h3li0s h3li0s - 11 months ago 89
C# Question

Dynamic where clause in lambda

I am using entity framework, and I need to create a dynamic expressions like:

var sel = Expression.Lambda<Func<TEntity, bool>>(propertyAccess, parameter);
var compiledSel = sel.Compile();
// sel = x.Name
// filter.Value = "John"
Repository.GetData.Where(item => compiledSel(item) != null && compiledSel(item).ToLower().StartsWith(filter.Value.ToString().ToLower()))

The above works with IQueriable, but I need it to work with entity framework.

That means I need to parse

item => compiledSel(item) != null && compiledSel(item).ToLower().StartsWith(filter.Value.ToString().ToLower())

to e.g.

x => x.Name != null && x.Name.StartsWith("John")

The reason I am doing this is because I have multiple entities I want to be able to filter dynamically.

Any suggestions?


The query itself against EF is run here:

private IList<TEntity> GetCollection(Expression<Func<TEntity, bool>> where, Expression<Func<TEntity, object>>[] includes)
return DbSet

When I run the query now the data where clause is
Param_0 => (((Invoke(value(....
and I get
The LINQ expression node type 'Invoke' is not supported in LINQ to Entities.

Answer Source

First off, if the propertyAccess is accessor to a string property, the following

var sel = Expression.Lambda<Func<TEntity, bool>>(propertyAccess, parameter);

should be

var sel = Expression.Lambda<Func<TEntity, string>>(propertyAccess, parameter);

Second, the Compile does not work inside the EF expressions. You can build the whole predicate expression manually using the methods of the Expression class, but that's relatively hard. What I could suggest you is to use a "prototype" expression and simple parameter replacer like this:

var selector = Expression.Lambda<Func<TEntity, string>>(propertyAccess, parameter);

var value = filter.Value.ToString().ToLower();

Expression<Func<string, bool>> prototype = 
    item => item != null && item.ToLower().StartsWith(value);

var predicate = Expression.Lambda<Func<T, bool>>(
    prototype.Body.ReplaceParameter(prototype.Parameters[0], selector.Body), 

Here is the code of the used helper method:

public static class ExpressionUtils
    public static Expression ReplaceParameter(this Expression expression, ParameterExpression source, Expression target)
        return new ParameterReplacer { Source = source, Target = target }.Visit(expression);

    class ParameterReplacer : ExpressionVisitor
        public ParameterExpression Source;
        public Expression Target;
        protected override Expression VisitParameter(ParameterExpression node)
            return node == Source ? Target : base.VisitParameter(node);