Sourcetable Integration

Export Clob data from Oracle to CSV

Jump to


    Welcome to our comprehensive guide on exporting CLOB data from Oracle databases to CSV files, a process that enhances data portability and simplifies the analysis of large text objects by making them easily accessible in spreadsheet applications. Understanding and effectively managing CLOB data is crucial for database administrators and analysts dealing with extensive textual data in Oracle databases. On this page, we cover the essentials of what CLOB data from Oracle entails, various methods to export it to CSV format, practical use cases for such exports, and an introduction to Sourcetable as an alternative solution for CLOB data exports. Additionally, we provide a Q&A section to help resolve common inquiries related to the export process.

    Understanding CLOB Data in Oracle

    A CLOB, or Character Large Object, is a type of data that is designed to store large amounts of unicode character-based information. In the context of Oracle, a CLOB can hold up to 2,147,483,647 characters, allowing it to accommodate substantial documents and text, including those in any character set. This makes CLOBs an ideal choice for storing extensive unicode character-based data within an Oracle database.

    As a part of the SQL:1999 standard data types, CLOBs are recognized and implemented across various database systems, albeit under different names and with slight variations in behavior. Oracle explicitly names its construct CLOB, which is a collection of character data typically stored in a separate location from the table that references it. This separate storage is often necessary due to the sheer size of the data CLOBs are meant to handle, which can be in the order of gigabytes.

    The use of CLOBs in Oracle involves tradeoffs, such as limited access methods and potential restrictions on certain SQL clauses and functions. Despite these limitations, CLOBs are a powerful tool for managing large text fields within Oracle databases, offering configurable options to suit different storage and performance needs. For instance, Oracle may store small CLOBs directly in the table and only move to a different storage approach when the data size exceeds a certain threshold, providing flexibility and efficiency in data management.

    Exporting CLOB Data from Oracle to CSV

    Using Python with cx_Oracle

    To export CLOB data from Oracle to CSV using Python, one can utilize the cx_Oracle library. This method involves writing a Python script that connects to the Oracle database, fetches the CLOB data, and writes it to a CSV file.

    Utilizing the OraDump Python Script

    An alternative Python-based solution is the OraDump script. This script is specifically designed to export CLOB data from Oracle tables and save it into a CSV format.

    Employing Oracle SQL Developer

    Oracle SQL Developer provides an export feature that can be used to export CLOB data directly to a CSV file. This graphical approach might be more user-friendly for those who prefer not to write scripts.

    Using the UTL_FILE PL/SQL Package

    The UTL_FILE Oracle PL/SQL package is another option for exporting CLOB data to CSV. This package allows server-side file operations which can be utilized to write CLOB data to a file in CSV format. An example procedure can be followed to accomplish this task.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Streamline Your Data Workflow with Sourcetable

    Transitioning data between different formats and platforms can be a cumbersome process, often fraught with the risk of information loss or corruption. When dealing with Clob data from Oracle, you may have experienced the tedious process of exporting to CSV before importing into a spreadsheet program. However, with Sourcetable, you can bypass these extra steps and directly import your Clob data into a user-friendly spreadsheet interface.

    Sourcetable stands out by offering a seamless synchronization of your live data from Oracle, among other sources. This means that you no longer have to endure the manual process of exporting, converting, and then importing data. Sourcetable automates these tasks, saving you time and reducing the potential for errors. Moreover, its ability to integrate data from multiple sources into one place makes it an invaluable tool for automation and enhancing your business intelligence capabilities.

    By utilizing Sourcetable, you're not just simplifying the import process; you're also ensuring that your data is always up-to-date. The live sync feature means that any changes in your Oracle database are automatically reflected in your Sourcetable spreadsheets, providing you with real-time insights and the ability to make informed decisions quickly. Embrace the power of Sourcetable and make your data work smarter, not harder.

    Common Use Cases

    • C
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 1: Exporting large XML data as part of a data migration process
    • C
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 2: Generating reports that include text-based data stored in CLOB fields
    • C
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 3: Extracting system configuration or audit information for compliance purposes
    • C
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 4: Archiving data that includes extensive text or XML content
    • C
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 5: Sharing large text data with external systems that require CSV format

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can Oracle SQL Developer be used to export CLOB data to a CSV file?

    Yes, you can use Oracle SQL Developer to export a table to a CSV file, but entries in CLOB fields may be truncated.

    What is a solution for exporting CLOB fields without truncation?

    You can use a Python script, such as the OraDump Python script, to export CLOB fields to a CSV file without truncation.

    Is there a manual way to export data from a CLOB field?

    Yes, you can manually copy and paste the data from a CLOB field into a text editor and save it as a file.

    What are the challenges of exporting CLOB data using UTL_FILE in a procedure?

    When using UTL_FILE, the CLOB data being spread across multiple rows can mess up the table structure in the resulting CSV file.

    How can you ensure large text data is exported correctly to a CSV file from Oracle?

    For large text data, it's recommended to use Data Pump, spool, or PL/SQL with Oracle external tables instead of SQL Developer, and use TO_CHAR to correctly write down dates.


    In conclusion, there are multiple methods to export CLOB data from Oracle to CSV format. You can utilize the built-in UTL_FILE package within Oracle to write the CLOB data directly to a file, ensuring the data is properly formatted with the UTL_FILE.PUT_LINE function. Alternatively, Python scripts offer a flexible approach to handle the export, with options like OraDump enhancing the process. For those who prefer a graphical interface, Oracle SQL Developer provides a straightforward mechanism to perform the export, and even tools like Excel 95-2003 can be leveraged for this purpose. However, if you're looking for a more streamlined solution that bypasses the complexities of CSV exports, consider using Sourcetable. It allows you to import data directly into a spreadsheet, simplifying data management. Sign up for Sourcetable to get started and enhance your data handling experience.

    Start working with Live Data

    Analyze data, automate reports and create live dashboards
    for all your business applications, without code. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.