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Export Oracle to CSV

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    As businesses grow and data becomes more integral to operations, the flexibility to move and analyze this data is paramount. Exporting data from Oracle to a CSV (Comma Separated Values) format is a valuable skill because it enables data portability and ease of integration with various tools, especially for loading into spreadsheets for further analysis. On this page, we'll delve into the essence of Oracle as a powerful relational database, explore the various methods and best practices for exporting data to a CSV file, examine use cases that illustrate the practical applications of these exports, and consider an innovative alternative with Sourcetable for those seeking different solutions. Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions about exporting Oracle to CSV, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of this crucial process.

    What is Oracle?

    Oracle software is a comprehensive suite designed to address various business needs, catering to organizations of all sizes and industries. It supports a diverse range of applications, including on-premises, cloud, business, enterprise, database, e-business, middleware, and virtualization applications. Furthermore, Oracle software provides robust solutions for integrating and extending applications, as well as managing both cloud services and enterprise applications.

    Oracle Service constitutes a unified platform that amalgamates apps, data, and capabilities to facilitate customer service, including self-service, agent-assisted, and field service workflows. It leverages digital assistants and artificial intelligence to enhance service delivery across all industries. Oracle Service streamlines operations through guided assistance, next-best-action recommendations, and process automation, integrating seamlessly with Oracle Unity. It supports B2B and B2C environments, offering features like live chat, and provides extensive documentation, training, and certifications for users.

    Oracle data solutions encompass a robust set of big data services that enable data professionals to manage, catalog, and analyze vast amounts of raw data effectively. These services include object storage, fully managed Hadoop-based data lakes, and processing capabilities through Spark, supported by Oracle Cloud SQL or other analytical tools. Oracle Big Data Service simplifies the management of Hadoop clusters and enhances the ability to structure and derive value from organizational data. Additionally, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Catalog offers tools for searching, exploring, and governing data, establishing a unified metastore for data lakes and aiding analytics teams in examining all types of incoming and historical data.

    Exporting Oracle Data to a CSV File

    Using SQLcl

    One method for exporting Oracle data to CSV is by using SQLcl. This command-line interface allows you to set the terminal output, feed, and SQL format to CSV. You can then spool the output to a CSV file, effectively exporting your data.

    Using PL/SQL with UTL_FILE

    Another approach involves PL/SQL and the UTL_FILE package, which can be used to export a range of data from a table into a CSV format. This method is beneficial for writing more complex data export scripts that require conditional logic or data transformation.


    To expedite the CSV export process, PL/SQL can be combined with DBMS_PARALLEL_EXECUTE. This allows for multiple jobs to run in parallel, splitting the workload and speeding up the export of data to CSV.


    DBMS_CLOUD.EXPORT_DATA is a powerful tool specifically for unloading data into various formats, including CSV. It is particularly useful if you are working with Oracle Autonomous Database, as it can export data directly to an object store.

    Optimizing with Parallel Processing

    For any of the above methods, using a parallel hint can significantly increase the speed of the export process. This is accomplished by utilizing multiple CPU cores to perform the export operation simultaneously.

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    Sourcetable Integration

    Import Oracle Data Directly into Sourcetable

    Opting for Sourcetable to import data from Oracle databases directly into its spreadsheet platform offers a multitude of benefits over the traditional method of exporting to a CSV file. With Sourcetable, you can synchronize your live data seamlessly from Oracle, ensuring that your spreadsheet contains the most up-to-date information without the hassle of manual exports.

    Sourcetable's ability to automatically pull data from multiple sources into one interface simplifies the process of data analysis and management. This eliminates the need for cumbersome data transfers and conversions, allowing you to focus on querying and manipulating your data using Sourcetable's user-friendly spreadsheet interface.

    Furthermore, Sourcetable excels in automation and business intelligence. By directly importing Oracle data into Sourcetable, you can leverage its advanced features to automate repetitive tasks and gain valuable insights, thereby enhancing productivity and informed decision-making within your organization.

    Common Use Cases

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      Sourcetable Integration
      Exporting a specific query result from an Oracle Autonomous Database to CSV for data analysis
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Using SQLcl with parallel processing to quickly export large datasets from Oracle to CSV for backup or migration
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Leveraging PL/SQL and UTL_FILE in combination with UNIX commands to export data to multiple CSV files in parallel for subsequent merging and processing
    • Oracle logo
      Sourcetable Integration
      Utilizing DBMS_CLOUD.EXPORT_DATA to export table data to CSV files for integration with external systems or applications
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Generating CSV exports with unique filenames using DBMS_CLOUD.EXPORT_DATA to avoid overwriting existing files in the specified directory

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I export Oracle data to a CSV file?

    Use UTL_FILE or dbms_job to schedule a procedure to run automatically every day.

    How can I handle leading zeroes in fields when exporting to CSV?

    You can fix Excel treating leading zeroes as a number by putting the leading zeroes in quotes.

    What should I do if I encounter the ORA-29280 error during export?

    The ORA-29280 error can be fixed by creating a directory object with the CREATE DIRECTORY command.

    Is it possible for a stored procedure to produce a file on the client machine?

    It's not possible for a stored procedure to produce a file on the client machine because the file must be produced on the server.

    What is the fastest way to unload table data to a CSV file?

    The fastest way to unload table data to a CSV file is with the SQLcl parallel spool or by using the DIY parallelism with UTL_FILE using the DBMS_PARALLEL_EXECUTE package.


    There are multiple methods to efficiently export data from an Oracle database to a CSV file, each with its own set of advantages. You can utilize native Oracle tools and settings like sqlplus and SQLcl, or leverage PL/SQL for selective data export. For a more user-friendly interface, dbForge Studio for Oracle provides a graphical option. Each approach offers different benefits, whether it's the speed of an external table with CTAS, the convenience of right-click options in a GUI, or the advanced features of PL/SQL and DBMS_CLOUD functions. However, if you're seeking an even more streamlined process, consider using Sourcetable to import your data directly into a spreadsheet, bypassing the need for CSV export altogether. To simplify your data management tasks, sign up for Sourcetable today and get started on a more integrated data journey.

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