Using Pool, DBI, and Other Drivers

The R PAckage pool enables the creation of object pools, which make it less computationally expensive to fetch a new object. Currently the only supported pooled objects are 'DBI' connections.


Connection Methods:

  1. pool::poolCreate( ... )
  2. pool::dbPool( ... )

DBI Connection Methods:

As a convenience, Pool implements DBIConnection methods; calling any implemented DBI method directly on a Pool object will result in a connection being checked out (with poolCheckout()), the operation being performed on that connection, and the connection being returned to the pool (with poolReturn()).

Pool cannot implement the DBI::dbSendQuery() and DBI::dbSendStatement() methods because they both return live ResultSet objects. This is incompatible with the Pool model, because once a connection is returned to the pool, using an existing ResultSet object could give erroneous results, throw an error, or even crash the entire R process. In most cases, DBI::dbGetQuery() and DBI::dbExecute() can be used instead. If you really need the control that dbSendQuery gives you (for example, to process a large table in chunks) then use poolCheckout() to get a real connection object (and don't forget to return it to the pool using poolReturn() afterwards).


## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbSendQuery(conn, statement, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,ANY'
dbSendStatement(conn, statement, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,character'
dbGetQuery(conn, statement, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,character'
dbExecute(conn, statement, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbListResults(conn, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,character'
dbListFields(conn, name, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbListTables(conn, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbListObjects(conn, prefix = NULL, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,character'
dbReadTable(conn, name, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,ANY'
dbWriteTable(conn, name, value, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbCreateTable(conn, name, fields, ..., row.names = NULL, temporary = FALSE)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbAppendTable(conn, name, value, ..., row.names = NULL)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,ANY'
dbExistsTable(conn, name, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool,ANY'
dbRemoveTable(conn, name, ...)

## S4 method for signature 'Pool'
dbIsReadOnly(dbObj, ...)

Where conn and dbObj are Pool objects, as returned by dbPool().

See DBI Documentation for remaining parameters/arguments.


poolCreate is an S4 class for compatibility with the DBI methods.

The main difference to consider here is that poolCreate builds off an existing factory function responsible for the generation of the objects that the pool will hold (ex: for DBI database connections, this function is dbConnect). It must take no arguments.

Example Usage

Will provide two example factory functions to pass to pool::poolCreate, one using DBI and the other using dbx:


# DBI factory function

factory_fn_dbi <- function() { # note: no args in the factory function
    host = "<host>", 
    dbname = "<dbname>",
    user = "postgres", 
    password = "<password>", 
    port = "5432"

pool <- poolCreate(factory = factory_fn_dbi)


factory_fn_dbx <- function() dbx::dbxConnect(<database-URI>)

pool <- poolCreate(factory = factory_fn_dbx)



dbPool Creates a DBI Database Connection Pool serving as a wrapper around poolCreate to simplify the creation of a DBI database connection pool.

Check the documentation of poolCreate() for a generic overview of the parent function and the Pool object.

The main thing to point out is that, for dbPool, you always need to provide a DBI driver (i.e. of class DBI::DBIDriver-class()), and it should always be accompanied by the required authorization arguments (see the example below).

dbPool(drv, ..., validateQuery = NULL)


pool <- pool::dbPool(drv = RPostres::Postgres(), < database connection arguments >)

The pool Object:

pool <- poolCreate(
  minSize = 1,
  maxSize = Inf,
  idleTimeout = 60,
  validationInterval = 600,
  state = NULL

factory_fn <- function() DBI::dbConnect(<connection_params>)

pool <- poolCreate(factory_fn)

> class(pool)

[1] "Pool" "R6"

> str(pool)

Classes 'Pool', 'R6' <Pool>
    clone: function (deep = FALSE) 
    close: function () 
    counters: environment
    fetch: function () 
    idleTimeout: 60
    initialize: function (factory, minSize, maxSize, idleTimeout, validationInterval, 
    maxSize: Inf
    minSize: 1
    release: function (object) 
    state: NULL
    valid: TRUE
    validationInterval: 600

    cancelScheduledTask: function (object, task) 
    changeObjectStatus: function (object, to) 
    checkValid: function (object) 
    checkValidTemplate: function (object, errorFun) 
    createObject: function () 
    destroyObject: function (object) 
    factory: function () 
    freeObjects: environment
    idCounter: 2
    validate: function (object)  

As you can see above a pool object in R is classified with two classes: R6 and Pool which can be useful in many ways: - To determine a connections type for reference/informational purposes - Dispatch generic methods onto the connection objects by utilizing their inherited classes (i.e. through if (inherits(conn, "R6") corresponding methods connections bases off their inherited classes. - As opposed to a direct DBI connection which would inherit the class of the database driver's specifications: i.e.

conn <- poolCheckout(pool)

> class(conn)

[1] "PqConnection"

[1] "RPostgres"

> str(conn)

Formal class 'PqConnection' [package "RPostgres"] with 5 slots
  ..@ ptr         :<externalptr> 
  ..@ bigint      : chr "integer64"
  ..@ timezone    : chr "UTC"
  ..@ timezone_out: chr "UTC"
  ..@ typnames    :'data.frame':    487 obs. of  2 variables:
  .. ..$ oid    : int [1:487] 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ...
  .. ..$ typname: chr [1:487] "bool" "bytea" "char" "name" ...

Notice that by checking out the pool object using conn <- pool::poolCheckout(pool) the newly created conn connection argument now resembles the default DBI::dbConnect(...) returning object's attributes, classes, etc.

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