This document describes how to add a new SQL backend to dbplyr. To begin:

This document is still a work in progress, but it will hopefully get you started. I’d also strongly recommend reading the bundled source code for SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.

First steps

For interactive exploitation, attach dplyr and DBI. If you’re creating a package, you’ll need to import dplyr and DBI.


Check that you can create a tbl from a connection, like:

If you can’t, this likely indicates some problem with the DBI methods. Use DBItest to narrow down the problem.

Now is a good time to implement a method for db_desc(). This should briefly describe the connection, typically formatting the information returned from dbGetInfo(). This is what dbplyr does for Postgres connections:

Copying, computing, collecting and collapsing

Next, check that copy_to(), collapse(), compute(), and collect() work.

SQL translation

Make sure you’ve read vignette("translation-verb") so you have the lay of the land.


Check that SQL translation for the key verbs work:


Finally, you may have to provide custom R -> SQL translation at the vector level by providing a method for sql_translate_env(). This function should return an object created by sql_variant(). See existing methods for examples.