Using a custom attribute in EF7 (core) OnModelCreating

c# ef-code-first entity-framework entity-framework-core npgsql

Question

I have a DefaultAttribute defined like so:

[AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Property)]
public class DefaultAttribute : Attribute
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Specifies this property has a default value upon creation.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="defaultValue">The default value of the property.</param>
    /// <param name="useAsLiteral">Set to true if the value is <em>not</em> quoted in the DDL.</param>
    public DefaultAttribute(object defaultValue, bool useAsLiteral = false)
    {
        DefaultValue = defaultValue;
        UseAsLiteral = useAsLiteral;
    }

    public object DefaultValue { get; private set; }

    /// <summary>
    /// True if the default value is not quoted in the DDL
    /// </summary>
    public bool UseAsLiteral { get; private set; }
}

I have decorated several of my entities with this attribute, like so:

public class MyEntity
{
    . . . (other properties) . . .
    [StringLength(200)]
    [Required]
    [Default("My Default Description!")]
    public string Description { get; set; }
}

Then, in my OnModelCreating method in my database context, I wrote the following code:

//examine custom annotations for shaping the schema in the database.
foreach (var entityType in builder.Model.GetEntityTypes())
    foreach (var property in entityType.GetProperties())
    {
        var annotations = property.GetAnnotations();

        // evaluate default values
        var defaultAnnotation = annotations.FirstOrDefault(x => x.Name == typeof(DefaultAttribute).FullName);
        if (defaultAnnotation != null)
        {
            var defaultValue = defaultAnnotation.Value as DefaultAttribute;
            if (defaultValue == null) continue;

            if (defaultValue.UseAsLiteral)
                property.Npgsql().DefaultValueSql = defaultValue.DefaultValue.ToString();
            else
                property.Npgsql().DefaultValue = defaultValue.DefaultValue;
        }
    }

My expectation, when adding a migration, (and subsequent database update) is that there would be a default value of "My Default Description!" for the Description column of MyEntity... however, that is not the case.

I'm not getting any errors, but it's not doing as I would suspect, and stepping into OnModelCreating with a breakpoint is also inexplicably difficult to do.

Am I doing this correctly? Does it just not work? Is it just not supported in EF7? Or is it not supported in my PostgreSQL implementation? Any insight would be appreciated.

UPDATE Using @IvanStoev's answer, I was able to get this to work with some minor modifiactions (Reflection in .NET Core a bit different from traditional):

//examine custom annotations for shaping the schema in the database.
foreach (var entityType in builder.Model.GetEntityTypes())
    foreach (var property in entityType.GetProperties())
    {
        var memberInfo = property.PropertyInfo ?? (MemberInfo)property.FieldInfo;
        var defaultValue = memberInfo?.GetCustomAttribute<DefaultAttribute>();
        if (defaultValue == null) continue;
        if (defaultValue.UseAsLiteral)
            property.Npgsql().DefaultValueSql = defaultValue.DefaultValue.ToString();
        else
            property.Npgsql().DefaultValue = defaultValue.DefaultValue;
    }

This worked like a champ.

Accepted Answer

EF Core knows nothing about your custom attribute, so there is no way it to be discovered and exposed as annotation (which in general is a different thing and not necessarily associated with attribute).

You have to extract the attribute manually from PropertyInfo or FieldInfo when present:

foreach (var entityType in builder.Model.GetEntityTypes())
    foreach (var property in entityType.GetProperties())
    {
        var memberInfo = property.PropertyInfo ?? (MemberInfo)property.FieldInfo;
        if (memberInfo == null) continue;
        var defaultValue = Attribute.GetCustomAttribute(memberInfo, typeof(DefaultAttribute)) as DefaultAttribute;
        if (defaultValue == null) continue;
        if (defaultValue.UseAsLiteral)
            property.Npgsql().DefaultValueSql = defaultValue.DefaultValue.ToString();
        else
            property.Npgsql().DefaultValue = defaultValue.DefaultValue;
    }


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