Create one to one relationship by using entity framework database first

ef-code-first ef-database-first entity-framework one-to-one

Question

In EF Code First, we can create one-to-one relationship by coding like this:

public class User
{
public int UserID {get;set;}
public string Name {get;set;}
public int UserDetailID {get;set;}

public UserDetail Detail {get;set;}
}

public class UserDetail
{
public int UserDetailID {get;set;}
public string Address {get;set:}
public int UserID {get;set;}

public User User {get;set;}

}

However, when I tried to create the same relationship by using EF Database first in visual studio 2012, I got in trouble. Here is my code:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Users] (
[UserID]                 UNIQUEIDENTIFIER CONSTRAINT [DF_Users_UserID] DEFAULT (newid()) NOT NULL,
[UserDetailID]                 UNIQUEIDENTIFIER NOT NULL,
[Name]                      NVARCHAR (50)    NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_Users] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED ([UserID] ASC),
CONSTRAINT [FK_Users_UserDetails] FOREIGN KEY ([UserDetailID]) REFERENCES [UserDetails]([UserDetailID])
);

CREATE TABLE [dbo].UserDetails] (
[UserDetailID]     UNIQUEIDENTIFIER CONSTRAINT [DF_UserDetails_UserDetailID] DEFAULT (newid()) NOT NULL,
[UserID]           UNIQUEIDENTIFIER NOT NULL,
[Address]             NVARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_UserDetails] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED ([UserDetailID] ASC),
CONSTRAINT [FK_UserDetails_Users] FOREIGN KEY ([UserID]) REFERENCES [dbo].[Users] ([UserID])

The error message is something like

"Error  2   SQL01767: Foreign key 'FK_Users_UserDetails' references invalid table 'UserDetails'.    

I think the reason for this error probably be when it tries to reference the foreign key "UserDetailID", it finds that it hasn't been created yet. But I don't know how to fix this, and I don't even know this is the way to do it, I know doing one-to-one relationship with EF is tricky, or some people even says it's impossible. Can anyone give me any suggestion? Thank you.

Update: Just to clarify my case, I am trying to design the database in visual studio 2012 database project, then publish it to the SQL server, afterward, create/update my .edmx file from the database in SQL server. I am not sure about how to create a one-to-one relationship that the EF can recognize correctly and create the right classes in .edmx file.

1
4
6/24/2013 8:44:22 PM

Accepted Answer

Creating a 1:1 relationship is not that tricky and certainly not impossible, although it is not a particularly common requirement and in this case I can't see why you would want it? If people are saying this then you are talking to the wrong people.

Anyhow using SQL queries as you seem to be is not to do with EF, you are just working directly with the database, In the first CREATE you are trying to add the constraint but you haven't created the other table yet... As you mentioned in your question.

I think you need to create both tables first and then add the constraint with ALTER TABLE.

Additionally searching SO for questions about 1:1 turns up quite a lot so I suggest you do that.

EDIT: So using a database project (I only have VS Express so I don't have those) you want to create a "1:1" relationship using SQL and then add an Entity Data Model to a (probably different) project which references the database and automatically create 1:1 relationship?

That is a whole different story unfortunately. When I was talking about possibility to create 1:1 that was in reference to EF only and not to databases as such. It is actually very difficult/impossible as you said to create 1:1 in SQL. I think that it makes sense that in order to insert into a 1:1 realationship you would need to somehow insert into both tables at exactly the same time or fiddle about with disabling constraints briefly when adding rows.

In general there are a few different option.

  1. Don't split the tables unnecessarily. In true 1:1 all data is required so the only reason to split is for performance reasons (e.g partioning) which I would avoid in this case.

  2. Map multiple table to a single entity as show here.

  3. Create a 1:0..1 relationship and enforce you own requirements in the application.

In either option 2 or 3 you can use the following SQL to create a relationship which uses the same PK on the second table as the FK in the relationship.

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Users] (
[UserID] UNIQUEIDENTIFIER CONSTRAINT [DF_Users_UserID] DEFAULT (newid()) NOT NULL,
[Name] NVARCHAR (50)    NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_Users] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED ([UserID] ASC),
);

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[UserDetails] (
[UserID]           UNIQUEIDENTIFIER NOT NULL,
[Address]             NVARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_UserDetails] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED ([UserID] ASC),
CONSTRAINT [FK_UserDetails_Users] FOREIGN KEY ([UserID]) REFERENCES [dbo].[Users] ([UserID]) ON DELETE CASCADE 
);

I suggest you also use store generated identity as well where you can.

7
6/25/2013 9:24:11 AM

Popular Answer

Just remove UserDetailID from the UserDetail table and make UserID both primary key and a foreign key to the UserID column of the User table.

This the correct way to make 1:1 relationships in a database and EF recognizes it and maps the entities appropriately with database-first approach.



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