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Posted 27 Jan 2006


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Loading image files from a database, using ADO

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27 Jan 2006CPOL1 min read
Putting and retrieving images files to and from a database, via ADO.

Sample Image - ADOImageDb.jpg


Putting and retrieving image files in to a database, is not a simple task. I you want to look on the Internet for such a sample, you will be surprised that there is no C++ sample for that. There is only information, that you have to use the Safearray, SetChunk, and GetChunk methods.

This article will show how you can put image files in to a database via ADO, as well as how you can retrieve them. With this example, you can use any file format such as Word, Excel etc., not just image file formats.


The example contains two methods for putting and retrieving image files to and from a database. The first method retrieves data from the database, create a file in a temporary directory, and puts the data into a file created. The parameter strImageName is the name of the file that will be created. The second parameter indicates the ADO field object containing the image data.

The following code sample shows the implementation:

CString CADOImageDBDlg::GetImageFromADO(CString 
                  strImageName, FieldPtr pField)
    //Creating temp file
    char tmpPath[_MAX_PATH+1];
    CFile outFile(strImageName, 
    //Helper variable for retrieving image data
    unsigned char* lpData = NULL;
    long lngOffSet = 0;
    long lngSize=pField->ActualSize;
    const long ChunkSize=50;     
    _variant_t varChunk;    
    UCHAR chData;
    HRESULT hr;
    long lBytesCopied = 0;
    lpData=new unsigned char [lngSize];
    //Retrieveing data from vararray
    while(lngOffSet < lngSize)
            //Get 50 size long chunk from database
            varChunk = pField->GetChunk(ChunkSize);
            //putting chunk in to safe array
            for(long lIndex = 0; lIndex <= 
                    (ChunkSize - 1); lIndex++)
                  &lIndex, &chData);
                    ((UCHAR*)lpData)[lBytesCopied] = chData;
            lngOffSet += ChunkSize;
        catch(_com_error &e)
            return FALSE;
    LPSTR buffer = (LPSTR)GlobalLock(lpData);
    // write data in to file
    // free reserved data
    delete lpData;
    //Return full path file
    return strImageName;
bool CADOImageDBDlg::PutImageInADO(CString 
           strFilePath,FieldPtr pFileData)
    //Opent File
    CFile fileImage;
    CFileStatus fileStatus;
    fileImage.Open(strFilePath, CFile::modeRead);

    //Alocating memory for data 
    ULONG nBytes = (ULONG)fileStatus.m_size;
    HGLOBAL hGlobal = GlobalAlloc(GPTR,nBytes);
    LPVOID lpData = GlobalLock(hGlobal);

    //Putting data in to file
    HRESULT hr;
    _variant_t varChunk;
    long lngOffset = 0;
    UCHAR chData;
    SAFEARRAYBOUND rgsabound[1];
        //Create a safe array to 
        //store the array of BYTES 
        rgsabound[0].lLbound = 0;
        rgsabound[0].cElements = nBytes;
        psa = SafeArrayCreate(VT_UI1,1,rgsabound);
        while(lngOffset < (long)nBytes)
            chData      = ((UCHAR*)lpData)[lngOffset];
            hr = SafeArrayPutElement(psa, 
                       &lngOffset, &chData);
            return false;
        lngOffset = 0;
        //Assign the Safe array  to a variant. 
        varChunk.vt = VT_ARRAY|VT_UI1;
        varChunk.parray = psa;
        hr = pFileData->AppendChunk(varChunk);
            return false;
    catch(_com_error &e)
        return FALSE;

    //Free memory
    return true;

For image display, I created a class which wraps the freeimage library.

Update history

  • - January 27, 2006 - First release version.


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


About the Author

Bahrudin Hrnjica
Software Developer (Senior)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bahrudin Hrnjica holds a Ph.D. degree in Technical Science/Engineering from University in Bihać.
Besides teaching at University, he is in the software industry for more than two decades, focusing on development technologies e.g. .NET, Visual Studio, Desktop/Web/Cloud solutions.

He works on the development and application of different ML algorithms. In the development of ML-oriented solutions and modeling, he has more than 10 years of experience. His field of interest is also the development of predictive models with the ML.NET and Keras, but also actively develop two ML-based .NET open source projects: GPdotNET-genetic programming tool and ANNdotNET - deep learning tool on .NET platform. He works in multidisciplinary teams with the mission of optimizing and selecting the ML algorithms to build ML models.

He is the author of several books, and many online articles, writes a blog at, regularly holds lectures at local and regional conferences, User groups and Code Camp gatherings, and is also the founder of the Bihac Developer Meetup Group. Microsoft recognizes his work and awarded him with the prestigious Microsoft MVP title for the first time in 2011, which he still holds today.

Comments and Discussions

Generaladding camera capture to this program Pin
suyun9029-Jun-09 20:03
Membersuyun9029-Jun-09 20:03 
GeneralRe: adding camera capture to this program Pin
Member 268614322-Jan-10 1:33
MemberMember 268614322-Jan-10 1:33 
AnswerRe: adding camera capture to this program Pin
RaviRanjanKr1-Mar-11 0:09
professionalRaviRanjanKr1-Mar-11 0:09 
Questionwhy should we put images in db? Pin
ikprog5-Feb-09 21:31
Memberikprog5-Feb-09 21:31 
AnswerRe: why should we put images in db? Pin
Theo Buys6-Nov-13 1:29
MemberTheo Buys6-Nov-13 1:29 
Generalcomparing images in vb Pin
uet2-Mar-08 1:41
Memberuet2-Mar-08 1:41 
AnswerRe: comparing images in vb Pin
RaviRanjanKr1-Mar-11 0:15
professionalRaviRanjanKr1-Mar-11 0:15 
GeneralNot compatible with Visual Studio 9 Pin
Patrickquinn121219-Feb-08 2:28
MemberPatrickquinn121219-Feb-08 2:28 
GeneralRe: Not compatible with Visual Studio 9 Pin
Bahrudin Hrnjica15-Aug-08 9:10
professionalBahrudin Hrnjica15-Aug-08 9:10 
Questionwhy i can't download this source? Pin
c_glacier28-Jan-08 16:35
Memberc_glacier28-Jan-08 16:35 
Generalnothing in Internet. strange Pin
BalinTomsk18-Sep-07 10:23
MemberBalinTomsk18-Sep-07 10:23 
GeneralMySQL with TEXT type column Pin
AlexEvans6-Jul-07 12:48
MemberAlexEvans6-Jul-07 12:48 
QuestionHow to Remove Image while saving record Pin
gargamehl17-Apr-07 14:44
Membergargamehl17-Apr-07 14:44 
GeneralDatas saved as Long Binary data in Access file [modified] Pin
Priyah8-Nov-06 0:03
MemberPriyah8-Nov-06 0:03 
GeneralRe: Datas saved as Long Binary data in Access file Pin
Bahrudin Hrnjica10-Nov-06 10:45
professionalBahrudin Hrnjica10-Nov-06 10:45 
GeneralFinding the columns that make up an index Pin
AlexEvans12-Oct-06 21:31
MemberAlexEvans12-Oct-06 21:31 
GeneralRe: Finding the columns that make up an index Pin
Bahrudin Hrnjica13-Oct-06 11:39
professionalBahrudin Hrnjica13-Oct-06 11:39 
GeneralRe: Finding the columns that make up an index Pin
AlexEvans13-Oct-06 14:49
MemberAlexEvans13-Oct-06 14:49 
QuestionSafeArray doesn't work here Pin
RBrostedt3-Aug-06 0:24
MemberRBrostedt3-Aug-06 0:24 
AnswerRe: SafeArray doesn't work here Pin
Bahrudin Hrnjica3-Aug-06 2:29
professionalBahrudin Hrnjica3-Aug-06 2:29 
GeneralNice Pin
Dino686-Feb-06 5:22
MemberDino686-Feb-06 5:22 
GeneralPublicity for free Pin
AlexEvans31-Jan-06 13:37
MemberAlexEvans31-Jan-06 13:37 

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