MVC 3 EF 4.1 db Deleting one-to-many data objects with non-nullable foreign-key relationships in context

asp.net-mvc-3 entity-framework

Question

I am using MVC 3, EF 4.1, and dbContext. I need to know how to delete an entity in one-to-many relation with a non-nullable foreign-key.

When I Remove the child entity and execute SaveChanges I get the error:

The operation failed: The relationship could not be changed because one or more of the foreign-key properties is non-nullable. When a change is made to a relationship, the related foreign-key property is set to a null value. If the foreign-key does not support null values, a new relationship must be defined, the foreign-key property must be assigned another non-null value, or the unrelated object must be deleted.

From other posts, I understand that using Remove(entity) marks the entity for delete. During SaveChanges, EF sets the the foreign-key to Null and the above error occurs.

I have found some posts that use DeleteObject on the child entity rather than Remove; however, the DeleteObject approach seems to have been dropped because of addition to dbContext and DbSet.

I have found posts that suggest modifying the EDMX foreign-key relation to be Nullable. Modifying the EDMX is fine, but whenever an Update Model for Database is done, these changes get nuked and must be reapplied. Not optimal.

Another post suggested creating a proxy entity with the foreign-key relations set to Nullable but I do not understand that approach. It seems to suffer from the same issue as modifying the EDMX in that the context gets automatically updated when changes to the EDMX are saved.

My simplified model is:

public partial class User
{
    public User()
    {
        this.UserContacts = new HashSet<UserContact>();
    }

    public long userId { get; set; }
    public string userEmail { get; set; }
    public string userPassword { get; set; }
    public string userFirstName { get; set; }
    public string userLastName { get; set; }
     . . .
    public virtual Country Country { get; set; }
    public virtual State State { get; set; }
    public virtual ICollection<UserContact> UserContacts { get; set; }
}

}

public partial class UserContact
{
    public long userContactId { get; set; }
    public long userContactUserId { get; set; }
    public long userContactTypeId { get; set; }
    public string userContactData { get; set; }

    public virtual ContactType ContactType { get; set; }
    public virtual User User { get; set; }
}

The userContactUserId and userContactTypeId are required foreign-keys.

In the dbContext container both Users and UserContact are DbSet.

I have a ViewModel for the User and a ViewModel for UserContact as follows

public class UserContactViewModel
{
    [HiddenInput]
    public long UserContactId { get; set; }

    [HiddenInput]
    public long UserContactUserId { get; set; }

    [Display(Name = "Contact")]
    [Required]
    public string ContactData { get; set; }

    [Required]
    public long ContactType { get; set; }

    [HiddenInput]
    public bool isDeleted { get; set; }

}

    public class MyProfileViewModel
    {

        [HiddenInput]
        public long UserId { get; set; }

        [Required]
        [Display(Name = "First Name")]
        [StringLength(100)]
        public string FirstName { get; set; }

        [Required]
        [StringLength(100)]
        [Display(Name = "Last Name")]
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        ....
        public IEnumerable<UserContactViewModel> Contacts { get; set; }

}

When saving changes to the user profile, I loop over the list of UserContactViewModel entities to determine which have been added, modified, or deleted.

                    foreach (var c in model.Contacts)
                    {
                        UserContact uc = usr.UserContacts.Single(con => con.userContactId == c.UserContactId);
                        if (uc != null)
                        {
                            if (c.isDeleted == true)  // Deleted UserContact
                            {
                                ctx.UserContacts.Remove(uc);  // Remove doesn't work
                            }
                            else  //  Modified UserContact
                            {
                                uc.userContactData = c.ContactData;
                                uc.userContactTypeId = c.ContactType;
                                ctx.Entry(uc).State = EntityState.Modified;
                            }
                        }
                        else  // New UserContact
                        {
                            usr.UserContacts.Add(new UserContact { userContactUserId = model.UserId, userContactData = c.ContactData, userContactTypeId = c.ContactType });
                        }
                    }

I'd appreciate any help.

1
14
5/4/2011 9:22:25 PM

Accepted Answer

I managed to solve the problem as follows:

First, I was able to fetch the ObjectContext by casting my DbContext (eg "ctx") to an IObjectContextAdapter and then obtaining reference to the ObjectContext.

Next, I simply called the DeleteObject method passing the UserContact record to be deleted.

When SaveChanges gets the deletes in the database happen as expected.

if (c.isDeleted == true)  // Deleted UserContact
{
    ObjectContext oc = ((IObjectContextAdapter)ctx).ObjectContext;
    oc.DeleteObject(uc)
}

Here is a snippet of the relevant code:

foreach (var c in model.Contacts)
{
    UserContact uc = null;
    if (c.UserContactId != 0)
    {
        uc = ctx.UserContacts.Find(c.UserContactId);
    }
    if (uc != null)
    {
        if (c.isDeleted == true)  // Deleted UserContact
        {
            ObjectContext oc = ((IObjectContextAdapter)ctx).ObjectContext;
            oc.DeleteObject(uc);
        }
        else  //  Modified UserContact
        {
            uc.userContactData = c.ContactData;
            uc.userContactTypeId = c.ContactType;
            ctx.Entry(uc).State = EntityState.Modified;
        }
    }
    else  // New UserContact
    {
        usr.UserContacts.Add(new UserContact { userContactData = c.ContactData, userContactTypeId = c.ContactType });
    }
}

ctx.Entry(usr).State = EntityState.Modified;
ctx.SaveChanges();

Hope this helps someone in future.

15
7/18/2011 9:00:30 PM

Popular Answer

I solved the same problem following the section "Cascade Delete Rules on Relationships" at the MSDN guide page here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb738695.aspx Hope tu be helpfull :D



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