You must perform various administrative tasks to set up, maintain, and use a database that contains LOBs.
Certain utilities are recommended for bulk loading data into LOB columns as part of database setup or maintenance tasks.
The following utilities are recommended for bulk loading data into LOB columns as part of database setup or maintenance tasks:
Oracle Data Pump
Application Developers: If you are loading data into a LOB in your application, then using the LOB APIs is recommended. See Using LOB APIs .
There are two general techniques for using SQL*Loader to load data into LOBs
You can use SQL*Loader to load data into LOBs in these ways:
Loading data from a primary data file
Loading from a secondary data file using LOB files
Consider the following issues when loading LOBs with SQL*Loader:
For SQL*Loader conventional path loads, failure to load a particular LOB does not result in the rejection of the record containing that LOB; instead, the record ends up containing an empty LOB.
For SQL*Loader direct-path loads, the LOB could be empty or truncated. LOBs are sent in pieces to the server for loading. If there is an error, then the LOB piece with the error is discarded and the rest of that LOB is not loaded. In other words, if the entire LOB with the error is contained in the first piece, then that LOB column is either empty or truncated.
When loading from
LOB files, specify the maximum length of the field corresponding to a LOB-type column. If the maximum length is specified, then it is taken as a hint to help optimize memory usage. It is important that the maximum length specification does not underestimate the true maximum length.
When using SQL*Loader direct-path load, loading LOBs can take up substantial memory. If the message "SQL*Loader 700 (out of memory)" appears when loading LOBs, then internal code is probably batching up more rows in each load call than can be supported by your operating system and process memory. A work-around is to use the ROWS option to read a smaller number of rows in each data save.
You can also use the Direct Path API to load LOBs. See Oracle Call Interface Programmer's Guide.
LOB files is recommended when loading columns containing XML data in
XMLType columns. Consider the following validation criteria for XML documents in determining whether to use direct-path load or conventional path load with SQL*Loader:
If it is not necessary to ensure that the XML document is valid, or if you can safely assume that the XML document is valid, then you can perform a direct-path load. Direct-path load performs better because you avoid the overhead of XML validation.
A conventional path load executes SQL
INSERT statements to populate tables in an Oracle database.
A direct-path load eliminates much of the Oracle database overhead by formatting Oracle data blocks and writing the data blocks directly to the database files. Additionally, it does not compete with other users for database resources, so it can usually load data at near disk speed. Considerations inherent to direct path loads, such as restrictions, security, and backup implications, are discussed in Oracle Database Utilities.
Tables to be loaded must already exist in the database. SQL*Loader never creates tables. It loads existing tables that either contain data or are empty.
The following privileges are required for a load:
You must have
INSERT privileges on the table to be loaded.
You must have
DELETE privileges on the table to be loaded, when using the
TRUNCATE option to empty out the old data before loading the new data in its place.
Oracle Database Utilities for details on using SQL*Loader to load LOBs
You can load data from files in the file system into a
You can load data from files in the file system into a
Note that the
BFILE data type stores unstructured binary data in operating system files outside the database. A
BFILE column or attribute stores a file locator that points to a server-side external file containing the data.
A particular file to be loaded as a
BFILE does not have to actually exist at the time of loading.
SQL*Loader assumes that the necessary
DIRECTORY objects have been created.
See "Directory Objects" and the sections following it for more information on creating directory objects
A control file field corresponding to a
BFILE column consists of the column name followed by the
BFILE directive takes as arguments a
DIRECTORY object name followed by a
BFILE name. Both of these can be provided as string constants, or they can be dynamically sourced through some other field.
Oracle Database Utilities for details on SQL*Loader syntax
The following two examples illustrate the loading of
You may be required to set up the following data structures for certain examples to work (you are prompted for the password):
CONNECT system Enter password: Connected. GRANT CREATE ANY DIRECTORY to samp; CONNECT samp Enter password: Connected. CREATE OR REPLACE DIRECTORY adgraphic_photo as '/tmp'; CREATE OR REPLACE DIRECTORY adgraphic_dir as '/tmp';
In the following example based on the "Table for LOB Examples: The PM Schema print_media Table", only the file name is specified dynamically.
LOAD DATA INFILE sample9.dat INTO TABLE Print_media FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' (product_id INTEGER EXTERNAL(6), FileName FILLER CHAR(30), ad_graphic BFILE(CONSTANT "modem_graphic_2268_21001", FileName))
007, modem_2268.jpg, 008, monitor_3060.jpg, 009, keyboard_2056.jpg,
product_ID defaults to (255) if a size is not specified. It is mapped to the file names in the data file.
ADGRAPHIC_PHOTO is the directory where all files are stored.
ADGRAPHIC_DIR is a
DIRECTORY object created previously.
In the following example, the
BFILE and the
DIRECTORY objects are specified dynamically.
LOAD DATA INFILE sample10.dat INTO TABLE Print_media FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' ( product_id INTEGER EXTERNAL(6), ad_graphic BFILE (DirName, FileName), FileName FILLER CHAR(30), DirName FILLER CHAR(30) )
007,monitor_3060.jpg,ADGRAPHIC_PHOTO, 008,modem_2268.jpg,ADGRAPHIC_PHOTO, 009,keyboard_2056.jpg,ADGRAPHIC_DIR,
(30) is mapped to the data file field containing the directory name corresponding to the file being loaded.
You can use Oracle Data Pump to transfer LOB data from one database to another.
Oracle Data Pump can transfer LOB data from one database to another.
Beginning with Oracle Database 12c, Data Pump has an option to create all LOB columns as SecureFiles LOBs.
"SecureFiles LOB Storage" for an introduction to SecureFiles LOBs
When Data Pump recreates tables, however, it recreates them as they existed in the source database, by default. Therefore, if a LOB column was a BasicFiles LOB in the source database, Data Pump attempts to recreate it as a BasicFiles LOB in the imported database. You can force creation of LOBs as SecureFiles LOBs in the tables being recreated using a
TRANSFORM parameter for the command line or a
LOB_STORAGE parameter for the
The transform name is not valid in transportable import.
The database keeps track of temporary LOBs in each session, and the application can determine which user owns the temporary LOB by using the session ID.
The database provides a
v$ view called
v$temporary_lobs. As a database administrator, you can use this view to monitor and guide any emergency cleanup of temporary space used by temporary LOBs.
Temporary LOB data is stored in temporary tablespaces. As a database administrator, you control data storage resources for temporary LOB data by controlling user access to temporary tablespaces and by the creation of different temporary tablespaces.
Oracle Database Administrator's Guide for details on managing temporary tablespaces
You need to perform various administrative tasks to manage databases that contain
You can create a directory object or
BFILE objects if these conditions are met.
When you create a directory object or
BFILE objects, ensure that the following conditions are met:
The operating system file must not be a symbolic or hard link.
The operating system directory path named in the Oracle DIRECTORY object must be an existing operating system directory path.
The operating system directory path named in the Oracle DIRECTORY object should not contain any symbolic links in its components.
A limited number of
BFILEs can be open simultaneously in each session.
The initialization parameter,
SESSION_MAX_OPEN_FILES, defines an upper limit on the number of simultaneously open files in a session.
The default value for this parameter is 10. Using this default, you can open a maximum of 10 files at the same time in each session. To alter this limit, the database administrator must change the parameter value in the
init.ora file. For example:
If the number of unclosed files reaches the
SESSION_MAX_OPEN_FILES value, then you cannot open additional files in the session. To close all open files, use the
Database administrators use certain techniques to change the default storage for a LOB.
As the database administrator, you can use the following techniques to change the default storage for a LOB after the table has been created:
Using ALTER TABLE... MODIFY: You can change LOB tablespace storage as follows:
ALTER TABLE test MODIFY LOB (lob1) STORAGE ( NEXT 4M MAXEXTENTS 100 PCTINCREASE 50 )
ALTER TABLE syntax for modifying an existing LOB column uses the
MODIFY LOB clause, not the
LOB...STORE AS clause. The
LOB...STORE AS clause is only for newly added LOB columns.
There are two kinds of LOB storage clauses:
modify_LOB_storage_clause. In the
ALTER TABLE MODIFY LOB statement, you can only specify the
Using ALTER TABLE... MOVE: You can also use the
MOVE clause of the
TABLE statement to change LOB tablespace storage. For example:
ALTER TABLE test MOVE TABLESPACE tbs1 LOB (lob1, lob2) STORE AS ( TABLESPACE tbs2 DISABLE STORAGE IN ROW);