What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘blob’? Without any context, it sure sounds like an obscure, mystic object you are playing against in a game of Minecraft. I can almost bet we have all seen the horrifying manifestation of our definition of BLOB on the web somewhere. However, in the world of data, blobs are extremely powerful and have transformed the way data is represented and transmitted.

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Anything and everything that can represent information about an entity is data. Our name, address, cell-phone number, genetic-information, family-tree, all represent information about us, and hence all these fields can be called data. As we begin to think about using information collected from entities, we must also carefully think about representing this information accurately. Consider for example a mobile-app which stores the first name (data), last name (data)and phone number (data)of people (entity) I know. Every morning, this app would go through the list of people on it, and send them a greeting on their phone. The success of this app depends upon the fact that each data field contains what I expect it to contain. I am expecting first name and last name to be strings but I want the phone number to be an integer. What if my app was not able to store data correctly and some of the names were being stored as numbers instead of strings? It would break the logic and the functionality of the app. This is to give you a very basic idea of why data representation matters. …

In part-I of this series, we jumped straight into a big blob of … BLOBs. That was quite a journey! In part-II of this series, we will talk about why and where to use BLOBS.

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Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash

Just a quick refresher course on blobs:

  • BLOB is an acronym for Binary Large Object.
  • BLOBS are huge chunks of raw binary data.
  • A BLOB can be made of several other “constituent” BLOBs.
  • A BLOB can be accessed via a special URL called a BLOB URL.

When we talked of blobs, we learned that blobs are binary representation of any and all kinds of data: plain text, array of characters, integers, images (all extensions), audio/video (all extensions). So think about it this way, if we had a .doc file, and all of the data in that .doc


Shruti Chaturvedi

Woman in Tech | Cloud, DevOps Engineer | Deep Learning fanatic | https://www.linkedin.com/in/shruti-chaturvedi-developer/

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