C# – Dynamic Include statements for eager loading in a query – EF 4.3.1

c#-4.0c++entity-frameworkentity-framework-4.1entity-framework-4.3

I have this method:

public CampaignCreative GetCampaignCreativeById(int id)
        {
            using (var db = GetContext())
            {
                return db.CampaignCreatives
                    .Include("Placement")
                    .Include("CreativeType")                    
                    .Include("Campaign")
                    .Include("Campaign.Handshake")
                    .Include("Campaign.Handshake.Agency")
                    .Include("Campaign.Product")
                    .AsNoTracking()
                    .Where(x => x.Id.Equals(id)).FirstOrDefault();
            }
        }

I would like to make the list of Includes dynamic. I tried:

public CampaignCreative GetCampaignCreativeById(int id, string[] includes)
        {
            using (var db = GetContext())
            {
                var query = db.CampaignCreatives;

                foreach (string include in includes)
                {
                    query = query.Include(include);
                }

                return query.AsNoTracking()
                    .Where(x => x.Id.Equals(id)).FirstOrDefault();                    
            }
        }

But it didn't compile. I got this error:

Cannot implicitly convert type 'System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.DbQuery' to 'System.Data.Entity.DbSet'. An explicit conversion exists (are you missing a cast?)

Does anyone know how to make the list of Includes dynamic?

Thanks

Best Solution

I am more fond of the non-string expressive way of defining includes. Mainly because it doesn't rely on magic strings.

For the example code, it would look something like this:

public CampaignCreative GetCampaignCreativeById(int id) {
    using (var db = GetContext()) {
        return db.CampaignCreatives
            .Include(cc => cc.Placement)
            .Include(cc => cc.CreativeType)                    
            .Include(cc => cc.Campaign.Select(c => 
                 c.Handshake.Select(h => h.Agency)))
            .Include(cc => cc.Campaign.Select(c => c.Product)
            .AsNoTracking()
            .Where(x => x.Id.Equals(id))
            .FirstOrDefault();
    }
}

And to make those dynamic, this is how you do that:

public CampaignCreative GetCampaignCreativeById(
    int id, 
    params Expression<Func<T, object>>[] includes
) {
    using (var db = GetContext()) {
        var query = db.CampaignCreatives;
        return includes
            .Aggregate(
                query.AsQueryable(), 
                (current, include) => current.Include(include)
            )
            .FirstOrDefault(e => e.Id == id);
    }
}

Which is used like this:

var c = dataService.GetCampaignCreativeById(
     1, 
     cc => cc.Placement, 
     cc => cc.CreativeType, 
     cc => cc.Campaign.Select(c => c.Handshake.Select(h => h.Agency)),
     cc => cc.Campaign.Select(c => c.Product
);
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