[C#] Convert generic List/Enumerable to DataTable?


Answers

I had to modify Mark Gravell's sample code to handle nullable types and null values. I have included a working version below. Thanks Mark.

public static DataTable ToDataTable<T>(this IList<T> data)
{
    PropertyDescriptorCollection properties = 
        TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(typeof(T));
    DataTable table = new DataTable();
    foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
        table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(prop.PropertyType) ?? prop.PropertyType);
    foreach (T item in data)
    {
        DataRow row = table.NewRow();
        foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
             row[prop.Name] = prop.GetValue(item) ?? DBNull.Value;
        table.Rows.Add(row);
    }
    return table;
}
Question

I have few methods that returns different Generic Lists.

Exists in .net any class static method or whatever to convert any list into a datatable? The only thing that i can imagine is use Reflection to do this.

IF i have this:

List<Whatever> whatever = new List<Whatever>();

(This next code doesn't work of course, but i would like to have the possibility of:

DataTable dt = (DataTable) whatever;



Marc Gravell's answer but in VB.NET

Public Shared Function ToDataTable(Of T)(data As IList(Of T)) As DataTable
    Dim props As PropertyDescriptorCollection = TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(GetType(T))
    Dim table As New DataTable()
    For i As Integer = 0 To props.Count - 1
            Dim prop As PropertyDescriptor = props(i)
            table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, prop.PropertyType)
    Next
    Dim values As Object() = New Object(props.Count - 1) {}
    For Each item As T In data
            For i As Integer = 0 To values.Length - 1
                    values(i) = props(i).GetValue(item)
            Next
            table.Rows.Add(values)
    Next
    Return table
End Function



Another approach is the above:

  List<WhateEver> lst = getdata();
  string json = Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.SerializeObject(lst);
  DataTable pDt = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<DataTable>(json);



A small change to Mark's answer to make it work with value types like List<string> to data table:

public static DataTable ListToDataTable<T>(IList<T> data)
{
    DataTable table = new DataTable();

    //special handling for value types and string
    if (typeof(T).IsValueType || typeof(T).Equals(typeof(string)))
    {

        DataColumn dc = new DataColumn("Value");
        table.Columns.Add(dc);
        foreach (T item in data)
        {
            DataRow dr = table.NewRow();
            dr[0] = item;
            table.Rows.Add(dr);
        }
    }
    else
    {
        PropertyDescriptorCollection properties = TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(typeof(T));
        foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
        {
            table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(prop.PropertyType) ?? prop.PropertyType);
        }
        foreach (T item in data)
        {
            DataRow row = table.NewRow();
            foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
            {
                try
                {
                    row[prop.Name] = prop.GetValue(item) ?? DBNull.Value;
                }
                catch (Exception ex)
                {
                    row[prop.Name] = DBNull.Value;
                }
            }
            table.Rows.Add(row);
        }
    }
    return table;
}



It's also possible through XmlSerialization. The idea is - serialize to XML and then readXml method of DataSet.

I use this code (from an answer in SO, forgot where)

    public static string SerializeXml<T>(T value) where T : class
{
    if (value == null)
    {
        return null;
    }

    XmlSerializer serializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(T));

    XmlWriterSettings settings = new XmlWriterSettings();

    settings.Encoding = new UnicodeEncoding(false, false);
    settings.Indent = false;
    settings.OmitXmlDeclaration = false;
    // no BOM in a .NET string

    using (StringWriter textWriter = new StringWriter())
    {
        using (XmlWriter xmlWriter = XmlWriter.Create(textWriter, settings))
        {
            serializer.Serialize(xmlWriter, value);
        }
        return textWriter.ToString();
    }
}

so then it's as simple as:

        string xmlString = Utility.SerializeXml(trans.InnerList);

    DataSet ds = new DataSet("New_DataSet");
    using (XmlReader reader = XmlReader.Create(new StringReader(xmlString)))
    { 
        ds.Locale = System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
        ds.ReadXml(reader); 
    }

Not sure how it stands against all the other answers of this post, but it's also a possibility.




public DataTable ConvertToDataTable<T>(IList<T> data)
{
    PropertyDescriptorCollection properties =
        TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(typeof(T));

    DataTable table = new DataTable();

    foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
            table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(prop.PropertyType) ?? prop.PropertyType);

    foreach (T item in data)
    {
        DataRow row = table.NewRow();
        foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
            row[prop.Name] = prop.GetValue(item) ?? DBNull.Value;
        table.Rows.Add(row);
    }
    return table;
}



  using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Data;
using System.ComponentModel;

public partial class Default3 : System.Web.UI.Page
{
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        DataTable dt = new DataTable();
        dt = lstEmployee.ConvertToDataTable();
    }
    public static DataTable ConvertToDataTable<T>(IList<T> list) where T : class
    {
        try
        {
            DataTable table = CreateDataTable<T>();
            Type objType = typeof(T);
            PropertyDescriptorCollection properties = TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(objType);
            foreach (T item in list)
            {
                DataRow row = table.NewRow();
                foreach (PropertyDescriptor property in properties)
                {
                    if (!CanUseType(property.PropertyType)) continue;
                    row[property.Name] = property.GetValue(item) ?? DBNull.Value;
                }

                table.Rows.Add(row);
            }
            return table;
        }
        catch (DataException ex)
        {
            return null;
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            return null;
        }

    }
    private static DataTable CreateDataTable<T>() where T : class
    {
        Type objType = typeof(T);
        DataTable table = new DataTable(objType.Name);
        PropertyDescriptorCollection properties = TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(objType);
        foreach (PropertyDescriptor property in properties)
        {
            Type propertyType = property.PropertyType;
            if (!CanUseType(propertyType)) continue;

            //nullables must use underlying types
            if (propertyType.IsGenericType && propertyType.GetGenericTypeDefinition() == typeof(Nullable<>))
                propertyType = Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(propertyType);
            //enums also need special treatment
            if (propertyType.IsEnum)
                propertyType = Enum.GetUnderlyingType(propertyType);
            table.Columns.Add(property.Name, propertyType);
        }
        return table;
    }


    private static bool CanUseType(Type propertyType)
    {
        //only strings and value types
        if (propertyType.IsArray) return false;
        if (!propertyType.IsValueType && propertyType != typeof(string)) return false;
        return true;
    }
}



If you are using VB.NET then this class does the job.

Imports System.Reflection
''' <summary>
''' Convert any List(Of T) to a DataTable with correct column types and converts Nullable Type values to DBNull
''' </summary>

Public Class ConvertListToDataset

    Public Function ListToDataset(Of T)(ByVal list As IList(Of T)) As DataTable

        Dim dt As New DataTable()
        '/* Create the DataTable columns */
        For Each pi As PropertyInfo In GetType(T).GetProperties()
            If pi.PropertyType.IsValueType Then
                Debug.Print(pi.Name)
            End If
            If IsNothing(Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(pi.PropertyType)) Then
                dt.Columns.Add(pi.Name, pi.PropertyType)
            Else
                dt.Columns.Add(pi.Name, Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(pi.PropertyType))
            End If
        Next

        '/* Populate the DataTable with the values in the Items in List */
        For Each item As T In list
            Dim dr As DataRow = dt.NewRow()
            For Each pi As PropertyInfo In GetType(T).GetProperties()
                dr(pi.Name) = IIf(IsNothing(pi.GetValue(item)), DBNull.Value, pi.GetValue(item))
            Next
            dt.Rows.Add(dr)
        Next
        Return dt

    End Function

End Class



Se probó el método para que acepte campos con null.

// remove "this" if not on C# 3.0 / .NET 3.5
    public static DataTable ToDataTable<T>(IList<T> data)
    {
        PropertyDescriptorCollection props =
            TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(typeof(T));
        DataTable table = new DataTable();
        Type Propiedad = null;
        for (int i = 0; i < props.Count; i++)
        {
            PropertyDescriptor prop = props[i];
            Propiedad = prop.PropertyType;
            if (Propiedad.IsGenericType && Propiedad.GetGenericTypeDefinition() == typeof(Nullable<>)) 
            {
                Propiedad = Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(Propiedad);
            }
            table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, Propiedad);
        }
        object[] values = new object[props.Count];
        foreach (T item in data)
        {
            for (int i = 0; i < values.Length; i++)
            {
                values[i] = props[i].GetValue(item);
            }
            table.Rows.Add(values);
        }
        return table;
    }