After completing this chapter, you will be able to:
With the advent of better performing and more flexible database engines like the one in Microsoft SQL Server 2005, the line is blurring between what should be stored in a database and what should not. In the past, databases were good at storing only highly structured data. However, with recent advances in database engine technology, it is becoming easier and more feasible to store non-structured data, such as documents and images, in a database as well. How you use the data will affect whether you should store all or only some of your application's data in a database.
In this chapter, we'll examine why you should store application settings in a database. We'll also look at how to handle user settings stored in a database. Because XML is a natural counterpart to storing hierarchical data, we'll discuss XML data in depth. Lastly, we'll look at how to store large items in your database that typically require their own file for storage.