.net – Linq to Entities – SQL “IN” clause

.netin-clauselinqlinq-to-entities

In T-SQL you could have a query like:

SELECT * FROM Users WHERE User_Rights IN ("Admin", "User", "Limited")

How would you replicate that in a LINQ to Entities query? Is it even possible?

Best Solution

You need to turn it on its head in terms of the way you're thinking about it. Instead of doing "in" to find the current item's user rights in a predefined set of applicable user rights, you're asking a predefined set of user rights if it contains the current item's applicable value. This is exactly the same way you would find an item in a regular list in .NET.

There are two ways of doing this using LINQ, one uses query syntax and the other uses method syntax. Essentially, they are the same and could be used interchangeably depending on your preference:

Query Syntax:

var selected = from u in users
               where new[] { "Admin", "User", "Limited" }.Contains(u.User_Rights)
               select u

foreach(user u in selected)
{
    //Do your stuff on each selected user;
}

Method Syntax:

var selected = users.Where(u => new[] { "Admin", "User", "Limited" }.Contains(u.User_Rights));

foreach(user u in selected)
{
    //Do stuff on each selected user;
}

My personal preference in this instance might be method syntax because instead of assigning the variable, I could do the foreach over an anonymous call like this:

foreach(User u in users.Where(u => new [] { "Admin", "User", "Limited" }.Contains(u.User_Rights)))
{
    //Do stuff on each selected user;
}

Syntactically this looks more complex, and you have to understand the concept of lambda expressions or delegates to really figure out what's going on, but as you can see, this condenses the code a fair amount.

It all comes down to your coding style and preference - all three of my examples do the same thing slightly differently.

An alternative way doesn't even use LINQ, you can use the same method syntax replacing "where" with "FindAll" and get the same result, which will also work in .NET 2.0:

foreach(User u in users.FindAll(u => new [] { "Admin", "User", "Limited" }.Contains(u.User_Rights)))
{
    //Do stuff on each selected user;
}