Is there a more efficient way of reading BLOBs without writing them locally first?

I want to be able to read a document from database and extract some data out of it. I am able to do the second part but I'm having issue with doing it efficiently. Is there a more efficient way of reading BLOBs without writing them locally first? As you can see I save the data into a document on my hard drive which is terribly slow.

final String url = "connectioninfo";
final String username = "user";
final String password = "password";

try {
    Connection conn = DriverManager.getConnection(url, username, password);

     String sql = "SELECT document_id, file_name, data FROM documents WHERE file_name like '%.doc'";
     PreparedStatement stmt = conn.prepareStatement(sql);
     ResultSet resultSet = stmt.executeQuery();

     while ( {
          String da_document_id = resultSet.getString(1);
          String file_name = resultSet.getString(2);

          File data = new File("c:\\databaseDoc.doc");
          FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(data);

          byte[] buffer = new byte[1];
          InputStream is = resultSet.getBinaryStream(3);
          try {
            while ( > 0) {
            } catch (IOException e) {

        System.out.println("da_document_id= " + da_document_id);
        System.out.println("file_name= " + file_name);

    } catch (SQLException e) {
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
Jon Skeet

Part of the reason that it's slow is that you're reading one byte at a time. That's never a good idea. If you're using Java 9, I'd also suggest using InputStream.transferTo(OutputStream) to make things rather simpler:

But no, you don't need to write to a FileOutputStream - you could copy the data into a ByteArrayOutputStream instead, at which point you can easily create a byte[]:

ByteArrayOutputStream output = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
try (InputStream input = resultSet.getBinaryStream(3)) {
byte[] data = output.toByteArray();

Alternatively, if the way you want to use the data is something that already accepts an InputStream, just use the stream returned by getBinaryStream. Make sure you know when it's okay to close the stream though - some usages may read lazily.


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