Create a completely dynamic where clause using an expression tree and run it via IQueryable.

c# expression-trees iqueryable lambda where


At point (3) in my code I have defined a query called query1 in which I defined a .Where lambda expression. This query is in some way dynamic but still contains static elements, it always refers to the Type Employee and its (int) property ClientID.

Now I very much like to make the refering to the type and its property dynamic, based on the method parameters which by example are shown below point (1).

What I tried to so far is making the static part of the query defined under point (3) fully dynamic by replacing it with a more elaborate expression tree as written down in (4), (5) & (6). But when I try to add everything together it says I call .Where with wrong parameters. I don't know how to call .Where with the right parameters in order to create a fully dynamic select.

Does someone know to solve this problem? I have spent a day searching and haven't found a solution so far.

        dsMain domainService = new dsMain();

        //(1)i want to rewrite the following four variables to method-parameters
        Type entityType = typeof(Employee);
        String targetProperty = "ClientID";
        Type entityProperty = typeof(Employee).GetProperty(targetProperty).PropertyType;
        int idToDelete = 5;

        //(2)create expression-function: idToDelete == entityType.targetProperty (in this case: Employee.ClientID)
        ParameterExpression numParam = Expression.Parameter(entityProperty, targetProperty.Substring(0, 3));
        ConstantExpression equalTarget = Expression.Constant(idToDelete, idToDelete.GetType());
        BinaryExpression intEqualsID = Expression.Equal(numParam, equalTarget);
        Expression<Func<int, bool>> lambda1 =
                    Expression.Lambda<Func<int, bool>>(
                    new ParameterExpression[] { numParam });

        //(3)I want to create query1 fully dynamic, so defining Employee or an other type and its property at run time
        WhereClause = lambda1.Compile();
        IQueryable<Employee> employees = domainService.GetEmployees();
        var query1 = employees.Where<Employee>(C => WhereClause.Invoke(C.ClientID)).Expression;

        //(4)create the operand body {value(ASP.test_aspx).WhereClause.Invoke(E.ClientID)}
        var operandbodyMethod = WhereClause.GetType().GetMethod("Invoke");
        var operandbodyType = typeof(System.Boolean);
        var operandbodyArgs1Expression = Expression.Parameter(entityType, entityType.Name.Substring(0, 1));
        var operandbodyArgs1 = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(operandbodyArgs1Expression, entityType.GetMember(targetProperty)[0]);
        var operandBodyObjectExp = Expression.Constant(this, this.GetType());
        var operandbodyObject = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(operandBodyObjectExp, this.GetType().GetMember("WhereClause")[0]);

        //(5)create the operand {E => value(ASP.test_aspx).WhereClause.Invoke(E.ClientID)}
        var operandbody = Expression.Call(operandbodyObject, operandbodyMethod, operandbodyArgs1);
        var operandParameter = Expression.Parameter(entityType, entityType.Name.Substring(0, 1));
        var operandType = typeof(Func<,>).MakeGenericType(entityType, typeof(System.Boolean));

        var operand = Expression.Lambda(operandType, operandbody, new ParameterExpression[] { operandParameter });
        var expressionType = typeof(Expression<>).MakeGenericType(operandType);
        var completeWhereExpression = Expression.MakeUnary(ExpressionType.Quote, operand, expressionType);

        //(7)the line below does not work
        var query2 = employees.Where<Employee>(completeWhereExpression).Expression;

Thank you very much for reading my question! If you have questions about my question, please ask them:)

8/9/2010 9:45:38 PM

Accepted Answer

This is quite hard to look at in isolation, but the first thing that occurs is that Compile looks out of place for IQueryable - that will rarely work (LINQ-to-Objects being the exception).

An equivalent to WhereClause.Invoke(C.ClientID) is to use Expression.Invoke to call a sub-expression, but even this is flakey: LINQ-to-SQL will support it, EF (in 3.5 at least) doesn't (maybe "didn't"; I haven't re-checked in 4.0). Ultimately, it would be more robust to create lambda1 as an Expression<Func<Employee,bool>> if possible:

    ParameterExpression empParam = Expression.Parameter(typeof(Employee),"emp");
    ConstantExpression equalTarget = Expression.Constant(idToDelete, idToDelete.GetType());
    BinaryExpression intEqualsID = Expression.Equal(
        Expression.PropertyOrField(empParam, targetProperty), equalTarget);
    Expression<Func<Exmployee, bool>> lambda1 =
                Expression.Lambda<Func<int, bool>>(

Then pass this to Where:

var query1 = employees.Where(lambda1);
8/10/2010 5:41:47 AM

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