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Support IDataReader::GetBytes / IfxDataReader::GetBytes for BSON fields

We're using the BSON capabilities of the Informix server in order to store data in a separate BSON colum - like additional information for the data row or optional fields that may vary from row to row (e.g. translations to different languages).

With the current Client SDK (v4.50xC5), it is not possible to access the binary representation of that field by issuing a SELECT statement using the Informix.Net.Core driver as the driver currently does not support the GetBytes function for any other field types than BLOBs or BYTEs.

That requires us to either issue multiple bson_value_xxx statements to access all those optional fields -or- to cast the field from BSON to JSON on the server side to then perform the creation of the client-side data object by translating the returned values for a second time.

A more direct approach by returning the byte represenation of the BSON column would have two nice side effects:

a) There's no need for double conversion (either by calling bson_value_xx and then issuing the corresponing GetValue calls from the IDataReader to build up the data object at client side -or- by casting BSON to JSON and then parsing JSON at client side), thus the load on the server is reduced

b) The limit from 32767 characters (currently imposed for a VARCHAR - what the result of the BSON to JSON conversion is) would be omitted

  • Guest
  • Feb 5 2021
  • Under Review
Who would benefit from this IDEA? Everyone using BSON columns
How should it work?

The current implementation of the IDataReader / IfxDataReader class in the Informix C# .Net driver as well as in the Informix .Net.Core driver do not allow the call of the IfxDataReader.GetBytes function on BSON columns.

If the driver would allow us to use the GetBytes function on BSON columns, we could do the following:

using Informix.Net.Core;

using MongoDB.Bson.Serialization;

public IEnumerable<DataObject> GetObjectsFromServer(string connectionString)


List<DataObject> objects = new List<DataObject>();

using (IfxConnection conn = new IfxConnection(connectionString))



IfxCommand cmd = new IfxCommand("SELECT data FROM table", conn);

IfxDataReader rdr = cmd.ExecuteReader();

while (rdr.Read())


byte[] bson = new byte[rdr.GetBytes(rdr.GetOrdinal("data"), null, 0, 0);

rdr.GetBytes(rdr.GetOrdinal("data"), bson, 0, bson.Length);




return objects;


Even a more generic approach using the BsonDocument type is possible.

Idea Priority Urgent
Priority Justification Server Offload, Length limit of value returned by GetString (for ::JSON casts)
Client Name Sportec Solutions AG
  • Guest commented
    26 Feb 09:32am

    Despite my last comment, it seems that some of the functions (like the GetBytes one) already support the BSON data type, whereas others (like the IsDbNull function) does not. In general, the .NET Core driver has no official support right now for the BSON datatype - therefore it would be nice if this feature (as BSON itself is supported for many years by Informix) would be implemented into the .NET Core driver as soon as possible.

  • Guest commented
    18 Feb 12:53pm

    It seems as if the functionality is undocumented but already implemented in the current 4.50FC5 version of the Informix.Net.Core driver.

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