get foreign key fields from DbSet in EF6 database First

c# database ef-database-first entity-framework entity-framework-6


I have a working data base and i am using EntityFramework to manipulate its data. I ended with having DbSet<Type> and DbContext and I need a way to retrieve any foreign key in the anonymous type using any available way

Code Example of auto generated EF classes

public partial class Country
   public int ID { get; private set; } //primaryKey
   public ICollection<City> Cities { get; set; }

public partial class City
   public int City_ID { get; private set; } //primaryKey
   public int Country_ID { get; private set; } //ForeignKey Needed To get For Any Entity or Class
   public Country Country { get; set; }

Auto Generated DbContext Child

public partial class Entities : DbContext
   public virtual DbSet<Country> Countries { get; set; }
   public virtual DbSet<City> Cities { get; set; }

I need to get all foreignKeys like Country_ID from DbSet<{UnknownType}>

9/24/2018 1:52:59 PM

Accepted Answer

This will give you a dictionary with all navigation properties as Key and all related properties as Value (the value might be a property from the other entity)

Add these to your DBContext class and call db.GetForeignKeyProperties<Person>()

The result will be something like:

"Address" - "AddressID"

"Boss" - "Person.BossID"

public Dictionary<string,string> GetForeignKeyProperties<DBType>()
    EntityType table = GetTableEntityType<DBType>();
    Dictionary<string, string> foreignKeys = new Dictionary<string, string>();

    foreach (NavigationProperty np in table.NavigationProperties)
        var association = (np.ToEndMember.DeclaringType as AssociationType);
        var constraint = association.ReferentialConstraints.FirstOrDefault();

        if (constraint != null && constraint.ToRole.GetEntityType() == table)
            foreignKeys.Add(np.Name, constraint.ToProperties.First().Name);

        if (constraint != null && constraint.FromRole.GetEntityType() == table)
            foreignKeys.Add(np.Name, constraint.ToProperties.First().DeclaringType.Name+"."+constraint.ToProperties.First().Name);

    return foreignKeys;

private EntityType GetTableEntityType<DBType>()
    return GetTableEntityType(typeof(DBType));

private EntityType GetTableEntityType(Type DBType)
    ObjectContext objContext = ((IObjectContextAdapter)this).ObjectContext;
    MetadataWorkspace workspace = objContext.MetadataWorkspace;
    EntityType table = workspace.GetEdmSpaceType((StructuralType)workspace.GetItem<EntityType>(DBType.FullName, DataSpace.OSpace)) as EntityType;
    return table;
8/25/2015 10:50:44 AM

Popular Answer

Here's a method that returns key values of know entity objects:

IEnumerable<IDictionary<string,object>> GetKeyValues<T>(DbContext db, 
                                                        IEnumerable<T> entities)
    where T : class
    var oc = ((IObjectContextAdapter)db).ObjectContext;
    return entities.Select (e => oc.ObjectStateManager.GetObjectStateEntry(e))
                   .Select(objectStateEntry => objectStateEntry.EntityKey)
                   .Select(ek => ek.EntityKeyValues
                                   .ToDictionary (x => x.Key, y => y.Value));

This method uses the underlying ObjectContext API to obtain ObjectStateEntry objects that belong to each entity object. The EntityKey contains the key value(s) of an entity as a key-value pair. (Entities with composite keys have more than one key value.)

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