Large objects (LOBs) are either binary data (BLOBs) or character data (CLOBs). Up to 32 LOB columns can be defined in a given table, and these columns may contain binary objects, such as graphics, video or sound clips. LOBs are treated like any other data type (subject to certain limitations). In many respects, they most closely resemble the existing VARBYTE data type; the size of the variable length indicator prefix for a LOB is 8 rather than 2 bytes, however. LOBs are fully accommodated by the database with regard to journaling, fallback, archive, and restore. Changes to a LOB can be committed or rolled-back.
Two methods have been adopted for handling LOB data: inline and deferred. Both methods use a Multipart Indicator response mode, in addition to the existing Field, Record, Indicator, and Extended Indicator response modes and can be specified through the Options parcel or the MultipartRunStartup or MultipartReq parcels. CLI provides a DBCAREA setting that can be used by parcel request mode applications to specify that Multipart Indicator mode should be used.