I have 1,500 rows I need to shove into a table. I don’t have access to the database, directly.

But my DBA is happy to give me a HTTPS entry point to my data.

What do I do?

Let’s look at a Low-Code solution:

Oracle REST Data Services & Auto REST for tables.

With this feature, you can say for a table, make a REST API available for:

  • querying the table
  • inserting a row
  • updating a row
  • deleting a row
  • getting the metadata for a table (DESC)
  • bulk load the table

Now I’ve previously shown how to INSERT a record to a table with ORDS via POST.

But that’s just one row at a time.

Let’s do it for 1500 rows. And I don’t have the data in JSON. No, my data nerd has given me a CSV ‘dump.’

How do I get it in?

If you want to consult the ORDS Docs, this is what we’re going to be using (DOCS).

For the POST to be received happily by ORDS, we ASSUME:

  • the URI is avail, as the table has been REST enabled
  • the first rows will be the column names
  • the rest of the rows are your data

You have lots of options you can pass as parameters on the call. See the DOCS link above.

Ok, let’s do it.

Build Your Table

I’m going to run this code in SQL Developer.

CREATE TABLE stuff AS SELECT OWNER, object_name, object_id, object_type FROM all_objects WHERE 1=2;
SELECT /*csv*/ OWNER, object_name, object_id, object_type FROM all_objects 
fetch FIRST 1500 ROWS ONLY;

That spits out a new table:

Empty table, 4 columns.

…and some CSV that looks like this:


REST Enable the Table
You’ve already got ORDS going. You’ve already got your schema REST enabled, now you just need to do this bit to get your GET, POST, PUT, & DELETE HTTPS methods available for the Auto Table bits.

Alias the table, always secure the table.

Now we can make the call.

We POST to the endpoint, it’s going to follow this structure:

The CSV will go in the POST body.

POST /ords/hr/stuff/batchload?batchRows=500 I’m asking ORDS to do inserts in batches of 500 records – less commits than say, batches of 25 records

The CURL would look like this:

curl -X POST \
  'http://localhost:8888/ords/hr/stuff/batchload?batchRows=500' \
  -H 'cache-control: no-cache' \
  -H 'postman-token: 1eb3f365-f83d-c423-176d-7e8cd08c3eab' \

And the results…about 6 seconds later.

1500 rows loaded, no errors.

And just because I like to double check…


The first time I tried this, it was with ?batchRows=100, so 15 COMMITs for the load, and it took 12 seconds. So I cut the time in half by doing baches of 500 rows at a time. You’ll want to experiment for yourself to find an acceptable outcome.

Trivia, caveats, etc.

The ORDS code that takes the CSV in and INSERTs it to the table is the SAME code SQL Developer uses here:

SQLDev can create and populate your table from CSV, XLS, etc

And it’s the same code SQLcl users here:

CSV to rows in your table, ez-pz

This is not the ideal way to load a LOT of data.

ORDS performs BATCH INSERTS (not 1 by 1!) to add your data using the AUTO route. An external table and CTAS will almost always be faster. And of course you have SQL*Loader and DataPump. But those require database access. This does NOT.

Or, you could always roll your own code and build your own RESTful Service. And perhaps you should. But if quick and dirty are good enough for you, we won’t tell anyone.


I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


  1. Ulf Jonson Reply

    Hi Jeff!
    I wonder how I can get the column headings to show up in an csv output?
    I’m using source type Query, Data format CSV, pagination size 25. But the output is NOT showin the column headings??



  2. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you very much for your tuto. I managed to make it work without any problems.
    However I am facing problem with accents. Is there a way to force charset to windows-1252?
    Thank you

  3. Abraham Olsen Reply

    I’ve run this as mentioned in an Oracle tutorial, and it runs without problems.


    POST http://localhost:8080/ords/ordstest/emp/batchload?batchRows=25
    Content-Type: text/csv

    0,M,SPY MAST,,2005-05-01 11:00:01,4000,,11
    7,J.BOND,SPY,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,2000,,11
    9,R.Cooper,SOFTWARE,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,10000,,11
    26,Max,DENTIST,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,5000,,11

    However, if I move the data into a file named postbatch.dat (and give the rows new empno values) and call:

    echo $PATHTOFILE
    curl -i -X POST “http://localhost:8080/ords/ordstest/emp/batchload?batchRows=25” \
    -H “Content-Type: text/csv” \
    -d @${PATHTOFILE}

    Where postbatch.dat looks like:
    421,AdamBatFile,SOFTWARE,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,10000,,11
    423,BennyBatFile,SPY MAST,,2005-05-01 11:00:01,4000,,11
    425,CarlBatFile,DENTIST,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,5000,,11
    427,DavidBatFile,SPY,0,2005-05-01 11:00:01,2000,,11

    I get this output:
    HTTP/1.1 200
    Content-Type: text/plain
    Transfer-Encoding: chunked
    Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:29:49 GMT

    #ERROR Column in header row deptno421 is not defined for table.
    #INFO Number of rows processed: 0
    #INFO Number of rows in error: 0
    3 – SEVERE: Severe error, processing terminated

    The way I figure, loader cannot see new lines.
    It’s all done on a Oracle Linux 6.6

    I check the encoding:
    echo $LANG

    I check the file’s mime-type:
    file –mime-type ./postbatch.dat | awk ‘{print $2}’

    Could the actual mime-type be a problem?
    Any suggestions?

  4. Sebastián Reply

    Hi Jeff, is this the only way to do a batch load? I’m looking for an “application/json” batch load.


    • The only way to do batch load out of the box, yes. You could do it, but would need to write a stored proc and probably use the newer 12.2 JSON parser/packages out there to transform it to rows to be inserted into a table. If I have time/resources, I’ll look into an example of what that might look like.

    • Sebastián

      That would be awesome, thanks 🙂


  5. Hi Jeff,
    Tried the above and it was an easy way to import ~1500 records into a table. I have a requirement that asks to create an extract (approx 200k records) to be generated and saved to a file for processing by an external system. My question here is – Is it a good practice to use ORDS API on the procedure to generate this extract, so the external system can invoke it? Or basically when to use ORDS APIs and when not to?

Write A Comment