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Linq to Dataset How to handle Null column values?

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
How do you handle null column values in Linq to Dataset?  If the column in the customers table below has any null values, the statement stops and the query is empty.  

Thanks.

//find all of the rows that have values that start with the provided prefix
                EnumerableRowCollection<DataRow> query =
                    from customer in customerData.Tables["customer"].AsEnumerable()
                    where customer.Field<string>(columnName).ToLower().StartsWith(prefix.ToLower())
                    select customer;

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Question by:kruegerste
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käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 33694390
What about this?
//find all of the rows that have values that start with the provided prefix
EnumerableRowCollection<DataRow> query =
    from customer in customerData.Tables["customer"].AsEnumerable()
    where customer != null && !Convert.IsDBNull(customer) && customer.Field<string>(columnName).ToLower().StartsWith(prefix.ToLower())
    select customer;

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by:kruegerste
ID: 33694552
No, I'm talking about the column in the customer table, not the customer table itself.  

It basically loops through each row of the datatable and everything is good until the column its checking is null, then the whole statement ends and the query enumerator is nothing.  
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by:kruegerste
ID: 33695088
Below is the full statement.  In the GetDistinctItems as it loops through each datarow, it executes this line in the Linq and returns a boolean value:

where customer.Field<string>(columnName).ToLower().StartsWith(prefix.ToLower())

and everything is fine, items are added to string array until  customer.Field<string>(columnName)  is null value, then it errors out and throws exception below:

'customer.Field<string>(columnName)' is null      

How do we execute this Linq query on a column in a table that may have null values?  Obviously these are matches so I would like them to be ignored instead of throwing exception.

 try
            {
                UtilityBF utilityBF = new UtilityBF();
                CustomerData customerData = new CustomerData();
                customerData = GetCustomersAll();

                //find all of the rows that have values that start with the provided prefix
                EnumerableRowCollection<DataRow> query =
                    from customer in customerData.Tables["customer"].AsEnumerable()
                    where customer.Field<string>(columnName).ToLower().StartsWith(prefix.ToLower())
                    select customer;

                return utilityBF.GetDistinctQueryItems(query, columnName, count);
            }
            catch (HandledException ex)
            {
                throw ex;
            }

===================================================

public string[] GetDistinctQueryItems(EnumerableRowCollection<DataRow> query, string columnName, int count)
        {
                List<string> items = new List<string>();

                foreach (DataRow dataRow in query)
                {
                    string value = dataRow[columnName].ToString();
                    if (!items.Contains(value))
                    {
                        items.Add(value);
                    }
                }
                if (items.Count == 0)
                {
                    items.Add("no match");
                }

                return items.ToArray();
        }

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Author Closing Comment

by:kruegerste
ID: 33695592
You were close, thanks.  Right idea, just changed to look for column value not null. Works
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