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O'Reilly Provides the Definitive Guide to Transform and Load Data Using Oracle SQL*Loader

May 4, 2001

SEBASTOPOL, CA--SQL*Loader is an Oracle utility used to load data from flat files into an Oracle database. Despite the fact that this utility has been shipped with Oracle since Version 6, and that almost every Oracle database administrator and developer has to use SQL*Loader at one time or another, few users know how to get the most out of SQL*Loader. O'Reilly's latest release, Oracle SQL*Loader: The Definitive Guide (Gennick & Mishra, O'Reilly, US $34.95) was written to lead developers and admins through the labyrinth of tasks they need to perform with SQL*Loader--and maybe even some they didn't realize they could perform with this powerful tool.

"With the trend towards ever-larger databases, and in particular towards ever-larger data warehouses, Oracle SQL*Loader: The Definitive Guide, will serve as an indispensable resource for those new to SQL*Loader, a task-oriented learning tool for those already using it, and a quick reference manual to guide users interested in best implementing this essential Oracle utility," says Jonathan Gennick, coauthor of Oracle SQL*Loader: The Definitive Guide. "Since the importance of data loading has increased in proportion to the importance of data warehousing, SQL*Loader is a significant, though somewhat unglamorous, component of the Oracle DBAs toolkit."

Gennick also points out that SQL*Loader will be around for a long while because it fulfills a key function--it enables DBAs to get large amounts of data into an Oracle database quickly. "As I look to the future, I see the issue of data loading and transformation to be of increasing importance. Oracle Corporation recognizes this as well, because the next major release of Oracle (Oracle9i) includes a number of significant features that fall under the umbrella of 'Extraction, Transformation, and Loading.'"

Oracle SQL*Loader: The Definitive Guide covers SQL*Loader features for Oracle8 and Oracle8i: loading large object (LOB) columns and the new object types (nested tables, VARRAYs--varying arrays, and object tables), but it also introduces the latest Oracle 9i features: using built-in SQL functions in direct path loads and BOUND FILLER fields in SQL expressions, and expanded support for direct path loads of objects and LOBs.

"This book is a great reference on the details of SQL*Loader, and concisely describes the best practices for loading data into Oracle databases," notes Jay Davison, Director, Software Development-Utilities Group, Oracle Corporation. "It's a must have for any database administrator's bookshelf."

Steven Andert, an Oracle DBA with over 10 years experience working with database technologies put Sanjay Mishra's performance tuning chapter to test in his article, SQL*Loader: A Case Study in Tuning. Andert's conclusion: "Jonathan and Sanjay's book gave me a better understanding of the whole SQL*Loader process, which I've found to be very helpful when troubleshooting and tuning. As far as I'm concerned, the chapter with tips on tuning alone is well worth the price of the book. By applying a couple of formulas found in that chapter, I was able to reduce the run time of our daily pipeline jobs by as much as to 60 percent in some cases, so Sanjay's advice actually turned out to be quite good."

Online Resources: Oracle SQL*Loader: The Definitive Guide
By Jonathan Gennick & Sanjay Mishra
April 2001
ISBN 1-56592-948-9, $34.95 (US)

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