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Oracle 10g/11g Data and Database Management Utilities by Hector R. Madrid

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Chapter 3. External Tables

When working in data warehouse environments, the ExtractionTransformationLoading(ETL) cycle frequently requires the user to load information from external sources in plain file format, or perform data transfers among Oracle database in a proprietary format. This requires the user to create control files to perform the load. As the format of the source data regularly doesn't fit the one required by the Data Warehouse, a common practice is to create stage tables that load data into the database and create several queries that perform the transformation from this point on, to take the data to its final destination.

A better approach, would be to perform this transformation 'on the fly' at load time. That is what External ...

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