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IDbCommand.ExecuteScalar Method

Executes the query, and returns the first column of the first row in the resultset returned by the query. Extra columns or rows are ignored.

Namespace:  System.Data
Assembly:  System.Data (in System.Data.dll)
Object ExecuteScalar()

Return Value

Type: System.Object
The first column of the first row in the resultset.

Use the ExecuteScalar method to retrieve a single value (for example, an aggregate value) from a database. This requires less code than using the ExecuteReader method, and then performing the operations necessary to generate the single value using the data returned by an IDataReader.

A typical ExecuteScalar query can be formatted as in the following C# example:

 CommandText = "select count(*) as NumberOfRegions from region";
 Int32 count = (int) ExecuteScalar();

If the first column of the first row in the result set is not found, a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) is returned. If the value in the database is null, the query returns DBNull.Value.

The following example creates an instance of the derived class, SqlCommand, and then executes it using ExecuteScalar. The example is passed a string that is a Transact-SQL statement that returns an aggregate result, and a string to use to connect to the data source.

public void CreateSqlCommand(
    string queryString, SqlConnection connection) 
{
    SqlCommand command = new 
        SqlCommand(queryString, connection);
    command.Connection.Open();
    command.ExecuteScalar();
    connection.Close();
}

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0
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