ninjaPixel ninjaPixel - 3 months ago 102
C# Question

LINQ - Full Outer Join

I have a list of people's ID and their first name, and a list of people's ID and their surname. Some people don't have a first name and some don't have a surname; I'd like to do a full outer join on the two lists.

So the following lists:

ID FirstName
-- ---------
1 John
2 Sue

ID LastName
-- --------
1 Doe
3 Smith


Should produce:

ID FirstName LastName
-- --------- --------
1 John Doe
2 Sue
3 Smith


I'm new to LINQ (so forgive me if I'm being lame) and have found quite a few solutions for 'LINQ Outer Joins' which all look quite similar, but really seem to be left outer joins.

My attempts so far go something like this:

private void OuterJoinTest()
{
List<FirstName> firstNames = new List<FirstName>();
firstNames.Add(new FirstName { ID = 1, Name = "John" });
firstNames.Add(new FirstName { ID = 2, Name = "Sue" });

List<LastName> lastNames = new List<LastName>();
lastNames.Add(new LastName { ID = 1, Name = "Doe" });
lastNames.Add(new LastName { ID = 3, Name = "Smith" });

var outerJoin = from first in firstNames
join last in lastNames
on first.ID equals last.ID
into temp
from last in temp.DefaultIfEmpty()
select new
{
id = first != null ? first.ID : last.ID,
firstname = first != null ? first.Name : string.Empty,
surname = last != null ? last.Name : string.Empty
};
}
}

public class FirstName
{
public int ID;

public string Name;
}

public class LastName
{
public int ID;

public string Name;
}


But this returns:

ID FirstName LastName
-- --------- --------
1 John Doe
2 Sue


What am I doing wrong?

Answer

I don't know if this covers all cases, logically it seems correct. The idea is to take a left outer join and right outer join and combine them together (as it should be).

var firstNames = new[]
{
    new { ID = 1, Name = "John" },
    new { ID = 2, Name = "Sue" },
};
var lastNames = new[]
{
    new { ID = 1, Name = "Doe" },
    new { ID = 3, Name = "Smith" },
};
var leftOuterJoin = from first in firstNames
                    join last in lastNames
                    on first.ID equals last.ID
                    into temp
                    from last in temp.DefaultIfEmpty(new { first.ID, Name = default(string) })
                    select new
                    {
                        first.ID,
                        FirstName = first.Name,
                        LastName = last.Name,
                    };
var rightOuterJoin = from last in lastNames
                     join first in firstNames
                     on last.ID equals first.ID
                     into temp
                     from first in temp.DefaultIfEmpty(new { last.ID, Name = default(string) })
                     select new
                     {
                         last.ID,
                         FirstName = first.Name,
                         LastName = last.Name,
                     };
var fullOuterJoin = leftOuterJoin.Union(rightOuterJoin);

This works as written since it is in LINQ to Objects. If LINQ to SQL or other, the overload of DefaultIfEmpty() that takes in a default may not work. Then you'd have to use the conditional operator to conditionally get the values.

i.e.,

var leftOuterJoin = from first in firstNames
                    join last in lastNames
                    on first.ID equals last.ID
                    into temp
                    from last in temp.DefaultIfEmpty()
                    select new
                    {
                        first.ID,
                        FirstName = first.Name,
                        LastName = last != null ? last.Name : default(string),
                    };
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