How do I apply OrderBy on an IQueryable using a string column name within a generic extension method?

public static IQueryable<TResult> ApplySortFilter<T, TResult>(this IQueryable<T> query, string columnName)
  where T : EntityObject
{
  var param = Expression.Parameter(typeof(T), "o");
  var body = Expression.PropertyOrField(param,columnName);

  var sortExpression = Expression.Lambda(body, param);
  return query.OrderBy(sortExpression);
}

Because the type for OrderBy is not inferred from sortExpression I need to specify it something like this at run time:

var sortExpression = Expression.Lambda<T, TSortColumn>(body, param);

Or

return query.OrderBy<T, TSortColumn>(sortExpression);

I don't think this is possible however as TSortColumn can only be determined during runtime.

Is there a way around this?

Answers


We did something similar (not 100% the same, but similar) in a LINQ to SQL project. Here's the code:

public static IQueryable<T> OrderBy<T>(this IQueryable<T> source, string ordering, params object[] values) {
    var type = typeof(T);
    var property = type.GetProperty(ordering);
    var parameter = Expression.Parameter(type, "p");
    var propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);
    var orderByExp = Expression.Lambda(propertyAccess, parameter);
    MethodCallExpression resultExp = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), "OrderBy", new Type[] { type, property.PropertyType }, source.Expression, Expression.Quote(orderByExp));
    return source.Provider.CreateQuery<T>(resultExp);
}

We didn't actually use a generic, we had a known class, but it should work on a generic (I've put the generic placeholder where it should be).

Edit: For descending order, pass in OrderByDescending instead of "OrderBy":

MethodCallExpression resultExp = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), "OrderByDescending", new Type[] { type, property.PropertyType }, source.Expression, Expression.Quote(orderByExp));

You can also use Dynamic Linq

Info here http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/01/07/dynamic-linq-part-1-using-the-linq-dynamic-query-library.aspx

C# download here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vcsharp/bb894665.aspx

Then just add the using Linq.Dynamic; and you automatically get 2 additional extension methods that can be used like this

return query.OrderBy("StringColumnName");

I've extended your functions to add support for Child Properties.

private static LambdaExpression GenerateSelector<TEntity>(String propertyName, out Type resultType) where TEntity : class
{
    // Create a parameter to pass into the Lambda expression (Entity => Entity.OrderByField).
    var parameter = Expression.Parameter(typeof(TEntity), "Entity");
    //  create the selector part, but support child properties
    PropertyInfo property;
    Expression propertyAccess;
    if (propertyName.Contains('.'))
    {
            // support to be sorted on child fields.
            String[] childProperties = propertyName.Split('.');
            property = typeof(TEntity).GetProperty(childProperties[0]);
            propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);
            for (int i = 1; i < childProperties.Length; i++)
            {
                    property = property.PropertyType.GetProperty(childProperties[i]);
                    propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(propertyAccess, property);
            }
    }
    else
    {
            property = typeof(TEntity).GetProperty(propertyName);
            propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);
    }
    resultType = property.PropertyType;                     
    // Create the order by expression.
    return Expression.Lambda(propertyAccess, parameter);
}

private static MethodCallExpression GenerateMethodCall<TEntity>(IQueryable<TEntity> source, string methodName, String fieldName) where TEntity : class
{
    Type type = typeof(TEntity);
    Type selectorResultType;
    LambdaExpression selector = GenerateSelector<TEntity>(fieldName, out selectorResultType);
    MethodCallExpression resultExp = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), methodName,
                                    new Type[] { type, selectorResultType },
                                    source.Expression, Expression.Quote(selector));
    return resultExp;
}

You can use these functions like:

GenerateMethodCall<TEntity>(source, "OrderByDescending", fieldName);

I used your idea for extension method for OrderBy. But in case of "many to many" I am getting error. For example you have table Site, Customer and Customer_site. For given Site I want to sort by customer name and in OrderBy extension (when I pass "site.customer" where customer is navigation property) I get error in line: propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(propertyAccess, property);

This is what I use (with some enhancements :-) ):

public static IQueryable<TEntity> OrderBy<TEntity>(this IQueryable<TEntity> source, string orderByValues) where TEntity : class
{
  IQueryable<TEntity> returnValue = null;

  string orderPair = orderByValues.Trim().Split(',')[0];
  string command = orderPair.ToUpper().Contains("DESC") ? "OrderByDescending" : "OrderBy";

  var type = typeof(TEntity);
  var parameter = Expression.Parameter(type, "p");

  string propertyName = (orderPair.Split(' ')[0]).Trim();

  System.Reflection.PropertyInfo property;
  MemberExpression propertyAccess;

  if (propertyName.Contains('.'))
  {
    // support to be sorted on child fields. 
    String[] childProperties = propertyName.Split('.');
    property = typeof(TEntity).GetProperty(childProperties[0]);
    propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);

    for (int i = 1; i < childProperties.Length; i++)
    {
      Type t = property.PropertyType;
      if (!t.IsGenericType)
      {
        property = t.GetProperty(childProperties[i]);
      }
      else
      {
        property = t.GetGenericArguments().First().GetProperty(childProperties[i]);
      }

      propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(propertyAccess, property);
    }
  }
  else
  {
    property = type.GetProperty(propertyName);
    propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);
  }

  var orderByExpression = Expression.Lambda(propertyAccess, parameter);

  var resultExpression = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), command, new Type[] { type, property.PropertyType },

  source.Expression, Expression.Quote(orderByExpression));

  returnValue = source.Provider.CreateQuery<TEntity>(resultExpression);

  if (orderByValues.Trim().Split(',').Count() > 1)
  {
    // remove first item
    string newSearchForWords = orderByValues.ToString().Remove(0, orderByValues.ToString().IndexOf(',') + 1);
    return source.OrderBy(newSearchForWords);
  }

  return returnValue;
}

Regards

Slobodan


It seems that this is the way to do it, now to verify that:

// ***** OrderBy(company => company) *****
// Create an expression tree that represents the expression
// 'whereCallExpression.OrderBy(company => company)'
MethodCallExpression orderByCallExpression = Expression.Call(
    typeof(Queryable),
    "OrderBy",
    new Type[] { queryableData.ElementType, queryableData.ElementType },
    whereCallExpression,
    Expression.Lambda<Func<string, string>>(pe, new ParameterExpression[] { pe }));
// ***** End OrderBy *****

If you are able to add "System.Linq.Dynamic" package then, Too easy without any complication,

fisrt insatll package "System.Linq.Dynamic" from NuGet package manager then try as below as your need,

Ex:

public IQueryable<TEntity> GetWithInclude(Expression<Func<TEntity, bool>> predicate,
                    List<string> sortBy, int pageNo, int pageSize = 12, params string[] include)
        {
            try
            {
                var numberOfRecordsToSkip = pageNo * pageSize;
                var dynamic = DbSet.AsQueryable();

                foreach (var s in include)
                {
                    dynamic.Include(s);
                }
                 return dynamic.OrderBy("CreatedDate").Skip(numberOfRecordsToSkip).Take(pageSize);


            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                throw new Exception(e.Message);
            }
        }

Hope this will help


I fixed this code a bit: https://stackoverflow.com/a/1670085/5852630

This code works with sequential sorting: first execute "OrderBy", then "ThenBy"(Not "OrderBy"!)

public static IQueryable<TEntity> OrderBy<TEntity>(this IQueryable<TEntity> source, string orderByValues) where TEntity : class
{
    IQueryable<TEntity> returnValue = null;

    string[] orderPairs = orderByValues.Trim().Split(',');

    Expression resultExpression = source.Expression;

    string strAsc = "OrderBy";
    string strDesc = "OrderByDescending";

    foreach (string orderPair in orderPairs)
    {
        if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(orderPair))
            continue;

        string[] orderPairArr = orderPair.Trim().Split(' ');

        string propertyName = orderPairArr[0].Trim();
        string orderNarrow = orderPairArr.Length > 1 ? orderPairArr[1].Trim() : string.Empty;

        string command = orderNarrow.ToUpper().Contains("DESC") ? strDesc : strAsc;

        Type type = typeof(TEntity);
        ParameterExpression parameter = Expression.Parameter(type, "p");

        System.Reflection.PropertyInfo property;
        Expression propertyAccess;

        if (propertyName.Contains('.'))
        {
            // support to be sorted on child fields. 
            String[] childProperties = propertyName.Split('.');
            property = typeof(TEntity).GetProperty(childProperties[0]);
            propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);

            for (int i = 1; i < childProperties.Length; i++)
            {
                Type t = property.PropertyType;
                if (!t.IsGenericType)
                {
                    property = t.GetProperty(childProperties[i]);
                }
                else
                {
                    property = t.GetGenericArguments().First().GetProperty(childProperties[i]);
                }

                propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(propertyAccess, property);
            }
        }
        else
        {
            property = type.GetProperty(propertyName);
            propertyAccess = Expression.MakeMemberAccess(parameter, property);
        }

        if (property.PropertyType == typeof(object))
        {
            propertyAccess = Expression.Call(propertyAccess, "ToString", null);
        }

        LambdaExpression orderByExpression = Expression.Lambda(propertyAccess, parameter);

        resultExpression = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), command, new Type[] { type, property.PropertyType == typeof(object) ? typeof(string) : property.PropertyType },
            resultExpression, Expression.Quote(orderByExpression));

        strAsc = "ThenBy";
        strDesc = "ThenByDescending";
    }

    returnValue = source.Provider.CreateQuery<TEntity>(resultExpression);

    return returnValue;
}

Here is my adaptation from @Davy Landman's answer (I wanted an extension method) and I simplified a bit.

public static IQueryable<T> SortBy<T>(this IQueryable<T> source, 
                                      String propertyName, 
                                      WebControls.SortDirection direction)
    {
        if (source == null) throw new ArgumentNullException("source");
        if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(propertyName)) return source;

        // Create a parameter to pass into the Lambda expression
        //(Entity => Entity.OrderByField).
        var parameter = Expression.Parameter(typeof(T), "Entity");

        //  create the selector part, but support child properties (it works without . too)
        String[] childProperties = propertyName.Split('.');
        MemberExpression property = Expression.Property(parameter, childProperties[0]);
        for (int i = 1; i < childProperties.Length; i++)
        {
            property = Expression.Property(property, childProperties[i]);
        }

        LambdaExpression selector = Expression.Lambda(property, parameter);

        string methodName = (direction > 0) ? "OrderByDescending" : "OrderBy";

        MethodCallExpression resultExp = Expression.Call(typeof(Queryable), methodName,
                                        new Type[] { source.ElementType, property.Type },
                                        source.Expression, Expression.Quote(selector));

        return source.Provider.CreateQuery<T>(resultExp);
    }

It can be used like this:

gridview1.DataSource = DbContext.TB_CARS.SortBy("model", SortDirection.Descending);
//OR
gridview1.DataSource = DbContext.TB_CARS.SortBy("owner.first_name", 0);

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