ASP.NET Hosting News – Very Easy Way To Combining LINQ Queries

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ASP.NET is a unified Web development model that includes the services necessary for you to build enterprise-class Web applications with a minimum of coding. ASP.NET is part of the .NET Framework, and when coding ASP.NET applications you have access to classes in the .NET Framework. You can code your applications in any language compatible with the common language runtime (CLR), including Microsoft Visual Basic and C#. These languages enable you to develop ASP.NET applications that benefit from the common language runtime, type safety, inheritance, and so on.

Very Easy Way To Combining LINQ Queries

Most applications are data-centric, however most of the data repositories are relational databases. Over the years, designers and developers have designed applications based on object models.

You can use Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) in Web pages to retrieve and modify data. LINQ applies the principles of object-oriented programming to relational data. It provides a unified programming model for querying data from different types of data sources, and extends data capabilities directly into the C# and Visual Basic languages.

LINQ with Entity Framework has become so common that, when I’m looking at a client’s code I’m finding some pretty scary-looking LINQ queries running against Entity Framework.

The right answer is to break down your complicated query into several smaller, easily readable queries that build on each other. While this isn’t a particularly complicated example, these two queries find all of the people whose last name is “Merry” and work for AHP:

While this looks inefficient, it’s not. It’s important to remember that a LINQ query doesn’t result in any data retrieval: At this point in my sample code, my persMerry and persMerryAHP variables are just holding LINQ queries; the variables aren’t holding the results of those LINQ queries.

It isn’t until you start working with the individual objects that Entity Framework will finally issue a SQL statement against your database. When that SQL query is finally issued, Entity Framework will take care of collapsing those two LINQ queries into one SQL statement for you.

One way to trigger that retrieval is to use the ToList method. If my LINQ queries were in a method, then I might finish the method with code like this:

At this point, when the ToList method executes, Entity Framework will finally retrieve the data and create a collection of objects from that data.

Besides, those collections of objects are more generally useful than the LINQ queries. I’ve had numerous clients call me up to ask why they’re getting messages like “Unable to cast object of type…” when passing a LINQ query to some function. The usual solution is to add a call to ToList to force Entity Framework to retrieve the data.

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