EF Core 2.1 GROUP BY and select first item in each group

c# entity-framework-core group-by

Question

Let's imaging a forum having a list of topics and posts in them. I want to get the list of topics and a title of last post (by date) for each topic.

Is there a way to achieve this using EF Core (2.1)? In SQL it could be done like

SELECT Posts.Title, Posts.CreatedDate, Posts.TopicId FROM 
  (SELECT Max(CreatedDate), TopicId FROM Posts GROUP BY TopicId) lastPosts
JOIN Posts ON Posts.CreatedDate = lastPosts.CreatedDate AND Posts.TopicId = lastPosts.TopicId

In EFCore I can select LastDates

_context.Posts.GroupBy(x => x.TopicId, (x, y) => new
            {
                CreatedDate = y.Max(z => z.CreatedDate),
                TopicId = x,
            });

And if I run .ToList() the query is correctly translated to GROUP BY. But I can't go further. The following is executed in memory, not in SQL (resulting in SELECT * FROM Posts):

            .GroupBy(...)
            .Select(x => new
            {
                x.TopicId,
                Post = x.Posts.Where(z => z.CreatedDate == x.CreatedDate)
                //Post = x.Posts.FirstOrDefault(z => z.CreatedDate == x.CreatedDate)
            })

Attempting to JOIN gives NotSupportedException (Could not parse expression):

.GroupBy(...)
.Join(_context.Posts,
                    (x, y) => x.TopicId == y.TopicId && x.CreatedDate == y.CreatedDate,
                    (x, post) => new
                    {
                        post.Title,
                        post.CreatedDate,
                    })

I know I can do it using SELECT N+1 (running a separate query per topic), but I'd like to avoid that.

1
5
8/20/2018 9:16:46 AM

Accepted Answer

Basically what I'm doing now is after running

var topics = _context.Posts.GroupBy(x => x.TopicId, (x, y) => new
            {
                CreatedDate = y.Max(z => z.CreatedDate),
                TopicId = x,
            }).ToList();

I build the following query:

Expression<Func<Post, bool>> lastPostsQuery = post => false;
foreach (var topic in topics) 
{
    lastPostsQuery = lastPostsQuery.Or(post => post.TopicId == topic.TopicId && post.CreatedDate = topic.CreatedDate); //.Or is implemented in PredicateBuilder
}
var lastPosts = _context.Posts.Where(lastPostsQuery).ToList();

Which results in one query (instead of N) like SELECT * FROM Posts WHERE (Posts.TopicId == 1 AND Posts.CreatedDate = '2017-08-01') OR (Posts.TopicId == 2 AND Posts.CreatedDate = '2017-08-02') OR ....

Not extremely efficient but since the number of topics per page is quite low it does the trick.

7
8/20/2018 10:57:33 AM

Popular Answer

In EF Core 2.1 GroupBy LINQ operator only support translating to the SQL GROUP BY clause in most common cases. Aggregation function like sum, max ...

linq-groupby-translation

You can until full support group by in EF Core use Dapper



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