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Loading external information into Oracle - similar to BCP in Sybase and SQL Server

Hi,

I have a question regarding loading external information (i.e. from a file for instance) into a table in an Oracle database.

I'm familiar with Sybase and SQL Server with doing a BCP IN. Oracle doe not have a BCP utility. It does have several other mannerisms. From some information I have gathered: SQLLDR in Oracle is commensurate with BCP IN in Sybase and SQL Server. The control file is commensurate with the format file, I believe. Yet, I have also heard and do not know much about them on datapump and datadump. In addition, it is also my understanding that since Oracle 9i there is also the ability of external tables. (Although, the external tables are a bit of a concern to me as they can have issues.)

I'm looking for something that is consistently applied and will meet about 80% or more of routine loading of information. (Again, like BCP IN in SQL Server and Sybase).

Any information on that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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davism
Asked:
davism
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SujithData ArchitectCommented:
A quick overview :

SQL Loader - Loads files from the file system to Oracle database. Files can be fixed width or delimited. Very fast for reading flat files.

External Tables - Reads a file on the file system from the database as if it was a table. Very convenient to apply formatting, tranformations etc on the data. Can avoid the use of a staging table. Can use parallelism etc.

datapump : Used for unloading and loading data from oracle database to oracle database. Unloading generates oracle formatted files, which can be loaded back ONLY using datapump.

In my opinion you must for for External Tables( They are quite reliable and fast, havent come across much of runtime issues)
Or
You must use sqlloader(safer option, very fast in my opition by using DIRECT path loading etc).

You must read the respective sections from this book(a must):
http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/server.102/b14215/toc.htm
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davismAuthor Commented:
sujith80,

Thanks much for the answer. I provides for another area of opinion and one that coincides more with others I've passed the information to.

The general theme is for the use of SQLLDR (SQL Loader).

Thanks again and very much appreciated! (Nice link as well!)
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SujithData ArchitectCommented:
You are welcome.
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