DataSet.Merge Method (DataSet, Boolean)


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Merges a specified DataSet and its schema into the current DataSet, preserving or discarding any changes in this DataSet according to the given argument.

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

Public Sub Merge (
	dataSet As DataSet,
	preserveChanges As Boolean


Type: System.Data.DataSet

The DataSet whose data and schema will be merged.

Type: System.Boolean

true to preserve changes in the current DataSet; otherwise false.

The Merge method is used to merge two DataSet objects that have largely similar schemas. A merge is typically used on a client application to incorporate the latest changes from a data source into an existing DataSet. This allows the client application to have a refreshed DataSet with the latest data from the data source.

The Merge method is typically called at the end of a series of procedures that involve validating changes, reconciling errors, updating the data source with the changes, and finally refreshing the existing DataSet.

In a client application, it is common to have a single button that the user can click that gathers the changed data and validates it before sending it back to a middle-tier component. In this scenario, the GetChanges method is first invoked. That method returns a second DataSet optimized for validating and merging. This second DataSet object contains only the DataTable and DataRow objects that were changed, resulting in a subset of the original DataSet. This subset is generally smaller, and thus more efficiently passed back to a middle-tier component. The middle-tier component then updates the original data source with the changes through stored procedures. The middle tier can then send back either a new DataSet that includes original data and the latest data from the data source (by running the original query again), or it can send back the subset with any changes that have been made to it from the data source. (For example, if the data source automatically creates unique primary key values, these values can be propagated back to the client application.) In either case, the returned DataSet can be merged back into the client application's original DataSet with the Merge method.

When the Merge method is called, the schemas of the two DataSet objects are compared because it is possible that the schemas may have been changed. For example, in a business-to-business scenario, new columns may have been added to an XML schema by an automated process. If the source DataSet contains schema elements (added DataColumn objects) that are missing in the target, the schema elements can be added to the target by setting the missingSchemaAction argument to MissingSchemaAction.Add. In that case, the merged DataSet contains the added schema and data.

After merging schemas, the data is merged.

When merging a new source DataSet into the target, any source rows with a DataRowState value of Unchanged, Modified, or Deleted are matched to target rows with the same primary key values. Source rows with a DataRowState value of Added are matched to new target rows with the same primary key values as the new source rows.

During a merge, constraints are disabled. If any constraints cannot be enabled at the end of merge, a ConstraintException is generated and the merged data is retained while the constraints are disabled. In this case, the EnforceConstraints property is set to false, and all rows that are invalid are marked in error. The errors must be resolved before attempting to reset the EnforceConstraints property to true.

The following example creates a simple DataSet with one table, two columns, and ten rows. After adding ten rows, two values are changed, and one row is added. A subset of the changed data is created using the GetChanges method. After reconciling errors, the subset data is merged into the original DataSet.

Private Sub DemonstrateMerge()
    ' Create a DataSet with one table, two columns, 
    ' and three rows.
    Dim dataSet As New DataSet("dataSet")
    Dim table As New DataTable("Items")
    Dim idColumn As New DataColumn("id", _
        Type.GetType("System.Int32"), "")
    idColumn.AutoIncrement = True
    Dim itemColumn As New DataColumn("Item", _
        Type.GetType("System.Int32"), "")

    ' Create DataColumn array to set primary key.
    Dim keyColumn(1) As DataColumn
    Dim row As DataRow

    ' Create variable for temporary DataSet. 
    Dim changesDataSet As DataSet

    ' Add RowChanged event handler for the table.
    AddHandler table.RowChanged, AddressOf Row_Changed

    ' Set primary key column.
    keyColumn(0) = idColumn
    table.PrimaryKey = keyColumn

    ' Add ten rows.
    Dim i As Integer
    For i = 0 To 9
        row = table.NewRow()
        row("Item") = i
    Next i

    ' Accept changes.
    PrintValues(dataSet, "Original values")

    ' Change row values.
    table.Rows(0)("Item") = 50
    table.Rows(1)("Item") = 111

    ' Add one row.
    row = table.NewRow()
    row("Item") = 74

    ' Insert code for error checking. Set one row in error.
    table.Rows(1).RowError = "over 100"
    PrintValues(dataSet, "Modified and New Values")

    ' If the table has changes or errors, create a subset DataSet.
    If dataSet.HasChanges(DataRowState.Modified Or DataRowState.Added) _
        And dataSet.HasErrors Then
        ' Use GetChanges to extract subset.
        changesDataSet = dataSet.GetChanges( _
            DataRowState.Modified Or DataRowState.Added)
        PrintValues(changesDataSet, "Subset values")

        ' Insert code to reconcile errors. In this case, reject changes.
        Dim changesTable As DataTable
        For Each changesTable In  changesDataSet.Tables
            If changesTable.HasErrors Then
                Dim changesRow As DataRow
                For Each changesRow In  changesTable.Rows
                    If CInt(changesRow("Item", _
                        DataRowVersion.Current)) > 100 Then
                    End If
                Next changesRow
            End If
        Next changesTable

        ' Add a column to the changesDataSet.
        changesDataSet.Tables("Items").Columns.Add( _
            New DataColumn("newColumn"))
        PrintValues(changesDataSet, "Reconciled subset values")

        ' Merge changes back to first DataSet.
        dataSet.Merge(changesDataSet, False, _
    End If
    PrintValues(dataSet, "Merged Values")
End Sub

 Private Sub Row_Changed(sender As Object, e As DataRowChangeEventArgs)
     Console.WriteLine("Row Changed " + e.Action.ToString() _
        + ControlChars.Tab + e.Row.ItemArray(0).ToString())
 End Sub

Private Sub PrintValues(dataSet As DataSet, label As String)
     Console.WriteLine(label + ControlChars.Cr)
     Dim table As DataTable
     For Each table In  dataSet.Tables
         Console.WriteLine("TableName: " + table.TableName)
         Dim row As DataRow
         For Each row In  table.Rows
             Dim column As DataColumn
             For Each column In  table.Columns
                 Console.Write(ControlChars.Tab & " " _
                    & row(column).ToString())
             Next column
         Next row
     Next table
End Sub

.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
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