Well the title really says it all — for a long time (well, since Informatica was born, really) you had to use its External Loader interface to work with SQL*Loader in order to get direct path inserts. The “bulk” switch was just bulk-binding.
So I heard from the excellent Informatica forum at Empowered Holdings that from version 7.1.2 direct path Oracle loads were native, and invoked by the “bulk” switch on the target. As it happens I got hold of 7.1.3 this afternoon. I tested it by reading from a copy of DBA_OBJECTS and inserting in both bulk and conventional mode into a table with the COMPRESS attribute set — “Bulk” gives compression, the other does not, therefore “Bulk” is generating direct path inserts.
I’m so happy! Well, sort of.
Unfortunately we had another use for SQL*Loader, with was to load data in zoned decimal format, and unless I’ve lost my powers of documentation searching this is stil an alien concept to Informatica.
So there’s some good news and some bad, but on the whole, this is a step forward.