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How to: Attach an Existing Entity to the DataServiceContext (WCF Data Services)

When an entity already exists in a data service, the WCF Data Services client library enables you to attach an object that represents the entity directly to the DataServiceContext without first executing a query. For more information, see Updating the Data Service (WCF Data Services).

The example in this topic uses the Northwind sample data service and autogenerated client data service classes. This service and the client data classes are created when you complete the WCF Data Services quickstart.

The following example shows how to create an existing Customer object that contains changes to be saved to the data service. The object is attached to the context and the UpdateObject method is called to mark the attached object as Modified before the SaveChanges method is called.

// Create the DataServiceContext using the service URI.
NorthwindEntities context = new NorthwindEntities(svcUri);

// Define an existing customer to attach, including the key.
Customer customer = 
    Customer.CreateCustomer("ALFKI", "Alfreds Futterkiste");

// Set current property values.
customer.Address = "Obere Str. 57";
customer.City = "Berlin";
customer.PostalCode = "12209";
customer.Country = "Germany";

// Set property values to update.
customer.ContactName = "Peter Franken";
customer.ContactTitle = "Marketing Manager";
customer.Phone = "089-0877310";
customer.Fax = "089-0877451";

try
{
    // Attach the existing customer to the context and mark it as updated.
    context.AttachTo("Customers", customer);
    context.UpdateObject(customer);

    // Send updates to the data service.
    context.SaveChanges();
}
catch (DataServiceClientException ex)
{
    throw new ApplicationException(
        "An error occurred when saving changes.", ex);
}
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