Entity Framework 6 Update Graph

c# entity-framework entity-framework-6 sql-server-ce-4

Question

What is the correct way to save a graph of objects whose state you don't know? By state I mean whether they are new or existing database entries that are being updated.

For instance, if I have:

public class Person
{
     public int Id { get; set; }
     public int Name { get; set; }
     public virtual ICollection<Automobile> Automobiles { get; set; }

}

public class Automobile
{
     public int Id { get; set; }
     public int Name { get; set; }
     public short Seats { get; set; }
     public virtual ICollection<MaintenanceRecord> MaintenanceRecords { get; set ;}
     public virtual Person Person { get; set; }
}

public class MaintenanceRecord
{
     public int Id { get; set; }
     public int AutomobileId { get; set; }
     public DateTime DatePerformed { get; set; }

     public virtual Automobile Automobile{ get; set; }

}

I'm editing models, similar to these objects above, and then passing those models into the data layer to save, where for this instance I happen to be using entity framework. So I'm translating these models into POCO entities internal to the DAL.

It appears that unless my models have a state indicating whether they are new or updated, I have quite a bit of work to do to "Save" the changes. I have to first select the Person entity, update it, then match any existing Automobiles and update those and add any new, then for each automobile check for any new or updated maintenance records.

Is there a faster/easier way of doing this? It's possible I can keep track of the Model state, which I guess would be helpful with this, but it would mean changes to code outside of the data layer which i would prefer to avoid. I'm just hoping there is a pattern of usage out there that I can follow for updates like this.

1
12
6/2/2014 5:07:17 PM

Accepted Answer

I ran into this issue a while back and have been following this thread on the EF Codeplex site. https://entityframework.codeplex.com/workitem/864

Seems like it is being considered for the next release, I'm assuming EF 7, which apparently is a pretty large internal overhaul of EF. This may be worth checking out... http://www.nuget.org/packages/RefactorThis.GraphDiff/

Back when I was working on this I found another EF post on SO, and someone had an example of how to do this manually. At the time I decided to do it manually, not sure why, GraphDiff looks pretty cool. Here is an example of what I did.

  public async Task<IHttpActionResult> PutAsync([FromBody] WellEntityModel model)
    {
        try
        {
            if (!ModelState.IsValid)
            {
                return BadRequest(ModelState);
            }
            var kne = TheContext.Companies.First();
            var entity = TheModelFactory.Create(model);
            entity.DateUpdated = DateTime.Now;

            var currentWell = TheContext.Wells.Find(model.Id);

            // Update scalar/complex properties of parent
            TheContext.Entry(currentWell).CurrentValues.SetValues(entity);

            //We don't pass back the company so need to attached the associated company... this is done after mapping the values to ensure its not null.
            currentWell.Company = kne;

            // Updated geometry - ARGHHH NOOOOOO check on this once in a while for a fix from EF-Team https://entityframework.codeplex.com/workitem/864
            var geometryItemsInDb = currentWell.Geometries.ToList();
            foreach (var geometryInDb in geometryItemsInDb)
            {
                // Is the geometry item still there?
                var geometry = entity.Geometries.SingleOrDefault(i => i.Id == geometryInDb.Id);
                if (geometry != null)
                    // Yes: Update scalar/complex properties of child
                    TheContext.Entry(geometryInDb).CurrentValues.SetValues(geometry);
                else
                    // No: Delete it
                    TheContext.WellGeometryItems.Remove(geometryInDb);
            }
            foreach (var geometry in entity.Geometries)
            {
                // Is the child NOT in DB?
                if (geometryItemsInDb.All(i => i.Id != geometry.Id))
                    // Yes: Add it as a new child
                    currentWell.Geometries.Add(geometry);
            }

            // Update Surveys
            var surveyPointsInDb = currentWell.SurveyPoints.ToList();
            foreach (var surveyInDb in surveyPointsInDb)
            {
                // Is the geometry item still there?
                var survey = entity.SurveyPoints.SingleOrDefault(i => i.Id == surveyInDb.Id);
                if (survey != null)
                    // Yes: Update scalar/complex properties of child
                    TheContext.Entry(surveyInDb).CurrentValues.SetValues(survey);
                else
                    // No: Delete it
                    TheContext.WellSurveyPoints.Remove(surveyInDb);
            }
            foreach (var survey in entity.SurveyPoints)
            {
                // Is the child NOT in DB?
                if (surveyPointsInDb.All(i => i.Id != survey.Id))
                    // Yes: Add it as a new child
                    currentWell.SurveyPoints.Add(survey);
            }

            // Update Temperatures - THIS IS A HUGE PAIN = HOPE EF is updated to handle updating disconnected graphs.
            var temperaturesInDb = currentWell.Temperatures.ToList();
            foreach (var tempInDb in temperaturesInDb)
            {
                // Is the geometry item still there?
                var temperature = entity.Temperatures.SingleOrDefault(i => i.Id == tempInDb.Id);
                if (temperature != null)
                    // Yes: Update scalar/complex properties of child
                    TheContext.Entry(tempInDb).CurrentValues.SetValues(temperature);
                else
                    // No: Delete it
                    TheContext.WellTemperaturePoints.Remove(tempInDb);
            }
            foreach (var temps in entity.Temperatures)
            {
                // Is the child NOT in DB?
                if (surveyPointsInDb.All(i => i.Id != temps.Id))
                    // Yes: Add it as a new child
                    currentWell.Temperatures.Add(temps);
            }
            await TheContext.SaveChangesAsync();
            return Ok(model);
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            Trace.WriteLine(ex.Message);
        }
        return InternalServerError();
    }
7
6/2/2014 5:29:56 PM

Popular Answer

This is a huge pain to me too. I extracted the answer from @GetFuzzy to a more reusable method:

public void UpdateCollection<TCollection, TKey>(
    DbContext context, IList<TCollection> databaseCollection, 
    IList<TCollection> detachedCollection, 
    Func<TCollection, TKey> keySelector) where TCollection: class where TKey: IEquatable<TKey>
{
    var databaseCollectionClone = databaseCollection.ToArray();
    foreach (var databaseItem in databaseCollectionClone)
    {
        var detachedItem = detachedCollection.SingleOrDefault(item => keySelector(item).Equals(keySelector(databaseItem)));
        if (detachedItem != null)
        {
            context.Entry(databaseItem).CurrentValues.SetValues(detachedItem);
        }
        else
        {
            context.Set<TCollection>().Remove(databaseItem);
        }
    }

    foreach (var detachedItem in detachedCollection)
    {
        if (databaseCollectionClone.All(item => keySelector(item).Equals(keySelector(detachedItem)) == false))
        {
            databaseCollection.Add(detachedItem);
        }
    }
}

With this method in place I can use it like this:

public void UpdateProduct(Product product)
{
   ...

   var databaseProduct = productRepository.GetById(product.Id);

   UpdateCollection(context, databaseProduct.Accessories, product.Accessories, productAccessory => productAcccessory.ProductAccessoryId);
   UpdateCollection(context, databaseProduct.Categories, product.Categories, productCategory => productCategory.ProductCategoryId);

   ...

   context.SubmitChanges();
}

However when the graph gets deeper, I have a feeling this will not be sufficient.



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