How to: Execute a Query that Returns Nested Collections


This shows how to execute a command against a conceptual model by using an EntityCommand object, and how to retrieve the nested collection results by using an EntityDataReader.

To run the code in this example

  1. Add the AdventureWorks Sales Model to your project and configure your project to use the Entity Framework. For more information, see How to: Use the Entity Data Model Wizard.

  2. In the code page for your application, add the following using statements (Imports in Visual Basic):

    Imports System
    Imports System.Collections.Generic
    Imports System.Collections
    Imports System.Data.Common
    Imports System.Data
    Imports System.IO
    Imports System.Data.SqlClient
    Imports System.Data.EntityClient
    Imports System.Data.Metadata.Edm


A nested collection is a collection that is inside another collection. The following code retrieves a collection of Contacts and the nested collections of SalesOrderHeaders that are associated with each Contact.

Using conn As New EntityConnection("name=AdventureWorksEntities")
    ' Create an EntityCommand. 
    Using cmd As EntityCommand = conn.CreateCommand()
        ' Create a nested query. 
        Dim esqlQuery As String = "Select c.ContactID, c.SalesOrderHeaders" & _
            " From AdventureWorksEntities.Contacts as c"

        cmd.CommandText = esqlQuery
        ' Execute the command. 
        Using rdr As EntityDataReader = cmd.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.SequentialAccess)
            ' The result returned by this query contains 
            ' ContactID and a nested collection of SalesOrderHeader items. 
            ' associated with this Contact. 
            While rdr.Read()
                ' the first column contains Contact ID. 
                Console.WriteLine("Contact ID: {0}", rdr("ContactID"))

                ' The second column contains a collection of SalesOrderHeader 
                ' items associated with the Contact. 
                Dim nestedReader As DbDataReader = rdr.GetDataReader(1)
                While nestedReader.Read()
                    Console.WriteLine(" SalesOrderID: {0} ", nestedReader("SalesOrderID"))
                    Console.WriteLine(" OrderDate: {0} ", nestedReader("OrderDate"))
                End While
            End While
        End Using
    End Using
End Using