Should I Store My Data in a Database Or Should I Just Store the PDF?

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Should I store my data in a database or should I just store the PDF documents, that I will eventually create, on the server?

Depends, you can either store the path to the file and the filename as strings in the database and then store the file in the correct place, or you can store the file itself as a BLOB. advantages of using a BLOB is you can index the contents of PDF’s (and office documents) in MSSQL Server, this can be very nice for a library application as you can use TSQL statements to search through document contents. How to search pdf contents in SQL Server you can do similar in other databases by storing paths and filenames in the database, then ocr’ing the file and storing the results of the OCR as another database field, obviously this can take up a lot of space. Edit. don't know why I put ocr there… this wouldn't actually be very effective, I meant use ghostscript to parse the pdf

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This would make for a much better Search feature, not sure how useful this would be except perhaps if you wanted to store files in an external disk or another source. To make this work, you would have to install a PDF OCR module like this, which has been built for use in MySQL. (There are some prebuilt ones that you can install too.) Then you would have to configure the mysql.pdf module to use the PDF OCR module. This means you would have to create a function call to the PDF OCR module to perform the OCR of the PDF, then call this function, for example, mysql.pdf.ODR(“C:\path\to\file.pdf”, function(SQL, result) {var results =; // Add custom metadata about the PDF to the PDF itself, and then display a custom meta-table}) To store text files, you'd need to have the functions from 'File' as well. (Some database engine support.