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ForeignKeyConstraint Class

Represents an action restriction enforced on a set of columns in a primary key/foreign key relationship when a value or row is either deleted or updated.

Namespace: System.Data
Assembly: System.Data (in system.data.dll)

public ref class ForeignKeyConstraint : public Constraint
public class ForeignKeyConstraint extends Constraint
public class ForeignKeyConstraint extends Constraint
Not applicable.

A ForeignKeyConstraint restricts the action performed when a value in a column (or columns) is either deleted or updated. Such a constraint is intended to be used with primary key columns. In a parent/child relationship between two tables, deleting a value from the parent table can affect the child rows in one of the following ways.

  • The child rows can also be deleted (a cascading action).

  • The values in the child column (or columns) can be set to null values.

  • The values in the child column (or columns) can be set to default values.

  • An exception can be generated.

ForeignKeyConstraint objects are contained in the ConstraintCollection of a DataTable, which is accessed through the Constraints property.

Constraints are not enforced unless the EnforceConstraints property is set to true.

The AcceptRejectRule is enforced whenever a DataTable object's AcceptChanges method is invoked.

The following example creates a ForeignKeyConstraint, sets some of its properties, and adds it to a DataTable object's ConstraintCollection.

' The next line goes into the Declarations section of the module:
' SuppliersProducts is a class derived from DataSet.
Private suppliersProducts As SuppliersProducts

Private Sub CreateConstraint()
    ' Declare parent column and child column variables.
    Dim parentColumn As DataColumn
    Dim childColumn As DataColumn
    Dim fkeyConstraint As ForeignKeyConstraint

    ' Set parent and child column variables.
    parentColumn = suppliersProducts.Tables("Suppliers").Columns("SupplierID")
    childColumn = suppliersProducts.Tables("Products").Columns("SupplierID")
    fkeyConstraint = New ForeignKeyConstraint( _
        "SupplierFKConstraint", parentColumn, childColumn)

    ' Set null values when a value is deleted.
    fkeyConstraint.DeleteRule = Rule.SetNull
    fkeyConstraint.UpdateRule = Rule.Cascade
    fkeyConstraint.AcceptRejectRule = AcceptRejectRule.Cascade

    ' Add the constraint, and set EnforceConstraints to true.
    suppliersProducts.Tables("Products").Constraints.Add(fkeyConstraint)
    suppliersProducts.EnforceConstraints = True
End Sub

System.Object
   System.Data.Constraint
    System.Data.ForeignKeyConstraint

This type is safe for multithreaded read operations. You must synchronize any write operations.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0

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