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How to: Execute a Query that Returns RefType Results

This topic shows how to execute a command against a conceptual model by using an EntityCommand object, and how to retrieve the RefType 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):

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Data.Common;
    using System.Data;
    using System.IO;
    using System.Data.SqlClient;
    using System.Data.EntityClient;
    using System.Data.Metadata.Edm;


This example executes a query that returns RefType results. If you pass the following query as an argument to the ExectueRefTypeQuery function, the function returns a reference to the entity:

SELECT REF(p) FROM AdventureWorksEntities.Products as p

If you pass a parameterized query, like the following, add the EntityParameter objects to the Parameters property on the EntityCommand object.

SELECT REF(p) FROM AdventureWorksEntities.Products as p WHERE p.ProductID == @productID

static public void ExectueRefTypeQuery(string esqlQuery)
    if (esqlQuery.Length == 0)
        Console.WriteLine("The query string is empty.");

    using (EntityConnection conn =
        new EntityConnection("name=AdventureWorksEntities"))

        // Create an EntityCommand.
        using (EntityCommand cmd = conn.CreateCommand())
            cmd.CommandText = esqlQuery;
            // Execute the command.
            using (EntityDataReader rdr =
                // Start reading results.
                while (rdr.Read())
                    RefTypeVisitRecord(rdr as IExtendedDataRecord);

static void RefTypeVisitRecord(IExtendedDataRecord record)
    // For RefType the record contains exactly one field.
    int fieldIndex = 0;

    // If the field is flagged as DbNull, the shape of the value is undetermined.
    // An attempt to get such a value may trigger an exception.
    if (record.IsDBNull(fieldIndex) == false)
        BuiltInTypeKind fieldTypeKind = record.DataRecordInfo.FieldMetadata[fieldIndex].
        //read only fields that contain PrimitiveType
        if (fieldTypeKind == BuiltInTypeKind.RefType)
            // Ref types are surfaced as EntityKey instances. 
            // The containing record sees them as atomic.
            EntityKey key = record.GetValue(fieldIndex) as EntityKey;
            // Get the EntitySet name.
            Console.WriteLine("EntitySetName " + key.EntitySetName);
            // Get the Name and the Value information of the EntityKey.
            foreach (EntityKeyMember keyMember in key.EntityKeyValues)
                Console.WriteLine("   Key Name: " + keyMember.Key);
                Console.WriteLine("   Key Value: " + keyMember.Value);

See Also