Use LOAD when:
- Performance is critical. Load outperforms Import in all scenarios, sometimes by as much as a factor of 10 (May be closer to 6 times for UNIX systems).
- You want to LOAD FROM CURSOR to avoid the creation of an intermediate file.
Use IMPORT when:
- You have smaller tables.
- You want additional “safety” in the case of an error.
- Target table needs to be created from the input file (applicable to PC/IXF files only.)
- Logging of every inserted record is necessary.
- You require triggers to fire.
- You need to be able to update the table while appending data to the table.
In general I would recommend IMPORT unless performance is absolutely critical or you have more than 10 million records (yes, that’s relatively arbitrary – the point is a LOT of data). The primary reason for this is that a botched load can send your entire table space into backup pending and leave you dead in the water. If you do decided to do a load, make sure you include steps to recover from the failed load (but that’s a topic for another day).