I am trying to load header and detail records from a file. The only way I know the difference between the header and the detail records is the line number. The first line is always the header and the other lines are detail records.

How can I specify the line number of a file when doing a conditional load? I would like to do something like:

WHEN [line_number] = 1
([mapping for header line])
WHEN [line_number] > 1
([mapping for detail lines])

The only reason I ask is b/c I take the primary key from the header record in the database and insert it into each detail record. That is a sequence that doesn't get populated until the insert into the header table. I have to load the header/detail in the same transaction because I can't call currval on the sequence until I call nextval - which is only called in the header insert.

Is there a way for me to do this?

  • Do you actually need to do something with the header? Does the data load depend on what you did with the headeR?
    – Mat
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 8:07
  • No the load doesn't depend on what I do with the header, I just need different mappings for the header and detail but in the same control file
    – Raja
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:56
  • You'll probably need two control files then, one for the header (I think there's a LINES option to limit number of lines processed), then Phil's SKIP option for the data load.
    – Mat
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 12:13
  • Right, I did have 2 control files. The header had: OPTIONS(direct=false, LOAD=1) for the header line and the detail control file had: OPTIONS(direct=false, SKIP=1) The problem is, I need a sequence that populates the primary key in the header table to be used in the detail table (so I can map header to details). I call the sequence.NextVal when loading the header but I can't call sequence.CurrVal when I load the details b/c I'm in a separate sqlldr session...that's why I'm aiming to load both the header/detail in one control file
    – Raja
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 12:40
  • Ah, I see. No idea if that's doable. You should edit those details into the question, that's rather important information.
    – Mat
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


skip=N is what you're looking for. Skips the first N rows, so in your case you just want to skip the first.

... rest of normal control file
  • I tried that, but I don't want to skip the header, I just want to have a different mapping for the header and a different one for the details based on the line number. And in the same control file :\
    – Raja
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 11:54

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