SQL* Loader is an Oracle utility to load the data from the flat file in to the Oracle database tables. Major backbone of the SQL Loader utility is the control file during the data load. This control file guides the SQL Loader utility in terms of which tables and columns should receive the data that you are loading. There is no similarity between database control file and SQL Loader control file.
The mandatory files required for the SQL Loader are the data file which contains the text data and the control file which guides the SQL* Loader. SQL Loader reads the text data from the data file as per the instruction written in the control file.
Features or Advantages of SQL*Loader
1. SQL*Loader is a data loading utility that loads records from external text file into Oracle database tables in very high speed compared to any other method.
2. It can load the data into multiple database tables during the one load session.
3. It can accept different kind of input data formats and it has the ability to perform the filtering operation during the load.
4. It can manipulate the data fields with different SQL functions before inserting the data into database tables.
5. SQL*Loader uses the high performance DIRECT loads to the tables during the data load.
6. It has very good mechanism to report the errors during the data load which will help the user to fix the data errors quickly.
7. It has the ability to load complex object-relational data and it uses the secondary datafiles for loading the LOB and collection objects.
8. SQL* Loader can perform the data load from disk, tape and named pipe to the oracle database tables.
9. It can generate unique sequential key values for the specified columns such as primary key.
10. It can perform the data load across network as it support the client server architecture.