Anthony Anthony - 2 months ago 21
C# Question

Convert rows from a data reader into typed results

I'm using a third party library which returns a data reader. I would like a simple way and as generic as possible to convert it into a List of objects.

For example, say I have a class 'Employee' with 2 properties EmployeeId and Name, I would like the data reader (which contains a list of employees) to be converted into List< Employee>.

I guess I have no choice but to iterate though the rows of the data reader and for each of them convert them into an Employee object that I will add to the List. Any better solution? I'm using C# 3.5 and ideally I would like it to be as generic as possible so that it works with any classes (the field names in the DataReader match the property names of the various objects).

Answer

Do you really need a list, or would IEnumerable be good enough?

I know you want it to be generic, but a much more common pattern is to have a static Factory method on the target object type that accepts a datarow (or IDataRecord). That would look something like this:

public class Employee
{
    public int Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }

    public static Employee Create(IDataRecord record)
    {
        return new Employee
        {
           Id = record["id"],
           Name = record["name"]
        };
    }
}

.

public IEnumerable<Employee> GetEmployees()
{
    using (var reader = YourLibraryFunction())
    {
       while (reader.Read())
       {
           yield return Employee.Create(reader);
       }
    }
}

Then if you really need a list rather than an IEnumerable you can call .ToList() on the results. I suppose you could also use generics + a delegate to make the code for this pattern more re-usable as well.

Update: I saw this again today and felt like writing the generic code:

public IEnumerable<T> GetData<T>(IDataReader reader, Func<IDataRecord, T> BuildObject)
{
    try
    {
        while (reader.Read())
        {
            yield return BuildObject(reader);
        }
    }
    finally
    {
         reader.Dispose();
    }
}

//call it like this:
var result = GetData(YourLibraryFunction(), Employee.Create);