The Oracle database has largely met the data management requirements of organizations since it was commercially launched in 1991. Its unique features include the ability to run on a wide range of hardware and software operating systems as well as enabling quick retrieval and safe storage of data. Further, Oracle is ACID-compliant, thereby making sure of data reliability and data integrity. It was one of the first databases to have provided support to GNU/LINUX.

The point now is, therefore, why businesses would want to migrate data Oracle to Snowflake, a comparatively new entrant in the data solution field, given the many advantages that Oracle has to offer. The answer lies in the many unique benefits that Snowflake brings to the table.


Snowflake is a recently-introduced cloud-based data warehousing solution with a set of unique features, making migrating data to the platform a cost-effective and efficient proposition.

  • Users have the option to work with both structured and unstructured data, leading to better data management. This facility is not available in the Oracle database.
  • Snowflake is offered as a fully-managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. Organizations thus do not have to invest in additional hardware and software to get their data analytics and processing activities up and running. Any new project can be immediately set rolling on Snowflake.
  • Being cloud-based, Snowflake provides almost limitless computing and storage capabilities. Users have the option to scale up and down as per current data needs in either of them by paying only for the volume of resources used.
  • Snowflake has unmatched computational abilities. Even when multiple users are simultaneously executing complex activities on Snowflake, they experience no lag or drop in performance. This is crucial in the growing present-day data-driven business environment.
  • A very critical advantage of Snowflake is immediate data recovery after an outage. In the event of a failure of the primary databases, the Database Failover and Fallback feature immediately and automatically trigger the secondary databases and work carries on as usual. Once the outage is resolved, the feature is activated in the reverse direction and the primary databases are updated and restored.
  • Snowflake provides stringent data safety and security, a mandatory need of organizations today. All data on Snowflake is automatically encrypted with multi-factor and federated authentication. It ensures that all communication between users and databases are safe and secure.

These are some of the factors that make enterprises want to migrate data Oracle to Snowflake.

Steps for Oracle to Snowflake data migration

There are primarily four steps in the migration process.

  • Mining data from Oracle database to a CSV file – The data has to be first extracted and placed in a CSV file. It cannot be directly migrated to Snowflake. An SQL Plus query tool that is in-built in the Oracle Database Server is used along with the “Spool” command to query and redirect the result to the CSV file. The results will be continually written in the file until the command is turned off. For data that has to be extracted incrementally, the records that emerge after the last mining have to be executed.
  • Formatting the data – The mined data has to be next processed and formatted so that it matches the data structures supported by Snowflake. This smoothly facilitates the migration process. Some of the data types supported by Snowflake are ISO-8859-1 to 9, Big5, EUC-KR, UTF-8, and UTF-16. If the two do not sync, a customized format has to be created by the “File Format Option” and dates and time have to be inserted to the file in the table. Snowflake though covers most native and advanced data types.
  • Loading data to a Staging Area – Before completing the process to migrate data Oracle to Snowflake, the mined and formatted data has to be kept in a cloud staging area of which there are two components – internal and external stages. In the internal stage, tables and users will be automatically allotted to it and a name assigned. In the external stage, Snowflake currently supports Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3.
  • Copying Files to Snowflake – The final step is copying files from a staging area to a Snowflake table. For small databases, the Data Loading Overview is used for this final migration activity. For large databases, the PUT command is used to stage files and the COPY INTO command to load the processed data into an intended table in Snowflake.

These are the steps to be followed to migrate data Oracle to Snowflake. It is not a complex task as most of the steps are automated.  



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