Updating Data Sources with DataAdapters


The Update method of the DataAdapter is called to resolve changes from a DataSet back to the data source. The Update method, like the Fill method, takes as arguments an instance of a DataSet, and an optional DataTable object or DataTable name. The DataSet instance is the DataSet that contains the changes that have been made, and the DataTable identifies the table from which to retrieve the changes. If no DataTable is specified, the first DataTable in the DataSet is used.

When you call the Update method, the DataAdapter analyzes the changes that have been made and executes the appropriate command (INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE). When the DataAdapter encounters a change to a DataRow, it uses the InsertCommand, UpdateCommand, or DeleteCommand to process the change. This allows you to maximize the performance of your ADO.NET application by specifying command syntax at design time and, where possible, through the use of stored procedures. You must explicitly set the commands before calling Update. If Update is called and the appropriate command does not exist for a particular update (for example, no DeleteCommand for deleted rows), an exception is thrown.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

If you are using SQL Server stored procedures to edit or delete data using a DataAdapter, make sure that you do not use SET NOCOUNT ON in the stored procedure definition. This causes the rows affected count returned to be zero, which the DataAdapter interprets as a concurrency conflict. In this event, a DBConcurrencyException will be thrown.

Command parameters can be used to specify input and output values for an SQL statement or stored procedure for each modified row in a DataSet. For more information, see DataAdapter Parameters.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

It is important to understand the difference between deleting a row in a DataTable and removing the row. When you call the Remove or RemoveAt method, the row is removed immediately. Any corresponding rows in the back end data source will not be affected if you then pass the DataTable or DataSet to a DataAdapter and call Update. When you use the Delete method, the row remains in the DataTable and is marked for deletion. If you then pass the DataTable or DataSet to a DataAdapter and call Update, the corresponding row in the back end data source is deleted.

If your DataTable maps to or is generated from a single database table, you can take advantage of the DbCommandBuilder object to automatically generate the DeleteCommand, InsertCommand, and UpdateCommand objects for the DataAdapter. For more information, see Generating Commands with CommandBuilders.

You can control how the values returned from the data source are mapped back to the DataTable following a call to the Update method of a DataAdapter, by using the UpdatedRowSource property of a DbCommand object. By setting the UpdatedRowSource property to one of the UpdateRowSource enumeration values, you can control whether output parameters returned by the DataAdapter commands are ignored or applied to the changed row in the DataSet. You can also specify whether the first returned row (if it exists) is applied to the changed row in the DataTable.

The following table describes the different values of the UpdateRowSource enumeration and how they affect the behavior of a command used with a DataAdapter.

UpdatedRowSource EnumerationDescription
BothBoth the output parameters and the first row of a returned result set may be mapped to the changed row in the DataSet.
FirstReturnedRecordOnly the data in the first row of a returned result set may be mapped to the changed row in the DataSet.
NoneAny output parameters or rows of a returned result set are ignored.
OutputParametersOnly output parameters may be mapped to the changed row in the DataSet.

The Update method resolves your changes back to the data source; however other clients may have modified data at the data source since the last time you filled the DataSet. To refresh your DataSet with current data, use the DataAdapter and Fill method. New rows will be added to the table, and updated information will be incorporated into existing rows. The Fill method determines whether a new row will be added or an existing row will be updated by examining the primary key values of the rows in the DataSet and the rows returned by the SelectCommand. If the Fill method encounters a primary key value for a row in the DataSet that matches a primary key value from a row in the results returned by the SelectCommand, it updates the existing row with the information from the row returned by the SelectCommand and sets the RowState of the existing row to Unchanged. If a row returned by the SelectCommand has a primary key value that does not match any of the primary key values of the rows in the DataSet, the Fill method adds a new row with a RowState of Unchanged.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

If the SelectCommand returns the results of an OUTER JOIN, the DataAdapter will not set a PrimaryKey value for the resulting DataTable. You must define the PrimaryKey yourself to ensure that duplicate rows are resolved correctly. For more information, see Defining Primary Keys.

To handle exceptions that may occur when calling the Updatemethod, you can use the RowUpdated event to respond to row update errors as they occur (see Handling DataAdapter Events), or you can set DataAdapter.ContinueUpdateOnError to true before calling Update, and respond to the error information stored in the RowError property of a particular row when the update is complete (see Row Error Information).

Note Calling AcceptChanges on the DataSet, DataTable, or DataRow will cause all Original values for a DataRow to be overwritten with the Current values for the DataRow. If the field values that identify the row as unique have been modified, after calling AcceptChanges the Original values will no longer match the values in the data source. AcceptChanges is called automatically for each row during a call to the Update method of a DataAdapter. You can preserve the original values during a call to the Update method by first setting the AcceptChangesDuringUpdate property of the DataAdapter to false, or by creating an event handler for the RowUpdated event and setting the Status to SkipCurrentRow. For more information, see Merging DataSet Contents and Handling DataAdapter Events.

The following examples demonstrate how to perform updates to modified rows by explicitly setting the UpdateCommand of a DataAdapter and calling its Update method. Notice that the parameter specified in the WHERE clause of the UPDATE statement is set to use the Original value of the SourceColumn. This is important, because the Current value may have been modified and may not match the value in the data source. The Original value is the value that was used to populate the DataTable from the data source.

[!CODE [DataWorks SqlClient.DataAdapterUpdate#1](../CodeSnippet/VS_Snippets_ADO.NET/DataWorks SqlClient.DataAdapterUpdate#1)]

If the tables from your data source have auto-incrementing columns, you can fill the columns in your DataSet either by returning the auto-increment value as an output parameter of a stored procedure and mapping that to a column in a table, by returning the auto-increment value in the first row of a result set returned by a stored procedure or SQL statement, or by using the RowUpdated event of the DataAdapter to execute an additional SELECT statement. For more information and an example, see Retrieving Identity or Autonumber Values.

In many circumstances, the order in which changes made through the DataSet are sent to the data source is important. For example, if a primary key value for an existing row is updated, and a new row has been added with the new primary key value as a foreign key, it is important to process the update before the insert.

You can use the Select method of the DataTable to return a DataRow array that only references rows with a particular RowState. You can then pass the returned DataRow array to the Update method of the DataAdapter to process the modified rows. By specifying a subset of rows to be updated, you can control the order in which inserts, updates, and deletes are processed.

For example, the following code ensures that the deleted rows of the table are processed first, then the updated rows, and then the inserted rows.

DataTable table = dataSet.Tables["Customers"];  
// First process deletes.  
adapter.Update(table.Select(null, null, DataViewRowState.Deleted));  
// Next process updates.  
adapter.Update(table.Select(null, null,   
// Finally, process inserts.  
adapter.Update(table.Select(null, null, DataViewRowState.Added));  

You can use a DataAdapter to retrieve and update the data.

  • The sample uses DataAdapter.AcceptChangesDuringFill to clone the data in the database. If the property is set as false, AcceptChanges is not called when filling the table, and the newly added rows are treated as inserted rows. So, the sample uses these rows to insert the new rows into the database.

  • The samples uses DataAdapter.TableMappings to define the mapping between the source table and DataTable.

  • The sample uses DataAdapter.FillLoadOption to determine how the adapter fills the DataTable from the DbDataReader. When you create a DataTable, you can only write the data from database to the current version or the original version by setting the property as the LoadOption.Upsert or the LoadOption.PreserveChanges.

  • The sample will also update the table by using DbDataAdapter.UpdateBatchSize to perform batch operations.

Before you compile and run the sample, you need to create the sample database:

USE [master]  
USE [MySchool]  
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Course](  
[CourseID] [nvarchar](10) NOT NULL,  
[Year] [smallint] NOT NULL,  
[Title] [nvarchar](100) NOT NULL,  
[Credits] [int] NOT NULL,  
[DepartmentID] [int] NOT NULL,  
[CourseID] ASC,  
[Year] ASC  
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Department](  
[DepartmentID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,  
[Name] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,  
[Budget] [money] NOT NULL,  
[StartDate] [datetime] NOT NULL,  
[Administrator] [int] NULL,  
[DepartmentID] ASC  
INSERT [dbo].[Course] ([CourseID], [Year], [Title], [Credits], [DepartmentID]) VALUES (N'C1045', 2012, N'Calculus', 4, 7)  
INSERT [dbo].[Course] ([CourseID], [Year], [Title], [Credits], [DepartmentID]) VALUES (N'C1061', 2012, N'Physics', 4, 1)  
INSERT [dbo].[Course] ([CourseID], [Year], [Title], [Credits], [DepartmentID]) VALUES (N'C2021', 2012, N'Composition', 3, 2)  
INSERT [dbo].[Course] ([CourseID], [Year], [Title], [Credits], [DepartmentID]) VALUES (N'C2042', 2012, N'Literature', 4, 2)  
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[Department] ON   
INSERT [dbo].[Department] ([DepartmentID], [Name], [Budget], [StartDate], [Administrator]) VALUES (1, N'Engineering', 350000.0000, CAST(0x0000999C00000000 AS DateTime), 2)  
INSERT [dbo].[Department] ([DepartmentID], [Name], [Budget], [StartDate], [Administrator]) VALUES (2, N'English', 120000.0000, CAST(0x0000999C00000000 AS DateTime), 6)  
INSERT [dbo].[Department] ([DepartmentID], [Name], [Budget], [StartDate], [Administrator]) VALUES (4, N'Economics', 200000.0000, CAST(0x0000999C00000000 AS DateTime), 4)  
INSERT [dbo].[Department] ([DepartmentID], [Name], [Budget], [StartDate], [Administrator]) VALUES (7, N'Mathematics', 250024.0000, CAST(0x0000999C00000000 AS DateTime), 3)  
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[Department] OFF  
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[Course]  WITH CHECK ADD  CONSTRAINT [FK_Course_Department] FOREIGN KEY([DepartmentID])  
REFERENCES [dbo].[Department] ([DepartmentID])  
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[Course] CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_Course_Department]  

C# and Visual Basic projects with this code sample can be found on Developer Code Samples.

using System;  
using System.Data;  
using System.Data.Common;  
using System.Data.SqlClient;  
using System.Linq;  
using CSDataAdapterOperations.Properties;  
namespace CSDataAdapterOperations.Properties {  
   internal sealed partial class Settings : global::System.Configuration.ApplicationSettingsBase {  
      private static Settings defaultInstance = ((Settings)(global::System.Configuration.ApplicationSettingsBase.Synchronized(new Settings())));  
      public static Settings Default {  
         get {  
            return defaultInstance;  
      [global::System.Configuration.DefaultSettingValueAttribute("Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=MySchool;Integrated Security=True")]  
      public string MySchoolConnectionString {  
         get {  
            return ((string)(this["MySchoolConnectionString"]));  
class Program {  
   static void Main(string[] args) {  
      Settings settings = new Settings();  
      // Copy the data from the database.  Get the table Department and Course from the database.  
      String selectString = @"SELECT [DepartmentID],[Name],[Budget],[StartDate],[Administrator]  
                                     FROM [MySchool].[dbo].[Department];  
                                   SELECT [CourseID],@Year as [Year],Max([Title]) as [Title],  
                                   Max([Credits]) as [Credits],Max([DepartmentID]) as [DepartmentID]  
                                   FROM [MySchool].[dbo].[Course]  
                                   Group by [CourseID]";  
      DataSet mySchool = new DataSet();  
      SqlCommand selectCommand = new SqlCommand(selectString);  
      SqlParameter parameter = selectCommand.Parameters.Add("@Year", SqlDbType.SmallInt, 2);  
      parameter.Value = new Random(DateTime.Now.Millisecond).Next(9999);  
      // Use DataTableMapping to map the source tables and the destination tables.  
      DataTableMapping[] tableMappings = {new DataTableMapping("Table", "Department"), new DataTableMapping("Table1", "Course")};  
      CopyData(mySchool, settings.MySchoolConnectionString, selectCommand, tableMappings);  
      Console.WriteLine("The following tables are from the database.");  
      foreach (DataTable table in mySchool.Tables) {  
      // Roll back the changes  
      DataTable department = mySchool.Tables["Department"];  
      DataTable course = mySchool.Tables["Course"];  
      department.Rows[0]["Name"] = "New" + department.Rows[0][1];  
      course.Rows[0]["Title"] = "New" + course.Rows[0]["Title"];  
      course.Rows[0]["Credits"] = 10;  
      Console.WriteLine("After we changed the tables:");  
      foreach (DataTable table in mySchool.Tables) {  
      Console.WriteLine("After use the RejectChanges method in Department table to roll back the changes:");  
      DataColumn[] primaryColumns = { course.Columns["CourseID"] };  
      DataColumn[] resetColumns = { course.Columns["Title"] };  
      ResetCourse(course, settings.MySchoolConnectionString, primaryColumns, resetColumns);  
      Console.WriteLine("After use the ResetCourse method in Course table to roll back the changes:");  
      // Batch update the table.  
      String insertString = @"Insert into [MySchool].[dbo].[Course]([CourseID],[Year],[Title],   
             values (@CourseID,@Year,@Title,@Credits,@DepartmentID)";  
      SqlCommand insertCommand = new SqlCommand(insertString);  
      insertCommand.Parameters.Add("@CourseID", SqlDbType.NVarChar, 10, "CourseID");  
      insertCommand.Parameters.Add("@Year", SqlDbType.SmallInt, 2, "Year");  
      insertCommand.Parameters.Add("@Title", SqlDbType.NVarChar, 100, "Title");  
      insertCommand.Parameters.Add("@Credits", SqlDbType.Int, 4, "Credits");  
      insertCommand.Parameters.Add("@DepartmentID", SqlDbType.Int, 4, "DepartmentID");  
      const Int32 batchSize = 10;  
      BatchInsertUpdate(course, settings.MySchoolConnectionString, insertCommand, batchSize);  
   private static void CopyData(DataSet dataSet, String connectionString, SqlCommand selectCommand, DataTableMapping[] tableMappings) {  
      using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString)) {  
         selectCommand.Connection = connection;  
         using (SqlDataAdapter adapter = new SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand)) {adapter.TableMappings.AddRange(tableMappings);  
            // If set the AcceptChangesDuringFill as the false, AcceptChanges will not be called on a   
            // DataRow after it is added to the DataTable during any of the Fill operations.  
            adapter.AcceptChangesDuringFill = false;  
   // Roll back only one column or several columns data of the Course table by call ResetDataTable method.  
   private static void ResetCourse(DataTable table, String connectionString,  
       DataColumn[] primaryColumns, DataColumn[] resetColumns) {  
      table.PrimaryKey = primaryColumns;  
      // Build the query string  
      String primaryCols = String.Join(",", primaryColumns.Select(col => col.ColumnName));  
      String resetCols = String.Join(",", resetColumns.Select(col => "Max(" + col.ColumnName + ") as " + col.ColumnName));  
      String selectString = String.Format("Select {0},{1} from Course Group by {0}", primaryCols, resetCols);  
      SqlCommand selectCommand = new SqlCommand(selectString);  
      ResetDataTable(table, connectionString, selectCommand);  
   // RejectChanges will roll back all changes made to the table since it was loaded, or the last time AcceptChanges   
   // was called. When you copy from the database, you can lose all the data after calling RejectChanges  
   // The ResetDataTable method rolls back one or more columns of data.  
   private static void ResetDataTable(DataTable table, String connectionString,  
       SqlCommand selectCommand) {  
      using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString)) {  
         selectCommand.Connection = connection;  
         using (SqlDataAdapter adapter = new SqlDataAdapter(selectCommand)) {  
            // The incoming values for this row will be written to the current version of each   
            // column. The original version of each column's data will not be changed.  
            adapter.FillLoadOption = LoadOption.Upsert;  
   private static void BatchInsertUpdate(DataTable table, String connectionString,  
       SqlCommand insertCommand, Int32 batchSize) {  
      using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString)) {  
         insertCommand.Connection = connection;  
         // When setting UpdateBatchSize to a value other than 1, all the commands   
         // associated with the SqlDataAdapter have to have their UpdatedRowSource   
         // property set to None or OutputParameters. An exception is thrown otherwise.  
         insertCommand.UpdatedRowSource = UpdateRowSource.None;  
         using (SqlDataAdapter adapter = new SqlDataAdapter()) {  
            adapter.InsertCommand = insertCommand;  
            // Gets or sets the number of rows that are processed in each round-trip to the server.  
            // Setting it to 1 disables batch updates, as rows are sent one at a time.  
            adapter.UpdateBatchSize = batchSize;  
            Console.WriteLine("Successfully to update the table.");  
   private static void ShowDataTable(DataTable table) {  
      foreach (DataColumn col in table.Columns) {  
         Console.Write("{0,-14}", col.ColumnName);  
      Console.WriteLine("{0,-14}", "RowState");  
      foreach (DataRow row in table.Rows) {  
         foreach (DataColumn col in table.Columns) {  
            if (col.DataType.Equals(typeof(DateTime)))  
               Console.Write("{0,-14:d}", row[col]);  
            else if (col.DataType.Equals(typeof(Decimal)))  
               Console.Write("{0,-14:C}", row[col]);  
               Console.Write("{0,-14}", row[col]);  
         Console.WriteLine("{0,-14}", row.RowState);  

DataAdapters and DataReaders
Row States and Row Versions
AcceptChanges and RejectChanges
Merging DataSet Contents
Retrieving Identity or Autonumber Values
ADO.NET Managed Providers and DataSet Developer Center