dbSendQuery() returns an S4 object that inherits from DBIResult. The result set can be used with dbFetch() to extract records. Once you have finished using a result, make sure to clear it with dbClearResult(). An error is raised when issuing a query over a closed or invalid connection, or if the query is not a non-NA string. An error is also raised if the syntax of the query is invalid and all query parameters are given (by passing the params argument) or the immediate argument is set to TRUE.

Additional arguments

The following arguments are not part of the dbSendQuery() generic (to improve compatibility across backends) but are part of the DBI specification:

  • params (default: NULL)

  • immediate (default: NULL)

They must be provided as named arguments. See the "Specification" sections for details on their usage.


No warnings occur under normal conditions. When done, the DBIResult object must be cleared with a call to dbClearResult(). Failure to clear the result set leads to a warning when the connection is closed.

If the backend supports only one open result set per connection, issuing a second query invalidates an already open result set and raises a warning. The newly opened result set is valid and must be cleared with dbClearResult().

The param argument allows passing query parameters, see dbBind() for details.

Specification for the immediate argument

The immediate argument supports distinguishing between "direct" and "prepared" APIs offered by many database drivers. Passing immediate = TRUE leads to immediate execution of the query or statement, via the "direct" API (if supported by the driver). The default NULL means that the backend should choose whatever API makes the most sense for the database, and (if relevant) tries the other API if the first attempt fails. A successful second attempt should result in a message that suggests passing the correct immediate argument. Examples for possible behaviors:

  1. DBI backend defaults to immediate = TRUE internally

    1. A query without parameters is passed: query is executed

    2. A query with parameters is passed:

      1. params not given: rejected immediately by the database because of a syntax error in the query, the backend tries immediate = FALSE (and gives a message)

      2. params given: query is executed using immediate = FALSE

  2. DBI backend defaults to immediate = FALSE internally

    1. A query without parameters is passed:

      1. simple query: query is executed

      2. "special" query (such as setting a config options): fails, the backend tries immediate = TRUE (and gives a message)

    2. A query with parameters is passed:

      1. params not given: waiting for parameters via dbBind()

      2. params given: query is executed