Adding existing entities to a collection on a newly built object using the entity framework

entity-framework many-to-many


I am using the Entity framework to create a new order. The order contains a collection of contacts, a many to many relationship. I want to add a reference to an existing contact on the order on creation of the order. Both Order and Contact a Entity Objects.

 Order order = new Order();

 //set details on order

 Contact contact = new Contact();

 EntityKey contactKey =
                    new EntityKey("OrderDetails.Contact",
                        "contact_id", contact.Key.Id);

 contact.EntityKey = contactKey;
 contact.contact_id = contact.Key.Id;

 order.Contact.Attach(contact);  // throws an exception!

 OrderDetails ordTable = new OrderDetails();
            int result = orgTable.SaveChanges();

When I go to attach, this exception is thrown:

"Attach is not a valid operation when the source object associated with this related end is in an added, deleted, or detached state. Objects loaded using the NoTracking merge option are always detached."

I know I'm probably missing a step or not fully understanding how the entity framework handles many-to-many relationships.

1/2/2009 6:56:00 PM

Popular Answer

"Attach" is not allowed because you haven't saved the order yet. Calling "Add" tells Entity Framework that you want to insert a new contact. So you are left with only one option. You need to load the contact.

Here's the fastest way to do that:

OrderDetails context = new OrderDetails();
Contact contact = context.GetObjectByKey(new EntityKey("OrderDetails.Contact", "contact_id", existingContactId));
12/16/2009 5:16:33 AM

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