Entity Framework: one or more of the foreign-key properties is non-nullable

c# entity-framework entity-framework-6 exception sql-server


I have a very complex database model. My program computes some data+db entries and modifies+generates new entries to update+insert in the database.

When I use database context to insert the entries, everything works. But when I try to save changes:

{"The operation failed: The relationship could not be changed because one or more of the foreign-key properties is non-nullable. When a change is made to a relationship, the related foreign-key property is set to a null value. If the foreign-key does not support null values, a new relationship must be defined, the foreign-key property must be assigned another non-null value, or the unrelated object must be deleted."}

I have seen too many questions on SO about this topic. But my problem is that the model is so complex that I cannot track the issue. Entity Framework 6 is not giving me any information about the source of the problem, relationship name, ...

Is there a way to get more help from Entity Framework in order to find the source of the problem?

8/28/2018 6:53:07 AM

Popular Answer

You have to analyze your object to solve this problem.

Here some simple code to explain your Exception:

static void Main()
    using (MyDbContext ctx = new MyDbContext())
        // Build a new object
        MyClass o = new MyClass() { Id = 1, ChildObject = null };

        // Add it to your Context (It's not in the DB yet!)

        // Write all changes (the new object) to the Db

// You got some DbContext with a DbSet pointing to your Table "MyTable"
public class MyDbContext : DbContext
    public DbSet<MyClass> MyObjects { get; set; }

// You've got a class to map your table to some nice object.
public class MyClass
    // Some column..
    public int Id { get; set; }

    // And some ForeignKey! Which maps a column with the Id to an object.
    public MyClass ChildObject { get; set; }

In this example i create a Context add an object and save the changes (create an Insert to the table).

1st: The Exception occurs at SaveChanges, because the Property "ChildObject" can be set to null, becuase we don't have any restrictions on that property.

2nd: The Exception is a Db-Exception. Your Program is (probably) runnging correct. But qour Db tells you, that it is not allowed to have a row in MyTable without a reference to a ChildObject.

You have to question yourself if the db is configured wrong (Make the column nullable) or if your program forgets to set the child.

I hope you see: You have to dig in your code. You got a problem with your 'complet model' and you have to solve it.

Consider reading the SQL-Log of the context. Example: ctx.Log = Console.WriteLine; (Don't have a Studio here, but i think i should be something like this).

This way you can grab the last SQL-Query and run it on your Db for better error-outputs.

8/28/2018 7:27:07 AM

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