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 that you need to generate the single value using the data returned by a SqlDataReader.
A typical ExecuteScalar query can be formatted as in the following C# example:
The following example creates a SqlCommand and then executes it using ExecuteScalar. The example is passed a string representing a new value to be inserted into a table, and a string to use to connect to the data source. The function returns the new Identity column value if a new row was inserted, 0 on failure.
Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)