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     Oracle Utilities Tips


SQL*Loader () is the utility to use for high performance data loads.  The data can be loaded from any text file and inserted into the database.

Figure 4.2 depicts the SQL*Loader architecture.  SQL*Loader reads a data file and a description of the data which is defined in the control file.  Using this information and any additional specified parameters (either on the command line or in the PARFILE), SQL*Loader loads the data into the database. 

During processing, SQL*Loader writes messages to the log file, bad rows to the bad file, and discarded rows to the discard file.


Figure 4.2 – SQL*Loader Architecture 

The Control File

The SQL*Loader control file contains information that describes how the data will be loaded.  It contains the table name, column datatypes, field delimiters, etc.  It simply provides the guts for all SQL*Loader processing. 

Manually creating control files is an error-prone process.  The following SQL script () can be used to generate an accurate control file for a given table.  The script accepts a table name and a date format (to be used for date columns), and generates a valid control file to use with SQL*Loader for that table.   



spool off

Once executed and given a table name and date format, controlfile.sql will generate a control file with the following contents: 


The control file can also specify that records are in fixed format.  A file is in fixed record format when all records in a datafile are the same length.  The control file specifies the specific starting and ending byte location of each field.  This format is harder to create and less flexible but can yield performance benefits.  A control file specifying a fixed format for the same table could look like the following:


INFILE 'table_with_one_million_rows.dat'
 , COL3  POSITION(11:46)   CHAR
 , col4  position(48:83)   CHAR
 , col5  position(85:120)  CHAR

To learn more about these techniques, see the book "Advanced Oracle Utilities: The Definitive Reference". 

You can buy it directly from the publisher and get instant access to the code depot of utilities scripts.




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