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Don Burleson Blog 







How to read a text file into an Oracle table

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonDecember 13,  2015 - Updated April 9, 2016


Loading text files into Oracle tables can be done in a variety of ways.  You can load the text file as:

- SQL*Loader: This will read the text, line by line.

- External Table: See these notes on Oracle external tables: 

  1. Load text file with External Tables

  2. Oracle External Table error and ORA-29913

  3. Oracle External Tables

  4. ETL read test file with pipelined table functions

- Use a program:  You can read Oracle data with a Pro*C program.

- Use utl_file:  You can read a text file and load it into a table using PL/SQL with utl_file.  Here is a anonymous PL/SQL for reading a text file into a table:

set serveroutput on;

CREATE or replace DIRECTORY USER_DIR AS '/home/oracle';


V1 VARCHAR2(200); --32767
F1 := UTL_FILE.FOPEN('USER_DIR','temp.txt','R');
end loop;

dbms_output.put_line('File is Open');
end if;

set serveroutput off;

As we see, there are many ways to read a text file and load it into a table.

Nice Trick for Reading Text Files Into tables

Have you ever had the need to read a text file into Oracle? And parse out pieces of information when you do it? Yes, you can do it with SQL Loader, but Oracle external tables offer much more flexibility. The example below shows you how to read an Oracle text alert log into an Oracle table, but you can use this method to read any text file.

First, define your directory and grant the required privileges:

create directory log_dir as '/u01/app/oracle/admin/orcl/bdump';
grant read on directory log_dir to dba;
grant write on directory log_dir to dba;

Next, we create our external table:

create table alert_log
(txt_line varchar2(512))
organization external
default directory log_dir
access parameters (records delimited by newline
(txt_line char(512)))
location ('alert_orcl.log')

Note that we set the length of the line to 512. Just set it to the maximum length of the line. Oracle will read to the end of the record as delimited by the new line.

At this point, we can read the table as any oracle table.

Select * from alert_log;

Create table ora_alert_log as (select rownum as line_number, txt_line from alert_log);

If you run the create table as select, you now have a standard Oracle table containing lines of text. At this point, you can do all kinds of queries and data manipulations.

You can search specific lines to load into your table.



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