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Oracle Database 11g PL/SQL Programming Workbook by John M. Harper, Michael McLaughlin

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CHAPTER 12External Files

External files are typically sources for import or targets for export. They can be proprietary formats, such as those generated by Oracle Data Pump. More often, they are comma-separated value (CSV), position-specific, or tab-separated value (TSV) files. They’re important tools for Extract Transform and Load (ETL) processes.

Not too long ago, we’d read these files with the UTL_FILE package. It was and is a very effective tool. Since the advent of external tables, however, UTL_FILE seems more work than external tables. Character Large Objects (CLOBs) are another story. They use DBMS_LOB and are covered at the end of the chapter.

This chapter shows you how to use external tables; we see them as part of the future direction ...

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