How to view via file attributes??

I have a need to implement a system of "attachments"
to database records in my application.  An attachment
would be a Spreadsheet, a Document, a Bitmap, ...

My application would basically need to store the type
and the filename, and be able to view the attachment
when desired.

I would like to tie ito the filetypes defined by
windows (ala in the FileManger/Explorer).  Show these
types in a list, input a filename and be able launch
the associated application, giving my filename, when
needed.

I can find no information in the manuals/online help
on how to do this.  

Can anyone point me in the right direction??

Thanks...

Andrew
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"I never gave anybody Hell.  I just told them the truth
 and they thought it was Hell..."   -Harry S. Truman