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Call this method to convert a SQL object created by dbQuoteIdentifier() back to a list of Id objects.

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.


dbUnquoteIdentifier(conn, x, ...)



A DBIConnection object, as returned by dbConnect().


An SQL or Id object.


Other arguments passed on to methods.


dbUnquoteIdentifier() returns a list of objects of the same length as the input. For an empty vector, this function returns a length-0 object. The names of the input argument are preserved in the output. If x is a value returned by dbUnquoteIdentifier(), calling dbUnquoteIdentifier(..., dbQuoteIdentifier(..., x))

returns list(x). If x is an object of class Id, calling dbUnquoteIdentifier(..., x) returns list(x). (For backends it may be most convenient to return Id objects to achieve this behavior, but this is not required.)

Plain character vectors can also be passed to dbUnquoteIdentifier().

Failure modes

An error is raised if a character vectors with a missing value is passed as the x argument.


For any character vector of length one, quoting (with dbQuoteIdentifier()) then unquoting then quoting the first element is identical to just quoting. This is also true for strings that contain special characters such as a space, a dot, a comma, or quotes used to mark strings or identifiers, if the database supports this.

Unquoting simple strings (consisting of only letters) wrapped with SQL() and then quoting via dbQuoteIdentifier() gives the same result as just quoting the string. Similarly, unquoting expressions of the form SQL("schema.table") and then quoting gives the same result as quoting the identifier constructed by Id("schema", "table").


# Unquoting allows to understand the structure of a
# possibly complex quoted identifier
  SQL(c('"Catalog"."Schema"."Table"', '"Schema"."Table"', '"UnqualifiedTable"'))
#> [[1]]
#> <Id> "Catalog"."Schema"."Table"
#> [[2]]
#> <Id> "Schema"."Table"
#> [[3]]
#> <Id> "UnqualifiedTable"

# The returned object is always a list,
# also for Id objects
dbUnquoteIdentifier(ANSI(), Id("Catalog", "Schema", "Table"))
#> [[1]]
#> <Id> "Catalog"."Schema"."Table"

# Quoting and unquoting are inverses
  dbUnquoteIdentifier(ANSI(), SQL("UnqualifiedTable"))[[1]]
#> <SQL> "UnqualifiedTable"

  dbUnquoteIdentifier(ANSI(), Id("Schema", "Table"))[[1]]
#> <SQL> "Schema"."Table"