C# – Join strings with a separator, ignoring nulls and empty strings

Normally when you want to join strings using a separator, you’d use string.Join(). However, the problem with string.Join() is it doesn’t ignore nulls or empty strings. Take a look at the following examples: If you want to filter out nulls and empty strings, you can filter the list of strings yourself and pass it into … Read more

C# – Enum generic type constraint

In C# 7.3, Microsoft added the ability to specify an Enum as a generic constraint, like this: Whenever you have a generic method, it’s a good idea to use generic type constraints. Without constraints, you would have to implement type checking in the generic method and throw exceptions if an invalid type was used. With … Read more

SqlException: Cannot insert explicit value for identity column

When you have a table with an identity column, and you try to specify the value for identity column when inserting a record, you’ll get the following exception: Microsoft.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Cannot insert explicit value for identity column in table ‘Movies’ when IDENTITY_INSERT is set to OFF. This error means you have an identity column in … Read more

C# – Conditional compilation

You can exclude specific code from being compiled by using conditional compilation symbols. There are a few predefined symbols that support common scenarios – conditional compilation based on target framework (ex: .NET 5 vs .NET Core 3.1) and based on build configuration (Debug vs Release). In addition, you can add your own symbols to handle … Read more

C# – Remove a set of characters from a string

The fastest and simplest way to remove a set of characters from a string is to use StringBuilder + List<char>, like this: I compared this with three other approaches. I did 100,000 iterations with a string with 2500 characters and a list of 15 characters to remove. This StringBuilder approach is almost 2x faster than … Read more

C# – Convert a list of strings into a set of enums

Let’s say you have a list of HTTP status codes that you read in when the service starts up (perhaps from appsettings.json or from the database). Whenever you send an HTTP request, you want to check if the returned status code is in this list of status code. To make things more efficient, you want … Read more

EF Core – Aggregate SELECT queries

In this article, I’ll show how to use EF Core to aggregate data for the whole table, per group, and how to only include groups that meet a condition. I’ll show three different aggregates – count, sum, and average. In each scenario, I’ll show the LINQ query, the SQL query it generated, and the results … Read more

EF Core – SELECT queries involving multiple tables

When you have tables that are related, you’ll often need to get data from both tables at once, or filter records from one table based on values in another table. In this article, I’ll show examples of executing queries like this where more than one table is involved. You can do most queries using LINQ. … Read more