I have an array of strings i'd like to use in the IN clause of a dynamic soql query.

if i wasn't building the string at runtime i could simply use (from the SF docs):

String[] ss = new String[]{'a', 'b'};
Account[] aa = [SELECT Id FROM Account 
                WHERE AccountNumber IN :ss];

however, as i'm building at runtime, i use the following (where operators is my array):

soqlString += ' and Operator__c in' + operators;

This errors because the string values in operators are not in quotes.

Is there an easy way to replicate the first example in dynamic SOQL or any other suggestion?

2 Answers 2


This post by @ca_peterson explains you can directly use bind variables in dynamic soql

Alternatively, you can use this utility method to convert a Set into a String, which can be used in Dynamic SOQL.

 //convert a Set<String> into a quoted, comma separated String literal for inclusion in a dynamic SOQL Query
    private String quoteKeySet(Set<String> mapKeySet)
        String newSetStr = '' ;
        for(String str : mapKeySet)
            newSetStr += '\'' + str + '\',';

        newSetStr = newSetStr.lastIndexOf(',') > 0 ? '(' + newSetStr.substring(0,newSetStr.lastIndexOf(',')) + ')' : newSetStr ;
System.debug('quoteKeySet() :  newSetStr ============ ' + newSetStr);   

        return newSetStr;

  • 3
    +1 for bind variables in dynamic soql (I knew it but it's a nice trick nonetheless). But shame on you ;) with Winter'13 we finally got String.join(), no more loops like that!
    – eyescream
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 23:33
  • Is this still the current best practice for this? Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 20:01

The easiest way is to use the array is as given below.

List<String> operators = new List<String> {'AND','OR'};
soqlString = 'SELECT Name FROM ACCOUNT WHERE Name != null';
soqlString += ' AND Operator__c in :operators';

Apex #automagically converts the reference to collection variables in string query to the corresponding sequence of strings inside the SOQL query.

Just another magic!

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