label1.Text = "uploaded, " + i.ToString() + " rows affected";
                catch (Exception ex)
                    Label1.Text = ex.Message.ToString();

            Label1.Text = "Choose a valid video file";
//create a sqlcommand object passing the query and the sqlconnection object
//when declaring the parameters you have to be sure 
//you have set the type of video column to varbinary(MAX)

How to select the data and show it on your page

The problem here is that we have to set the src property of the player control, but our file exists in a database, so we need a handler to read the bytes in the database.. The handler idea is awesome! You can call it like: "Handler.ashx?ID=1", and in the handler code, read the video column where the ID column = QueryString["id"].

using System;
using System.Web;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using System.Data;
using System.Configuration;

public class VideoHandler : IHttpHandler 
    public void ProcessRequest (HttpContext context) 
        string connectionString = 

        SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString);
        SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand("SELECT Video, Video_Name" + 
                         " FROM Videos WHERE ID = @id", connection);
        cmd.Parameters.Add("@id", SqlDbType.Int).Value = 
            SqlDataReader reader = cmd.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.Default);
            if (reader.HasRows)
                while (reader.Read())
                    context.Response.ContentType = reader["Video_Name"].ToString();
    public bool IsReusable 
        get {
            return false;

OK.. how do we show the video?! You can show the video in an ASP.NET Data control. Well, I did an example on the Repeater control. You have to read the data from the SQL Server with a SQL adapter and bind the data source to the Repeater control. Well, here you can specify which videos to select in the datasource..

private DataTable GetSpecificVideo(object i)
//pass the id of the video
    string connectionString = 
    SqlDataAdapter adapter = new SqlDataAdapter("SELECT Video, ID " + 
                             "FROM Videos WHERE ID = @id", connectionString);
    adapter.SelectCommand.Parameters.Add("@id", SqlDbType.Int).Value = (int)i;
    DataTable table = new DataTable();
    return table;
protected void ButtonShowVideo_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    Repeater1.DataSource = GetSpecificVideo(2);
    //the video id (2 is example)


Now, its time for the player control.. In the Repeater (source view), add an ItemTemplate, and set the URL value parameter of the player control to <'%# "VideoHandler.ashx?id=" + Eval("ID") %'>. The ID is the name of the ID column of the data source that the Repeater binds to.

<asp:Button ID="ButtonShowVideo" runat="server" 
   onclick="ButtonShowVideo_Click" Text="Show Video" />

    <asp:Repeater ID="Repeater1" runat="server">
            <object id="player" 
                       height="170" width="300">
                <param name="url" 
                  value='<%# "VideoHandler.ashx?id=" + Eval("ID") %>'/>
                <param name="showcontrols" value="true" />
                <param name="autostart" value="true" />

Hope you found this useful.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Islam ElDemery
Web Developer Business Development Gate
Egypt Egypt
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionNot Working PinmemberMember 854266616-Feb-12 2:08 
Questiongreat.... PinmemberRajesh Biswas7-Dec-11 20:28 
AnswerRe: great.... Pinmembersaracena8-Mar-12 1:17 
GeneralRe: great.... PinmemberRajesh Biswas3-Jul-12 20:21 
AnswerRe: great.... PinmemberAVINCODE13-Mar-13 23:12 
Questionnot working on mozila firefox PinmemberMember 822941316-Oct-11 21:25 
QuestionNOT WORKING Pinmemberarchana jain14-Oct-11 0:56 
AnswerRe: NOT WORKING PinmemberMember 822941316-Oct-11 21:30 
QuestionVery Worst PinmemberAmericanGopi7-Aug-11 22:58 
GeneralThis article not working . . . Pinmemberprabhakarparihar5-Mar-11 1:57 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberAtul Dhiman from Chandigarh, India7-Dec-10 21:05 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 PinmemberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer8-Dec-10 0:25 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 PinmemberAtul Dhiman from Chandigarh, India8-Dec-10 19:59 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberKanasz Robert12-Nov-10 1:34 
Generalvideo uploadin is not wrkin Pinmemberre.shivangi25-Oct-10 2:29 
Generalits not working Pinmembersatish deverkonda29-Jul-10 0:03 
Generalmp3 files PinmemberMember 47211685-May-10 6:49 
GeneralSupports only .wmv cideo formats PinmemberSandeep N. Pamnani6-Apr-10 0:00 
GeneralRe: Supports only .wmv cideo formats PinmemberSandeep N. Pamnani6-Apr-10 0:07 
GeneralUnable to show videos when hit the button and videos unable to play PinmemberNeo Yong Sheng7-Feb-10 21:32 
Generalvery nice PinmemberOmarGamil26-Jan-10 5:02 
GeneralVideo works in IE and not in firefox PinmemberMember 209778131-May-09 2:09 
GeneralMy videos r nt playing! Pinmemberfun2code4-Feb-09 11:10 
GeneralRe: My videos r nt playing! Pinmembermeena218-Apr-12 1:27 
GeneralNeed help quickly Pinmemberravikumarnegala15-Oct-08 1:12 
GeneralRe: Need help quickly PinmemberIslam ElDemery16-Oct-08 22:07 
GeneralThis is not working on Firefox PinmemberG.S.Reddy31-Jul-08 6:50 
GeneralGood Job bro Pinmembershahid shaikh22-Jul-08 4:34 
GeneralGood job but a little help would be nice please. PinmemberKazi Nayeem11-May-08 19:57 
GeneralRe: Good job but a little help would be nice please. PinmemberIslam ElDemery12-May-08 0:52 
GeneralSome problems, I really need some help PinmemberLadamantis220921-Jan-08 11:15 
QuestionLarge files PinmemberCubex9-Jan-08 15:41 
General[Message Deleted] PinmemberIslam ElDemery10-Jan-08 0:48 
GeneralRe: Large files PinmemberIslam ElDemery10-Jan-08 2:57 
GeneralNice, but it's better to read the uploaded file in chunks Pinmemberhspc9-Dec-07 8:34 
GeneralRe: Nice, but it's better to read the uploaded file in chunks PinmemberIslam ElDemery12-Dec-07 4:54 
GeneralWhy varbinary Pinmemberjamief5-Dec-07 5:55 
GeneralRe: Why varbinary PinmemberIslam ElDemery12-Dec-07 4:46 
QuestionASP.Net project topic request! PinmemberPech4-Dec-07 22:36 
GeneralRe: ASP.Net project topic request! PinmemberIslam ElDemery12-Dec-07 4:38 
Generaladd me on gmail PinmemberFarrru30-Nov-07 19:21 
GeneralOk Islam Brother PinmemberFarrru29-Nov-07 3:12 
GeneralRe: Ok Islam Brother PinmemberIslam ElDemery29-Nov-07 3:15 
Generali m trying PinmemberFarrru29-Nov-07 3:07 
GeneralRe: i m trying [modified] PinmemberIslam ElDemery29-Nov-07 3:08 
GeneralSQL 2000 PinmemberFarrru29-Nov-07 3:03 
GeneralRe: SQL 2000 [modified] PinmemberIslam ElDemery29-Nov-07 3:05 
QuestionHow can i change the 8000 to MAX PinmemberFarrru29-Nov-07 3:02 
GeneralI have taken Video field varbinary(8000) not (MAX) PinmemberFarrru29-Nov-07 2:55 
GeneralRe: I have taken Video field varbinary(8000) not (MAX) PinmemberIslam ElDemery29-Nov-07 2:57 

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