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Writing Flexible Entity Framework Methods with Set

Every once in a while I find myself writing one set of code to do something to the Customers collection and then writing almost identical code work with the Orders collection. When I spot that duplicate code, I use the Set method on the DbContext object to find the collection of entities I want and write the code once. I just pass the Type of the object I want to the Set method.

For instance, I could write code like this to work with the Orders collection:

res = ctx.Orders

If I use the Set method, I just have to pass the type of the entity in the collection. For the Orders collection, that's the Order class:

res = ctx.Set(GetType(Order))

You can use the Set method to create general purpose methods in at least two ways. First, you can pass the type of the object to a method that accesses the DbContext object:

Public Sub MyMethod(EntityType As Type)
  res = ctx.Set(EntityType)
  '…code to work with the collection    
End Sub

Alternatively, you can write a generic method and pass the type when you call the method:

Public Sub MyMethod(of T As Class)()
    res = ctx.Set(GetType(T))
End Sub

Posted by Peter Vogel on 05/30/2014 at 9:58 AM


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