How to add/update child entities when updating a parent entity in EF

asp.net-mvc asp.net-web-api c# entity-framework

Question

The two entities are one-to-many relationship (built by code first fluent api).

public class Parent
{
    public Parent()
    {
        this.Children = new List<Child>();
    }

    public int Id { get; set; }

    public virtual ICollection<Child> Children { get; set; }
}

public class Child
{
    public int Id { get; set; }

    public int ParentId { get; set; }

    public string Data { get; set; }
}

In my WebApi controller I have actions to create a parent entity(which is working fine) and update a parent entity(which has some problem). The update action looks like:

public void Update(UpdateParentModel model)
{
    //what should be done here?
}

Currently I have two ideas:

  1. Get a tracked parent entity named existing by model.Id, and assign values in model one by one to the entity. This sounds stupid. And in model.Children I don't know which child is new, which child is modified(or even deleted).

  2. Create a new parent entity via model, and attached it to the DbContext and save it. But how can the DbContext know the state of children (new add/delete/modified)?

What's the correct way of implement this feature?

1
146
11/27/2014 5:17:22 PM

Accepted Answer

Because the model that gets posted to the WebApi controller is detached from any entity-framework (EF) context, the only option is to load the object graph (parent including its children) from the database and compare which children have been added, deleted or updated. (Unless you would track the changes with your own tracking mechanism during the detached state (in the browser or wherever) which in my opinion is more complex than the following.) It could look like this:

public void Update(UpdateParentModel model)
{
    var existingParent = _dbContext.Parents
        .Where(p => p.Id == model.Id)
        .Include(p => p.Children)
        .SingleOrDefault();

    if (existingParent != null)
    {
        // Update parent
        _dbContext.Entry(existingParent).CurrentValues.SetValues(model);

        // Delete children
        foreach (var existingChild in existingParent.Children.ToList())
        {
            if (!model.Children.Any(c => c.Id == existingChild.Id))
                _dbContext.Children.Remove(existingChild);
        }

        // Update and Insert children
        foreach (var childModel in model.Children)
        {
            var existingChild = existingParent.Children
                .Where(c => c.Id == childModel.Id)
                .SingleOrDefault();

            if (existingChild != null)
                // Update child
                _dbContext.Entry(existingChild).CurrentValues.SetValues(childModel);
            else
            {
                // Insert child
                var newChild = new Child
                {
                    Data = childModel.Data,
                    //...
                };
                existingParent.Children.Add(newChild);
            }
        }

        _dbContext.SaveChanges();
    }
}

...CurrentValues.SetValues can take any object and maps property values to the attached entity based on the property name. If the property names in your model are different from the names in the entity you can't use this method and must assign the values one by one.

210
3/16/2017 4:46:53 AM

Popular Answer

I've been messing about with something like this...

protected void UpdateChildCollection<Tparent, Tid , Tchild>(Tparent dbItem, Tparent newItem, Func<Tparent, IEnumerable<Tchild>> selector, Func<Tchild, Tid> idSelector) where Tchild : class
    {
        var dbItems = selector(dbItem).ToList();
        var newItems = selector(newItem).ToList();

        if (dbItems == null && newItems == null)
            return;

        var original = dbItems?.ToDictionary(idSelector) ?? new Dictionary<Tid, Tchild>();
        var updated = newItems?.ToDictionary(idSelector) ?? new Dictionary<Tid, Tchild>();

        var toRemove = original.Where(i => !updated.ContainsKey(i.Key)).ToArray();
        var removed = toRemove.Select(i => DbContext.Entry(i.Value).State = EntityState.Deleted).ToArray();

        var toUpdate = original.Where(i => updated.ContainsKey(i.Key)).ToList();
        toUpdate.ForEach(i => DbContext.Entry(i.Value).CurrentValues.SetValues(updated[i.Key]));

        var toAdd = updated.Where(i => !original.ContainsKey(i.Key)).ToList();
        toAdd.ForEach(i => DbContext.Set<Tchild>().Add(i.Value));
    }

which you can call with something like:

UpdateChildCollection(dbCopy, detached, p => p.MyCollectionProp, collectionItem => collectionItem.Id)

Unfortunately, this kinda falls over if there are collection properties on the child type which also need to be updated. Considering trying to solve this by passing an IRepository (with basic CRUD methods) which would be responsible for calling UpdateChildCollection on its own. Would call the repo instead of direct calls to DbContext.Entry.

Have no idea how this will all perform at scale, but not sure what else to do with this problem.



Related Questions





Related

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow
Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow