Concurrency in Entity Framework 4.1 code first.

Let us assume we have a person entity and it looks as below

Imports System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations
Public Class Person

    Public Property ID As Integer
    <StringLength(50)>
    Public Property FirstName As String
    <Timestamp()>
    Public Property RowVersion As Byte()

End Class

Using EF 4.1 and code first, a typical update would look as show below

       Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Try
                Dim personEntity = entities.People.Where(Function(p) p.ID = 1).FirstOrDefault
                personEntity.FirstName = "CCC"
                entities.SaveChanges()
            Catch concurrencyException As DbUpdateConcurrencyException
                Throw New Exception("The record u r trying to update has changed")
            Catch ex As Exception
                Throw New Exception("Some Exception")

            End Try
        End Using
Since our main focus is to test Concurrency, let put a break point at the line Highlighted, start debugging when the debugger stops at personEntity.FirstName = "CCC", in the database update the person firstname, then continue debugging, on the savechanges you would get a DbUpdateConcurrencyException. This is pretty straight forward and works as expected. Let’s take a different scenario, for e.g. in multi tier MVC application

1.    In the service layer I would do get person, say the person FirstName is ‘A’, RowVersion is 1
2.    I would then build a ViewModel, take only a few data elements from person entity I need for the viewModel, I don’t transfer the person entity across tiers, meaning my controller only know about my viewmodel and is unaware of my domain object which is person. In order to check for Concurrency I will create a property in my ViewModel called PersonRowVersion and store the rowversion in it.
3.    As the data is being manipulated by my view, let us assume the record in the database was updated as well.  Say FirstName in the Database is ‘B’ and RowVersion is 2
4.    Now my View modified the person FirstName to ‘C’, I had stored my RowVersion either using a hidden field or in the Tempdata. I build the ViewModel, take the modified FirstName which is ‘C’ and restore the RowVersion from my hidden field which is 1
5.    In the service layer, I get the person entity from the database, which will have the FirstName = ‘B” and RowVersion = “2”. I update the FirstName to “C” and RowVersion to “1” and do Context.Savechanges. The update happens but no concurrency exception is raised
6.    In order to get the Concurrency Exception you will have to modify the OriginalValue of the property that is used for tracking concurrency, in my case it is RowVersion. Something like this

entities.Entry(personEntity).Property("RowVersion").OriginalValue = _rowVersion

I have created a few test cases (Windows client application) to mimic this process. The idea is to show what works and what does not.

Imports System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure

Public Class Form1

    Private _fName As String
    Private _rowVersion As Byte()
    Private _person As Person

    Private Sub CreateDB_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles CreateDB.Click
        Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Dim personEntity As New Person With {.FirstName = "AAA"}
            entities.People.Add(personEntity)
            entities.SaveChanges()
        End Using
    End Sub

    Private Sub Get1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Get1.Click
        Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Dim personEntity = entities.People.Where(Function(p) p.ID = 1).FirstOrDefault
            _fName = personEntity.FirstName
            _rowVersion = personEntity.RowVersion
            _person = personEntity
        End Using
    End Sub

    Private Sub TestConcurrencyWrongWayButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles TestConcurrencyWrongWayButton.Click
        Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Try
                Dim personEntity = entities.People.Where(Function(p) p.ID = 1).FirstOrDefault
                personEntity.FirstName = "CCC"
                personEntity.RowVersion = _rowVersion
                entities.SaveChanges()
            Catch concurrencyException As DbUpdateConcurrencyException
                Throw New Exception("The record u r trying to update has changed")
            Catch ex As Exception
                Throw New Exception("Some Exception")

            End Try

        End Using
    End Sub

    Private Sub TestConcurrencyRightWayButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles TestConcurrencyRightWayButton.Click
        Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Try
                Dim personEntity = entities.People.Where(Function(p) p.ID = 1).FirstOrDefault
                personEntity.FirstName = "CCC"
                entities.Entry(personEntity).Property("RowVersion").OriginalValue = _rowVersion
                entities.SaveChanges()
            Catch concurrencyException As DbUpdateConcurrencyException
                Throw New Exception("The record u r trying to update has changed")
            Catch ex As Exception
                Throw New Exception("Some Exception")
            End Try

        End Using
    End Sub

    Private Sub TestConcurrencyWithAttachButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles TestConcurrencyWithAttachButton.Click
        Using entities = New EFConcurrencyTestContext
            Try
                _person.FirstName = "xxxx"
               entities.Entry(_person).State = EntityState.Modified
                entities.SaveChanges()
            Catch concurrencyException As DbUpdateConcurrencyException
                Throw New Exception("The record u r trying to update has changed")
            Catch ex As Exception
                Throw New Exception("Some Exception")
            End Try
        End Using
    End Sub

    Private Sub ModifiedRepositoryWithOriginalRowVersionButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles ModifiedRepositoryWithOriginalRowVersionButton.Click
        Dim _repository As New TestRepository(New EFConcurrencyTestContext)
        Try
            Dim personEntity = _repository.GetQuery(Of Person).Where(Function(p) p.ID = 1).FirstOrDefault
            personEntity.FirstName = "CCC"
           _repository.SetRowVersion(Of Person)(personEntity, _rowVersion)
            _repository.Save()
        Catch concurrencyException As DbUpdateConcurrencyException
            Throw New Exception("The record u r trying to update has changed")
        Catch ex As Exception
            Throw New Exception("Some Exception")

        End Try
    End Sub
End Class

image

Test Case 1
1.    Click Get 1 – Person data is got from the database and stored in memory
       a.    Person.FirstName = A
       b.    Person.RowVersion = 1
2.    Update the Person Table FirstName = B, the row version will be 2
3.    Click TestConcurrencyWorngWay, Update happens no concurrency exception

Test Case 2
Repeat 1 and 2 as in Test Case1, Click TestConcurrencyRightWay. No Update, concurrency exception is raised

Test Case 3

You can also get the concurrency exception to work by doing attach, but you got to store the person entity in memory to attach it to the context. In multi tier MVC application if you are using View model to carry data to the controller, then this becomes a problem as you need to store the domain object in memory. But to test it repeat 1 and 2 as in test case 1 and then click TestConcurrencyWith Attach, no update happens concurrency exception occurs

Test Case 4

Sometime you may be using repository pattern in your application, to test this repeat 1 and 2 as in test case 1, and then click ModifiedRepositoryWithOriginalRowVersion. Below is a sample repository

Imports System.Data.Entity
Imports System.Data.Entity.Design.PluralizationServices
Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure

Public Class TestRepository
    Private _context As DbContext
    Private ReadOnly _pluralizer As PluralizationService = PluralizationService.CreateService(CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("en"))
    Public Sub New(ByVal context As DbContext)
        If context Is Nothing Then
            Throw New ArgumentNullException("context")
        End If
        Me._context = context
    End Sub

    Private Function GetEntityName(Of TEntity As Class)() As String
        Return String.Format("{0}.{1}", DirectCast(_context, IObjectContextAdapter).ObjectContext.DefaultContainerName, _pluralizer.Pluralize(GetType(TEntity).Name))
    End Function

    Public Sub Save()
        _context.SaveChanges()
    End Sub

    Public Sub SetRowVersion(Of TEntity As Class)(ByVal entity As TEntity, ByVal originalRowVersion As Byte())
       _context.Entry(entity).Property("RowVersion").OriginalValue = originalRowVersion
    End Sub

    Public Function GetQuery(Of TEntity As Class)() As IQueryable(Of TEntity)
        Dim entityName = GetEntityName(Of TEntity)()
        Return DirectCast(_context, IObjectContextAdapter).ObjectContext.CreateQuery(Of TEntity)(entityName)
    End Function
End Class

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EF 4.1 Code First Disable checking for EdmMetadata table

When you use code first, EF will generate the database for you based on your class. Subsequently when you make changes to the classes EF is smart enough to detect the changes and warn you to regenerate the database or it regenerates the database for you based on your setting. You can achieve this by using Database.Setinitializer in the system.data.entity namespace.

image

You have two options
1.    Drop Create Database Always or
2.    Drop Create Database If Model Changes

EF creates a table EdmMetadata in your database, creates a hash of your entities and then every time you run the application it compares the hash to see if there were changes to the model. Behind the scene you will see the below sql being run first.

SELECT   TOP ( 1 ) [Extent1].[Id]        AS [Id],
[Extent1].[ModelHash] AS [ModelHash]
FROM     [dbo].[EdmMetadata] AS [Extent1]
ORDER BY [Extent1].[Id] DESC

This works well for your initial development, but after you have the core database ready and development as started you could generally want to avoid this, or if your scenario is Code first with existing database then you would avoid this.

Let us assume you started with an existing database and code first, or you started with code first and then deleted EdmMetadata as it serves no purpose. When you run the application an exception will occur behind the scene which will not be obvious in your application, because EF does not care if EdmMetadata is there are not. If it is not there it assumes you are tracking the changes and you are in-charge, so it ignores the exceptions. You can see this by using EF Profiler

image

image

The way to avoid this exception and let EF know we are in-charge of the Metadata is to add the below line in the your OnModelCreating Method

Protected Overrides Sub OnModelCreating(ByVal modelBuilder As DbModelBuilder)

‘To disable checking for EdmMetadata table.
modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove(Of IncludeMetadataConvention)()