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Using FILESTREAM Storage in Client Applications

When you use FILESTREAM to store binary large object (BLOB) data, you can use Win32 APIs to work with the files. To support working with FILESTREAM BLOB data in Win32 applications, SQL Server provides the following functions and API:

  • PathName returns a path as a token to a BLOB. An application uses this token to obtain a Win32 handle and operate on BLOB data.

  • GET_FILESTREAM_TRANSACTION_CONTEXT() returns a token that represents the current transaction of a session. An application uses this token to bind FILESTREAM file system streaming operations to the transaction.

  • The OpenSqlFilestream API obtains a Win32 file handle. The application uses the handle to stream the FILESTREAM data, and can then pass the handle to the following Win32 APIs: ReadFile, WriteFile, TransmitFile, SetFilePointer, SetEndOfFile, or FlushFileBuffers. If the application calls any other API by using the handle, an ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED error is returned. The application should close the handle by using CloseHandle.

All FILESTREAM data container access is performed in a SQL Server transaction. Transact-SQL statements can be executed in the same transaction to maintain consistency between SQL data and FILESTREAM data.