LINQ Inner-Join vs Left-Join


Question

Using extension syntax I'm trying to create a left-join using LINQ on two lists that I have. The following is from the Microsoft help but I've modified it to show that the pets list has no elements. What I'm ending up with is a list of 0 elements. I assume that this is because an inner-join is taking place. What I want to end up with is a list of 3 elements (the 3 Person objects) with null data filled in for the missing elements. i.e. a Left-Join. Is this possible?

Person magnus = new Person { Name = "Hedlund, Magnus" };
Person terry = new Person { Name = "Adams, Terry" };
Person charlotte = new Person { Name = "Weiss, Charlotte" };

//Pet barley = new Pet { Name = "Barley", Owner = terry };
//Pet boots = new Pet { Name = "Boots", Owner = terry };
//Pet whiskers = new Pet { Name = "Whiskers", Owner = charlotte };
//Pet daisy = new Pet { Name = "Daisy", Owner = magnus };

List<Person> people = new List<Person> { magnus, terry, charlotte };
//List<Pet> pets = new List<Pet> { barley, boots, whiskers, daisy };
List<Pet> pets = new List<Pet>();

// Create a list of Person-Pet pairs where 
// each element is an anonymous type that contains a
// Pet's name and the name of the Person that owns the Pet.
var query =
    people.Join(pets,
                person => person,
                pet => pet.Owner,
                (person, pet) =>
                    new { OwnerName = person.Name, Pet = pet.Name }).ToList();
1
42
2/8/2009 5:21:46 AM

Accepted Answer

I think if you want to use extension methods you need to use the GroupJoin

var query =
    people.GroupJoin(pets,
                     person => person,
                     pet => pet.Owner,
                     (person, petCollection) =>
                        new { OwnerName = person.Name,
                              Pet = PetCollection.Select( p => p.Name )
                                                 .DefaultIfEmpty() }
                    ).ToList();

You may have to play around with the selection expression. I'm not sure it would give you want you want in the case where you have a 1-to-many relationship.

I think it's a little easier with the LINQ Query syntax

var query = (from person in context.People
             join pet in context.Pets on person equals pet.Owner
             into tempPets
             from pets in tempPets.DefaultIfEmpty()
             select new { OwnerName = person.Name, Pet = pets.Name })
            .ToList();
75
12/18/2014 6:40:36 PM

You need to get the joined objects into a set and then apply DefaultIfEmpty as JPunyon said:

Person magnus = new Person { Name = "Hedlund, Magnus" };
Person terry = new Person { Name = "Adams, Terry" };
Person charlotte = new Person { Name = "Weiss, Charlotte" };

Pet barley = new Pet { Name = "Barley", Owner = terry };
List<Person> people = new List<Person> { magnus, terry, charlotte };
List<Pet> pets = new List<Pet>{barley};

var results =
    from person in people
    join pet in pets on person.Name equals pet.Owner.Name into ownedPets
    from ownedPet in ownedPets.DefaultIfEmpty(new Pet())
    orderby person.Name
    select new { OwnerName = person.Name, ownedPet.Name };


foreach (var item in results)
{
    Console.WriteLine(
        String.Format("{0,-25} has {1}", item.OwnerName, item.Name ) );
}

Outputs:

Adams, Terry              has Barley
Hedlund, Magnus           has
Weiss, Charlotte          has

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow
Icon