Oracle Visual Information Retrieval User's Guide and Reference
Release 8.1.7

Part Number A85335-01





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This guide describes how to use Oracle Visual Information Retrieval. This product, based on technology licensed from Virage, Inc., extends the imaging capabilities of Oracle interMedia by allowing content-based retrieval of images.

Visual Information Retrieval requires Oracle8i Enterprise Edition.

For information about the differences between Oracle8i and Oracle8i Enterprise Edition and the features and options that are available to you, see Getting to Know Oracle8i.


Since release 8.1.5, the ORDVIRB and ORDVIRF object types have been replaced by ORDVIR. Release 8.1.7 is the last release in which the old interface and object types will be available. 


This guide is intended for anyone who is interested in storing, retrieving, and manipulating image data in an Oracle database, including developers of image specialization services.


This guide contains the following chapters and appendixes:

Chapter 1 

Introduces image information retrieval and explains image-related concepts. 

Chapter 2 

Explains concepts, operations, and techniques related to content-based retrieval. 

Chapter 3 

Provides basic examples of using Visual Information Retrieval types and methods. 

Chapter 4 

Provides reference information on the Visual Information Retrieval object type, procedures, and operators. 

Appendix A 

Describes the supported image data formats. 

Appendix B 

Describes how to run the included sample application. 

Appendix C 

Describes in detail many of the parameters used to modify images. 

Appendix D 

Describes the raw pixel format used by foreign images. 

Appendix E 

Describes the deprecated interface used with a previous release of Visual Information Retrieval. 

Appendix F 

Lists potential errors, their causes, and user actions to correct them.  

Related Documents


For information added after the release of this guide, refer to the online README.txt file under your Oracle home directory. Depending on your operating system, this file may be in:


Please see your operating system-specific installation guide for more information.

Also see the Oracle Technology Network for the latest documentation: 

For more information about using this product in a development environment, see the following documents in the Oracle8i documentation set:

For information about the basic image storage and retrieval, see the Oracle interMedia Audio, Image, and Video User's Guide and Reference.

Visual Information Retrieval is based on technology licensed from Virage, Inc. Visit the Virage Web site for additional information at


In examples, an implied carriage return occurs at the end of each line, unless otherwise noted. You must press the Return key at the end of a line of input.

The following conventions are also used in this guide:

Convention  Meaning 


Vertical ellipsis points in an example mean that information not directly related to the example has been omitted. 

. . .  

Horizontal ellipsis points in statements or commands mean that parts of the statement or command not directly related to the example have been omitted. 

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Boldface text indicates a term defined in the text. 

italic text 

Italic text is used for emphasis, for user-supplied variables, and for book titles. 

< >  

Angle brackets enclose user-supplied names. 

[ ] 

Brackets enclose optional clauses from which you can choose one or none. 

Changes to This Guide

The following substantive changes were made to this guide since its previous version for release 8.1.5.

Other minor corrections and clarifications were also included.

Information is provided to ensure future compatibility of the 8.1.7 release with a future release of the evolving Visual Information Retrieval object type (ORDVir) containing new object attributes. Client-side applications should call the new compatibility initialization function (compatibilityInit( ) method) at the beginning of an application if necessary. See Section 4.1 for more information.

In addition, users are recommended to use the new static methods, init( ) and init(srcType, srcLocation,srcName); these two methods have been added to the ORDVir media type to allow for easy initialization of instances of this type. Do not use the default constructors because INSERT statements using the default constructors will fail if the object type has evolved, adding new attributes. See Section 4.3 for more information.

The export( ) method now works for the source type FILE. See Section 4.4 for more information.

An additional ORDSource.import method has been defined. It is nearly identical to the existing import( ) method except that the destination BLOB is not passed in as a separate (redundant) parameter. See Oracle interMedia Audio, Image, and Video User's Guide and Reference for more information.

The deleteContent method no longer touches the metadata attributes. See Section 4.4 for more information.

The digital camera format known as EXIF is now recognized; it is a variation of the JFIF format, and the setProperties( ) method sets the fileFormat attribute to JFIF. See Table A-3 for more information.

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