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Posted 24 Oct 2011


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Extension Method to help with EF Code First updating

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24 Oct 2011     CPOL    
An Extension Method that might help you copy over the values from one object to another, provided they are of the same type.

I just started working with EF Code First and MVC 3 and I ran into a bit of trouble when updating the database with a modified entity because the entity I was receiving from the actions parameter was not the same reference as the one in the DbSet.

Here is a small extension method that might help you copy over the values from one object to another, provided they are of the same type:

public static void CopyPropertiesTo<T>(this T source, T destination) where T : class
    if(source == null)
        throw new ArgumentNullException("source");

    if (destination == null)
        throw new ArgumentNullException("destination");

    var fields = GetPropertyValues(source);
    // Get property values.
    var properties = FormatterServices.GetObjectData(source, fields);
    FormatterServices.PopulateObjectMembers(destination, fields, properties);

private static MemberInfo[] GetPropertyValues<T>(T source) where T : class
    var fieldList = new List<MemberInfo>();
    var instanceType = source.GetType();
    while (instanceType != null && instanceType != typeof (Object))
        fieldList.AddRange(instanceType.GetFields(BindingFlags.Public | 
                                                  BindingFlags.NonPublic | 
                                                  BindingFlags.Instance | 
        instanceType = instanceType.BaseType;

    return fieldList.ToArray();

You can then use it as follows:

public ActionResult Edit(Entity entity)
    var entityInDbSet = _context.Set.SingleOrDefault(x => x.Id == entity.Id);



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

George Danila
Software Developer (Junior) IT Perspectives
Romania Romania
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