Dynamic Linq - Perform a query on an object with members of type "dynamic"

c# dynamic-linq expression-trees lambda

Question

I am trying to use a dynamic linq query to retrieve an IEnumerable<T> from an object collection (Linq to Object), each of the objects in the collection have an internal collection with another set of objects where the data is stored, these values are accessed through an indexer from the outer collection

The dynamic linq query returns the filtered set as expected when you are working with strongly typed objects but my object stores the data in a member of type dynamic, please see the example below:

public class Data
{
    public Data(string name, dynamic value)
    {
        this.Name = name;
        this.Value = value;
    }

    public string Name { get; set; }
    public dynamic Value { get; set; }
}

public class DataItem : IEnumerable
{
    private List<Data> _collection;

    public DataItem()
    { _collection = new List<Data>(); }

    public dynamic this[string name]
    {
        get
        {
            Data d;
            if ((d = _collection.FirstOrDefault(i => i.Name == name)) == null)
                return (null);

            return (d.Value);
        }
    }

    public void Add(Data data)
    { _collection.Add(data); }

    public IEnumerator GetEnumerator()
    {
        return _collection.GetEnumerator();
    }
}

public class Program
{
    public void Example()
    {
        List<DataItem> repository = new List<DataItem>(){
            new DataItem() {
                new Data("Name", "Mike"),
                new Data("Age", 25),
                new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1987, 1, 5))
            },
            new DataItem() {
                new Data("Name", "Steve"),
                new Data("Age", 30),
                new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1982, 1, 10))
            }
        };

        IEnumerable<DataItem> result = repository.AsQueryable<DataItem>().Where("it[\"Age\"] == 30");
        if (result.Count() == 1)
            Console.WriteLine(result.Single()["Name"]);
    }

When I run the above example I get: Operator '==' incompatible with operand types 'Object' and 'Int32'

Are dynamic members incompatible with Dynamic Linq queries?, or is there another way of constructing expressions that would evaluate properly when dealing with members of type dynamic

Thanks a lot for your help.

Accepted Answer

Are dynamic members incompatible with Dynamic Linq queries?, or is there another way of constructing expressions that would evaluate properly when dealing with members of type dynamic?

Both can work together. Just do a conversion to Int32 before doing the comparison like so:

IEnumerable<DataItem> result = 
           repository.AsQueryable<DataItem>().Where("Int32(it[\"Age\"]) == 30");

Edit 1: Having said that, the use of dynamic binding in connection with Linq is restricted in general as dynamic operations are not allowed in expression trees. Consider the following Linq-To-Objects query:

IEnumerable<DataItem> result = repository.AsQueryable().
                                                  Where(d => d["Age"] == 30);

This code snippet won't compile for the reason mentioned above.

Edit 2: In your case (and in conjunction with Dynamic Linq) there are some ways to hack yourself around the issues mentioned in Edit 1 and in the original question. For example:

// Variant 1: Using strings all the way
public void DynamicQueryExample(string property, dynamic val)
{
   List<DataItem> repository = new List<DataItem>(){
        new DataItem() {
            new Data("Name", "Mike"),
            new Data("Age", 25),
            new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1987, 1, 5))
        },
        new DataItem() {
            new Data("Name", "Steve"),
            new Data("Age", 30),
            new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1982, 1, 10))
        }
    };

    // Use string comparison all the time        
    string predicate = "it[\"{0}\"].ToString() == \"{1}\"";
    predicate = String.Format(whereClause , property, val.ToString());

    var result = repository.AsQueryable<DataItem>().Where(predicate);
    if (result.Count() == 1)
        Console.WriteLine(result.Single()["Name"]);
}

Program p = new Program();

p.DynamicQueryExample("Age", 30); // Prints "Steve"
p.DynamicQueryExample("BirthDate", new DateTime(1982, 1, 10)); // Prints "Steve"
p.DynamicQueryExample("Name", "Mike"); // Prints "Steve" (nah, just joking...)

or:

// Variant 2: Detecting the type at runtime.
public void DynamicQueryExample(string property, string val)
{
    List<DataItem> repository = new List<DataItem>(){
        new DataItem() {
            new Data("Name", "Mike"),
            new Data("Age", 25),
            new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1987, 1, 5))
        },
        new DataItem() {
            new Data("Name", "Steve"),
            new Data("Age", 30),
            new Data("BirthDate", new DateTime(1982, 1, 10))
        }
    };

    string whereClause = "{0}(it[\"{1}\"]) == {2}";


    // Discover the type at runtime (and convert accordingly)
    Type type = repository.First()[property].GetType();
    string stype = type.ToString();
    stype = stype.Substring(stype.LastIndexOf('.') + 1);

    if (type.Equals(typeof(string))) {
        // Need to surround formatting directive with ""
        whereClause = whereClause.Replace("{2}", "\"{2}\"");
    }
    string predicate = String.Format(whereClause, stype, property, val);

    var result = repository.AsQueryable<DataItem>().Where(predicate);
    if (result.Count() == 1)
        Console.WriteLine(result.Single()["Name"]);
}

var p = new Program();
p.DynamicQueryExample("Age", "30");
p.DynamicQueryExample("BirthDate", "DateTime(1982, 1, 10)");
p.DynamicQueryExample("Name", "Mike");

Popular Answer

Is the code below useful for you?

IEnumerable<DataItem> result = repository.AsQueryable<DataItem>().Where("it[\"Age\"].ToString() == \"30\"");

But for this to work, all your types which can be assigned to the Value member of your Data class needs to have a useful implementation of the ToString method.




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