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How to: Query a Database by Using LINQ (Visual Basic)

Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) makes it easy to access database information and execute queries.

The following example shows how to create a new application that performs queries against a SQL Server database.

The examples in this topic use the Northwind sample database. If you do not have the Northwind sample database on your development computer, you can download it from the Microsoft Download Center Web site. For instructions, see Downloading Sample Databases (LINQ to SQL).

NoteNote

Your computer might show different names or locations for some of the Visual Studio user interface elements in the following instructions. The Visual Studio edition that you have and the settings that you use determine these elements. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

To create a connection to a database

  1. In Visual Studio, open Server Explorer/Database Explorer by clicking Server Explorer/Database Explorer on the View menu.

  2. Right-click Data Connections in Server Explorer/Database Explorer and then click Add Connection.

  3. Specify a valid connection to the Northwind sample database.

To add a project that contains a LINQ to SQL file

  1. In Visual Studio, on the File menu, point to New and then click Project. Select Visual Basic Windows Forms Application as the project type.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add New Item. Select the LINQ to SQL Classes item template.

  3. Name the file northwind.dbml. Click Add. The Object Relational Designer (O/R Designer) is opened for the northwind.dbml file.

To add tables to query to the O/R Designer

  1. In Server Explorer/Database Explorer, expand the connection to the Northwind database. Expand the Tables folder.

    If you have closed the O/R Designer, you can reopen it by double-clicking the northwind.dbml file that you added earlier.

  2. Click the Customers table and drag it to the left pane of the designer. Click the Orders table and drag it to the left pane of the designer.

    The designer creates new Customer and Order objects for your project. Notice that the designer automatically detects relationships between the tables and creates child properties for related objects. For example, IntelliSense will show that the Customer object has an Orders property for all orders related to that customer.

  3. Save your changes and close the designer.

  4. Save your project.

To add code to query the database and display the results

  1. From the Toolbox, drag a DataGridView control onto the default Windows Form for your project, Form1.

  2. Double-click Form1 to add code to the Load event of the form.

  3. When you added tables to the O/R Designer, the designer added a DataContext object for your project. This object contains the code that you must have to access those tables, in addition to individual objects and collections for each table. The DataContext object for your project is named based on the name of your .dbml file. For this project, the DataContext object is named northwindDataContext.

    You can create an instance of the DataContext in your code and query the tables specified by the O/R Designer.

    Add the following code to the Load event to query the tables that are exposed as properties of your data context.

    Dim db As New northwindDataContext
    
    Dim londonCusts = From cust In db.Customers
                      Where cust.City = "London" 
                      Select cust
    
    DataGridView1.DataSource = londonCusts
    
  4. Press F5 to run your project and view the results.

  5. Following are some additional queries that you can try:

    Dim londonCustOrders = From cust In db.Customers,
                                ord In cust.Orders
                           Where cust.City = "London"
                           Order By ord.OrderID
                           Select cust.City, ord.OrderID, ord.OrderDate
    
    DataGridView1.DataSource = londonCustOrders
    
    
    ...
    
    
    Dim custs = From cust In db.Customers 
                Where cust.Country = "France" And
                    (cust.CompanyName.StartsWith("F") Or
                     cust.CompanyName.StartsWith("V"))
                Order By cust.CompanyName
                Select cust.CompanyName, cust.City
    
    DataGridView1.DataSource = custs
    
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