Monday, 29 August 2011

Projecting a discriminator column into a DTO

To project the discriminator value into a DTO is quite a simple thing to achieve using QueryOver in NHibernate.

I have the following table that I am using the table-per-class-hierarchy strategy. The discriminator column is a string and contains values such as 'Movie', 'Book' etc.

For the following mapping code:-
public class ProductMapping : EntityMapping<Product> {
  public ProductMapping() {
    Property(x => x.Name);
    Property(x => x.Description);
    Discriminator(x => x.Column("ProductType"));
Note: I am not exposing the discriminator as a separate property, we really should let NHibernate handle this for us.

The DTO looks like this:-
public class ProductDto {
  public string ProductType { get; set; }
  public string Name { get; set; }
Now we need to select build the Query, notice we are using .GetType() to return the underlying discriminator value and project it into a string, for example:-
ProductDto dto = null;

return Session
  .SelectList(i => i  
    .Select(p => p.Name).WithAlias(() => dto.Name)  
    .Select(p => p.GetType()).WithAlias(() => dto.ProductType)
The above code returns:-

Is it possible to do the same using linq? The answer of course is yes, however we need to also add the .GetType().Name which gets the name of the current member:-
return (from product in Session.Query<product>()
  select new ProductDto{  
    Name = product.Name,
    ProductType = product.GetType().Name
You should be aware though that the Linq version will return the underlying class name and not the discriminator value. This means that your class name should be the same as your discriminator value. QueryOver however does NOT have the same limitations.

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