Modern dataware houses are not confined to strict tabular data loaded into the database using the COPY INTO statement. In many areas, most notably in the scientific domains, proprietary file formats have been designed, augmented with libraries to create and inspect them. MonetDB recognizes the value of such choices and provides an easy way to open up these treasure chest for SQL querying. Therefor, it introduces a series of data vaults, each geared towards supporting a well-defined foreign file format.
MonetDB Data Vaults (DV) are database-attached external files or file repositories. Based on a concept similar to SQL/MED, they can be used for managing external data. One of the primary purposes of a data vault is to allow faster and easier processing of data stored in large file repositories. There are DVs currently available in MonetDB for the following formats:
- MiniSEED (mSEED) - used in seismology 
- NetCDF - array oriented scientific binary data 
- SAM/BAM - used in bioinformatics/genetics
- Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) - used in astronomy
This topic is also the focus in ongoing research .