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The default dbCreateTable() method calls sqlCreateTable() and dbExecute(). Use dbCreateTableArrow() to create a table from an Arrow schema.

Methods in other packages

This documentation page describes the generics. Refer to the documentation pages linked below for the documentation for the methods that are implemented in various backend packages.


dbCreateTable(conn, name, fields, ..., row.names = NULL, temporary = FALSE)



A DBIConnection object, as returned by dbConnect().


The table name, passed on to dbQuoteIdentifier(). Options are:

  • a character string with the unquoted DBMS table name, e.g. "table_name",

  • a call to Id() with components to the fully qualified table name, e.g. Id(schema = "my_schema", table = "table_name")

  • a call to SQL() with the quoted and fully qualified table name given verbatim, e.g. SQL('"my_schema"."table_name"')


Either a character vector or a data frame.

A named character vector: Names are column names, values are types. Names are escaped with dbQuoteIdentifier(). Field types are unescaped.

A data frame: field types are generated using dbDataType().


Other parameters passed on to methods.


Must be NULL.


If TRUE, will generate a temporary table.


dbCreateTable() returns TRUE, invisibly.


Backends compliant to ANSI SQL 99 don't need to override it. Backends with a different SQL syntax can override sqlCreateTable(), backends with entirely different ways to create tables need to override this method.

The row.names argument is not supported by this method. Process the values with sqlRownamesToColumn() before calling this method.

The argument order is different from the sqlCreateTable() method, the latter will be adapted in a later release of DBI.

Failure modes

If the table exists, an error is raised; the remote table remains unchanged.

An error is raised when calling this method for a closed or invalid connection. An error is also raised if name cannot be processed with dbQuoteIdentifier() or if this results in a non-scalar. Invalid values for the row.names and temporary arguments (non-scalars, unsupported data types, NA, incompatible values, duplicate names) also raise an error.

Additional arguments

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

  • temporary (default: FALSE)

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


The name argument is processed as follows, to support databases that allow non-syntactic names for their objects:

  • If an unquoted table name as string: dbCreateTable() will do the quoting, perhaps by calling dbQuoteIdentifier(conn, x = name)

  • If the result of a call to dbQuoteIdentifier(): no more quoting is done

The value argument can be:

  • a data frame,

  • a named list of SQL types

If the temporary argument is TRUE, the table is not available in a second connection and is gone after reconnecting. Not all backends support this argument. A regular, non-temporary table is visible in a second connection, in a pre-existing connection, and after reconnecting to the database.

SQL keywords can be used freely in table names, column names, and data. Quotes, commas, and spaces can also be used for table names and column names, if the database supports non-syntactic identifiers.

The row.names argument must be missing or NULL, the default value. All other values for the row.names argument (in particular TRUE, NA, and a string) raise an error.


con <- dbConnect(RSQLite::SQLite(), ":memory:")
dbCreateTable(con, "iris", iris)
dbReadTable(con, "iris")
#> [1] Sepal.Length Sepal.Width  Petal.Length Petal.Width  Species     
#> <0 rows> (or 0-length row.names)