DbDataAdapter.Fill Method (DataSet, Int32, Int32, String)


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Adds or refreshes rows in a specified range in the DataSet to match those in the data source using the DataSet and DataTable names.

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

Public Function Fill (
	dataSet As DataSet,
	startRecord As Integer,
	maxRecords As Integer,
	srcTable As String
) As Integer


Type: System.Data.DataSet

A DataSet to fill with records and, if necessary, schema.

Type: System.Int32

The zero-based record number to start with.

Type: System.Int32

The maximum number of records to retrieve.

Type: System.String

The name of the source table to use for table mapping.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32

The number of rows successfully added to or refreshed in the DataSet. This does not include rows affected by statements that do not return rows.

Exception Condition

The DataSet is invalid.


The source table is invalid.


The connection is invalid.


The connection could not be found.


The startRecord parameter is less than 0.


The maxRecords parameter is less than 0.

A maxRecords value of 0 gets all records found after the start record. If maxRecords is greater than the number of remaining rows, only the remaining rows are returned, and no error is issued.

If the corresponding select command is a statement returning multiple results, Fill only applies maxRecords to the first result.

The Fill method retrieves the data from the data source using a SELECT statement. The IDbConnection object associated with the SELECT statement must be valid, but it does not need to be open. If the IDbConnection is closed before Fill is called, it is opened to retrieve data and then closed. If the connection is open before Fill is called, it remains open.

If a command does not return any rows, no tables are added to the DataSet, but no exception is raised.

If the DbDataAdapter object encounters duplicate columns while populating a DataTable, it will generate names for the subsequent columns, using the pattern "columnname1", "columnname2", "columnname3", and so on. If the incoming data contains unnamed columns, they are placed in the DataSet according to the pattern "Column1", "Column2", and so on.

When the query specified returns multiple results, each result set is placed in a separate table. Additional result sets are named by appending integral values to the specified table name (for example, "Table", "Table1", "Table2", and so on). Because no table is created for a query that does not return rows, if you process an insert query followed by a select query, the table created for the select query is named "Table", because it is the first table created. Applications using column and table names should ensure that conflicts with these naming patterns does not occur.

The Fill method supports scenarios where the DataSet contains multiple DataTable objects whose names differ only by case. In such situations, Fill performs a case-sensitive comparison to find the corresponding table, and creates a new table if no exact match exists. The following C# code illustrates this behavior.

DataSet dataset = new DataSet();
adapter.Fill(dataset, "aaa"); // Fills "aaa", which already exists in the DataSet.
adapter.Fill(dataset, "Aaa"); // Adds a new table called "Aaa".

If Fill is called and the DataSet contains only one DataTable whose name differs only by case, that DataTable is updated. In this scenario, the comparison is case insensitive. The following C# code illustrates this behavior.

DataSet dataset = new DataSet();
adapter.Fill(dataset, "AAA"); // Fills table "aaa" because only one similarly named table is in the DataSet.

If an error or an exception is encountered while populating the data tables, rows added prior to the occurrence of the error remain in the data tables. The remainder of the operation is aborted.

When the SELECT statement used to populate the DataSet returns multiple results, such as batch SQL statements, be aware of the following:

  • When processing multiple results from a batch SQL statement, maxRecords only applies to the first result. The same is true for rows containing chaptered results (.NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB only). The top level result is limited by maxRecords, but all child rows are added.

  • If one of the results contains an error, all subsequent results are skipped and not added to the DataSet.

When using subsequent Fill calls to refresh the contents of the DataSet, two conditions must be met:

  1. The SQL statement should match the one initially used to populate the DataSet.

  2. The Key column information must be present.

If primary key information is present, any duplicate rows will be reconciled and only appear once in the DataTable that corresponds to the DataSet. Primary key information may be set either through FillSchema, by specifying the PrimaryKey property of the DataTable, or by setting the MissingSchemaAction property to AddWithKey.

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


When handling batch SQL statements that return multiple results, the implementation of FillSchema for the .NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB retrieves schema information for only the first result. To retrieve schema information for multiple results, use Fill with the MissingSchemaAction set to AddWithKey.


The DataSet will not contain more than the number of records indicated by maxRecords. However, the entire result set generated by the query is still returned from the server.

Notes to Inheritors:

When overriding Fill in a derived class, be sure to call the base class's Fill method.

The following example uses the derived class, OleDbDataAdapter, to fill a DataSet with 15 rows, beginning at row 10, from the Categories table. This example assumes that you have created an OleDbDataAdapter and a DataSet.

Public Sub GetRecords()
    ' ...
    ' create dataSet and adapter
    ' ...
    adapter.Fill(dataSet, 9, 15, "Categories")
End Sub

.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
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