How to write / update Oracle blob in a reliable way?

I'm trying to write and update a pdf document in a blob column but I'm just able to update the blob only writing more data than the previous stored data. If I try to update the blob column with a smaller document data I get only a corrupted pdf.

First the blob column has been initialized using empty_blob() function. I wrote the sample Java class below to test this behaviour. I run it the first time with 'true' as first parameter of the main method so in the first row there's stored a document of about 31kB and in the second row there's a document of 278kB. Then I run it with 'false' as parameter, in this way the two rows should be updated swapping the documents. The result is that I get a correct result only when I write more data than the existing one.

How is it possible to write a method that writes and updates a blob in a reliable way without worring about binary data's size?

import static;

import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.DriverManager;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.ResultSet;
import java.sql.SQLException;

import oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver;
import oracle.jdbc.OracleResultSet;
import oracle.sql.BLOB;

import org.apache.commons.lang.ArrayUtils;
 * Prerequisites:
 * 1) a table named 'x' must exists [create table x (i number, j blob);] 
 * 2) that table should have two columns [insert into x (i, j) values (1, empty_blob()); insert into x (i, j) values (2, empty_blob()); commit;]
 * 3) download lsp.pdf from
 * 4) download dotguide.pdf from
public class UpdateBlob {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        processFiles(new String[]{"lsp.pdf", "dotguide.pdf"}, Boolean.valueOf(args[0]));

    public static void processFiles(String [] fileNames, boolean forward) throws Exception {
      int idx = 1;
      for(String fname : fileNames){
        insert(idx++, fname);

    private static void insert(int idx, String fname) throws Exception{
        Connection conn = null;
        PreparedStatement ps = null;
        ResultSet rs = null;
        try {
            DriverManager.registerDriver(new OracleDriver());
            conn = DriverManager.getConnection("jdbc:oracle:thin:@"+db+":"+port+":"+sid, user, pwd);
            ps = conn.prepareStatement("select j from x where i = ? for update");
            ps.setLong(1, idx);

            rs = ps.executeQuery();

            if ( {
                FileInputStream instream = new FileInputStream(fname);
                BLOB blob = ((OracleResultSet)rs).getBLOB(1);
                OutputStream outstream = blob.setBinaryStream(1L);
                copy(instream, outstream);
        } catch (SQLException e) {
            throw new Exception(e);

Oracle version: - 64bit

I even tried the standard JDBC API without using Oracle's specific one (like in the example above) without any success.


It's a lot easier:

PreparedStatement pstmt = conn.prepareStatement("update blob_table set blob = ? where id = ?");
File blob = new File("/path/to/picture.png");
FileInputStream in = new FileInputStream(blob);

// the cast to int is necessary because with JDBC 4 there is 
// also a version of this method with a (int, long) 
// but that is not implemented by Oracle
pstmt.setBinaryStream(1, in, (int)blob.length()); 

pstmt.setInt(2, 42);  // set the PK value

It works the same when using an INSERT statement. No need for empty_blob() and a second update statement.

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