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Reading text file from URL

I need to read a fixed-length text file from a URL rather than one residing on the file system. How can I do this?

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The following SQL can receive a file from a URL:
SELECT utl_http.request('http://oracle.com') FROM dual;
Utl_http.request is an Oracle package and http://oracle.com is the URL.

This was first published in November 2006

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