Entity Framework: Efficiently grouping by month

.net c# entity-framework


I've done a bit of research on this, and the best I've found so far is to use an Asenumerable on the whole dataset, so that the filtering occurs in linq to objects rather than on the DB. I'm using the latest EF.

My working (but very slow) code is:

        var trendData = 
            from d in ExpenseItemsViewableDirect.AsEnumerable()
            group d by new {Period = d.Er_Approved_Date.Year.ToString() + "-" + d.Er_Approved_Date.Month.ToString("00") } into g
            select new
                Period = g.Key.Period,
                Total = g.Sum(x => x.Item_Amount),
                AveragePerTrans = Math.Round(g.Average(x => x.Item_Amount),2)

This gives me months in format YYYY-MM, along with the total amount and average amount. However it takes several minutes every time.

My other workaround is to do an update query in SQL so I have a YYYYMM field to group natively by. Changing the DB isn't an easy fix however so any suggestions would be appreciated.

The thread I found the above code idea (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1059737/group-by-weeks-in-linq-to-entities) mentions 'waiting until .NET 4.0'. Is there anything recently introduced that helps in this situation?

3/27/2012 8:53:27 AM

Accepted Answer

The reason for poor performance is that the whole table is fetched into memory (AsEnumerable()). You can group then by Year and Month like this

var trendData = 
            (from d in ExpenseItemsViewableDirect
            group d by new {
                            Year = d.Er_Approved_Date.Year, 
                            Month = d.Er_Approved_Date.Month 
                            } into g
            select new
                Year = g.Key.Year,
                Month = g.Key.Month,
                Total = g.Sum(x => x.Item_Amount),
                AveragePerTrans = Math.Round(g.Average(x => x.Item_Amount),2)
        .Select(g=>new {
              Period = g.Year + "-" + g.Month,
              Total = g.Total,
               AveragePerTrans = g.AveragePerTrans


The original query, from my response, was trying to do a concatenation between an int and a string, which is not translatable by EF into SQL statements. I could use SqlFunctions class, but the query it gets kind ugly. So I added AsEnumerable() after the grouping is made, which means that EF will execute the group query on server, will get the year, month, etc, but the custom projection is made over objects (what follows after AsEnumerable()).

3/27/2012 9:27:51 AM

Popular Answer

When it comes to group by month i prefer to do this task in this way:

var sqlMinDate = (DateTime) SqlDateTime.MinValue;

var trendData = ExpenseItemsViewableDirect
    .GroupBy(x => SqlFunctions.DateAdd("month", SqlFunctions.DateDiff("month", sqlMinDate, x.Er_Approved_Date), sqlMinDate))
    .Select(x => new
        Period = g.Key // DateTime type

As it keeps datetime type in the grouping result.

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