[.net] How can i query for null values in entity framework?


Answers

Since Entity Framework 5.0 you can use following code in order to solve your issue:

public abstract class YourContext : DbContext
{
  public YourContext()
  {
    (this as IObjectContextAdapter).ObjectContext.ContextOptions.UseCSharpNullComparisonBehavior = true;
  }
}

This should solve your problems as Entity Framerwork will use 'C# like' null comparison.

Question

I want to execute a query like this

   var result = from entry in table
                     where entry.something == null
                     select entry;

and get an IS NULL generated.

Edited: After the first two answers i feel the need to clarify that I'm using Entity Framework and not Linq to SQL. The object.Equals() method does not seem to work in EF.

Edit no.2: The above query works as intended. It correctly generates IS NULL. My production code however was

value = null;
var result = from entry in table
                         where entry.something == value
                         select entry;

and the generated SQL was something = @p; @p = NULL. It seems that EF correctly translates the constant expression but if a variable is involved it treats it just like a normal comparison. Makes sense actually. I'll close this question




var result = from entry in table    
             where entry.something == value||entry.something == null                   
              select entry;

use that




If it is a nullable type, maybe try use the HasValue property?

var result = from entry in table
                 where !entry.something.HasValue
                 select entry;

Don't have any EF to test on here though... just a suggestion =)




Unfortunately in Entity Framework 5 DbContext the issue is still not fixed.

I used this workaround (works with MSSQL 2012 but ANSI NULLS setting might be deprecated in any future MSSQL version).

public class Context : DbContext
{

    public Context()
        : base("name=Context")
    {
        this.Database.Connection.StateChange += Connection_StateChange;
    }

    void Connection_StateChange(object sender, System.Data.StateChangeEventArgs e)
    {
        // Set ANSI_NULLS OFF when any connection is opened. This is needed because of a bug in Entity Framework
        // that is not fixed in EF 5 when using DbContext.
        if (e.CurrentState == System.Data.ConnectionState.Open)
        {
            var connection = (System.Data.Common.DbConnection)sender;
            using (var cmd = connection.CreateCommand())
            {
                cmd.CommandText = "SET ANSI_NULLS OFF";
                cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();
            }
        }
    }
}

It should be noted that it is a dirty workaround but it is one that can be implemented very quickly and works for all queries.




to deal with Null Comparisons use Object.Equals() instead of ==

check this reference




Personnally, I prefer:

var result = from entry in table    
             where (entry.something??0)==(value??0)                    
              select entry;

over

var result = from entry in table
             where (value == null ? entry.something == null : entry.something == value)
             select entry;

because it prevents repetition -- though that's not mathematically exact, but it fits well most cases.




Pointing out that all of the Entity Framework < 6.0 suggestions generate some awkward SQL. See second example for "clean" fix.

Ridiculous Workaround

// comparing against this...
Foo item = ...

return DataModel.Foos.FirstOrDefault(o =>
    o.ProductID == item.ProductID
    // ridiculous < EF 4.5 nullable comparison workaround http://.com/a/2541042/1037948
    && item.ProductStyleID.HasValue ? o.ProductStyleID == item.ProductStyleID : o.ProductStyleID == null
    && item.MountingID.HasValue ? o.MountingID == item.MountingID : o.MountingID == null
    && item.FrameID.HasValue ? o.FrameID == item.FrameID : o.FrameID == null
    && o.Width == w
    && o.Height == h
    );

results in SQL like:

SELECT TOP (1) [Extent1].[ID]                 AS [ID],
       [Extent1].[Name]               AS [Name],
       [Extent1].[DisplayName]        AS [DisplayName],
       [Extent1].[ProductID]          AS [ProductID],
       [Extent1].[ProductStyleID]     AS [ProductStyleID],
       [Extent1].[MountingID]         AS [MountingID],
       [Extent1].[Width]              AS [Width],
       [Extent1].[Height]             AS [Height],
       [Extent1].[FrameID]            AS [FrameID],
FROM   [dbo].[Foos] AS [Extent1]
WHERE  (CASE
  WHEN (([Extent1].[ProductID] = 1 /* @p__linq__0 */)
        AND (NULL /* @p__linq__1 */ IS NOT NULL)) THEN
    CASE
      WHEN ([Extent1].[ProductStyleID] = NULL /* @p__linq__2 */) THEN cast(1 as bit)
      WHEN ([Extent1].[ProductStyleID] <> NULL /* @p__linq__2 */) THEN cast(0 as bit)
    END
  WHEN (([Extent1].[ProductStyleID] IS NULL)
        AND (2 /* @p__linq__3 */ IS NOT NULL)) THEN
    CASE
      WHEN ([Extent1].[MountingID] = 2 /* @p__linq__4 */) THEN cast(1 as bit)
      WHEN ([Extent1].[MountingID] <> 2 /* @p__linq__4 */) THEN cast(0 as bit)
    END
  WHEN (([Extent1].[MountingID] IS NULL)
        AND (NULL /* @p__linq__5 */ IS NOT NULL)) THEN
    CASE
      WHEN ([Extent1].[FrameID] = NULL /* @p__linq__6 */) THEN cast(1 as bit)
      WHEN ([Extent1].[FrameID] <> NULL /* @p__linq__6 */) THEN cast(0 as bit)
    END
  WHEN (([Extent1].[FrameID] IS NULL)
        AND ([Extent1].[Width] = 20 /* @p__linq__7 */)
        AND ([Extent1].[Height] = 16 /* @p__linq__8 */)) THEN cast(1 as bit)
  WHEN (NOT (([Extent1].[FrameID] IS NULL)
             AND ([Extent1].[Width] = 20 /* @p__linq__7 */)
             AND ([Extent1].[Height] = 16 /* @p__linq__8 */))) THEN cast(0 as bit)
END) = 1

Outrageous Workaround

If you want to generate cleaner SQL, something like:

// outrageous < EF 4.5 nullable comparison workaround http://.com/a/2541042/1037948
Expression<Func<Foo, bool>> filterProductStyle, filterMounting, filterFrame;
if(item.ProductStyleID.HasValue) filterProductStyle = o => o.ProductStyleID == item.ProductStyleID;
else filterProductStyle = o => o.ProductStyleID == null;

if (item.MountingID.HasValue) filterMounting = o => o.MountingID == item.MountingID;
else filterMounting = o => o.MountingID == null;

if (item.FrameID.HasValue) filterFrame = o => o.FrameID == item.FrameID;
else filterFrame = o => o.FrameID == null;

return DataModel.Foos.Where(o =>
    o.ProductID == item.ProductID
    && o.Width == w
    && o.Height == h
    )
    // continue the outrageous workaround for proper sql
    .Where(filterProductStyle)
    .Where(filterMounting)
    .Where(filterFrame)
    .FirstOrDefault()
    ;

results in what you wanted in the first place:

SELECT TOP (1) [Extent1].[ID]                 AS [ID],
           [Extent1].[Name]               AS [Name],
           [Extent1].[DisplayName]        AS [DisplayName],
           [Extent1].[ProductID]          AS [ProductID],
           [Extent1].[ProductStyleID]     AS [ProductStyleID],
           [Extent1].[MountingID]         AS [MountingID],
           [Extent1].[Width]              AS [Width],
           [Extent1].[Height]             AS [Height],
           [Extent1].[FrameID]            AS [FrameID],
FROM   [dbo].[Foos] AS [Extent1]
WHERE  ([Extent1].[ProductID] = 1 /* @p__linq__0 */)
   AND ([Extent1].[Width] = 16 /* @p__linq__1 */)
   AND ([Extent1].[Height] = 20 /* @p__linq__2 */)
   AND ([Extent1].[ProductStyleID] IS NULL)
   AND ([Extent1].[MountingID] = 2 /* @p__linq__3 */)
   AND ([Extent1].[FrameID] IS NULL)





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