NHibernate - Criteria Queries


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In this chapter, we will be covering criteria queries mechanism. The NHibernate Query by Criteria API lets you build a query by manipulating criteria objects at runtime.

  • This approach lets you specify constraints dynamically without direct string manipulations, but it doesn’t lose much of the flexibility or power of HQL.

  • On the other hand, queries expressed as criteria are often less readable than queries expressed in HQL.

  • The classic criteria syntax is an object based query API as shown in the following program.

var customers = session.CreateCriteria<Customer>().Add(Restrictions.Like("FirstName", "H%"));
  • As you can see we are doing a session create criteria on the customer, and now we're adding restriction object to that query.

  • This is useful for query pages where users can select certain options, but not others.

  • It's easier to build up the query as the sort of tree like query structure rather than in HQL or LINQ, where you can use the AND or OR in WHERE clause.

  • It is easier just to add on additional restrictions using these criteria objects.

Let’s have a look into a simple example in which we will create a query and get access to the criteria API through createCriteria and then add a restriction that the first name starts with H.

using System; 
using System.Data; 
using System.Linq; 
using System.Reflection; 

using HibernatingRhinos.Profiler.Appender.NHibernate; 
using NHibernate.Cfg; 
using NHibernate.Criterion; 
using NHibernate.Dialect; 
using NHibernate.Driver; 
using NHibernate.Linq; 

namespace NHibernateDemo {

   internal class Program { 
      
      private static void Main() { 
		
         var cfg = ConfigureNHibernate(); 
         var sessionFactory = cfg.BuildSessionFactory();
         using(var session = sessionFactory.OpenSession()) 
         
         using(var tx = session.BeginTransaction()) { 
            var customers = session.CreateCriteria<Customer>() 
               .Add(Restrictions.Like("FirstName", "H%")); 
         
            foreach (var customer in customers.List<Customer>()) { 
               Console.WriteLine(customer); 
            } 
				
            tx.Commit(); 
         }
			
         Console.WriteLine("Press <ENTER> to exit..."); 
         Console.ReadLine(); 
      } 
		
      private static Configuration ConfigureNHibernate() {
		
         NHibernateProfiler.Initialize(); 
         var cfg = new Configuration(); 
         
         cfg.DataBaseIntegration(x => { 
            x.ConnectionStringName = "default"; 
            x.Driver<SqlClientDriver>(); 
            x.Dialect<MsSql2008Dialect>(); 
            x.IsolationLevel = IsolationLevel.RepeatableRead; 
            x.Timeout = 10; 
            x.BatchSize = 10; 
         }); 
			
         cfg.SessionFactory().GenerateStatistics();
         cfg.AddAssembly(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly()); 
         return cfg; 
      } 
   } 
}

When the above code is compiled and executed you will see the following output.

Herman Crooks (4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b15c-6cf049ee52be)
   Points: 74
   HasGoldStatus: True
   MemberSince: 12/3/2010 12:00:00 AM (Utc)
   CreditRating: Neutral
   AverageRating: 0

   Orders:
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b15d-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b15e-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b15f-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b160-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b161-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b162-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ead3480-6bce-11e1-b163-6cf049ee52be

Hudson Bins (4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2b7-6cf049ee52be)
   Points: 56
   HasGoldStatus: False
   MemberSince: 10/20/2008 12:00:00 AM (Utc)
   CreditRating: Terrible
   AverageRating: 0

   Orders:
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2b8-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2b9-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2ba-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2bb-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2bc-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2bd-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2be-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec03f80-6bce-11e1-b2bf-6cf049ee52be

Hettie Feest (4ec50240-6bce-11e1-b300-6cf049ee52be)
   Points: 82
   HasGoldStatus: False
   MemberSince: 4/10/2009 12:00:00 AM (Utc)
   CreditRating: Neutral
   AverageRating: 0

   Orders:
      Order Id: 4ec50240-6bce-11e1-b301-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec50240-6bce-11e1-b302-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ec50240-6bce-11e1-b303-6cf049ee52be
		
Press <ENTER> to exit…

Let’s have a look into another simple example in which we will retrieve the customer whose first name is equal to "Laverne"

using System; 
using System.Data; 
using System.Linq; 
using System.Reflection; 

using HibernatingRhinos.Profiler.Appender.NHibernate; 
using NHibernate.Cfg; 
using NHibernate.Criterion; 
using NHibernate.Dialect; 
using NHibernate.Driver; 
using NHibernate.Linq;

namespace NHibernateDemo { 

   internal class Program { 
      
      private static void Main() { 
		
         var cfg = ConfigureNHibernate(); 
         var sessionFactory = cfg.BuildSessionFactory();
         using(var session = sessionFactory.OpenSession()) 
			
         using(var tx = session.BeginTransaction()) { 
            var customers = session.CreateCriteria<Customer>() 
               .Add(Restrictions.Eq("FirstName", "Laverne")) .List<Customer>(); 
            
            foreach (var customer in customers) {
               Console.WriteLine(customer); 
            } 
				
            tx.Commit(); 
         }
			
         Console.WriteLine("Press <ENTER> to exit..."); 
         Console.ReadLine(); 
      }
		
      private static Configuration ConfigureNHibernate() {
		
         NHibernateProfiler.Initialize(); 
         var cfg = new Configuration(); 
         
         cfg.DataBaseIntegration(x => { 
            x.ConnectionStringName = "default"; 
            x.Driver<SqlClientDriver>(); 
            x.Dialect<MsSql2008Dialect>(); 
            x.IsolationLevel = IsolationLevel.RepeatableRead; 
            x.Timeout = 10; 
            x.BatchSize = 10; 
         }); 
         
         cfg.SessionFactory().GenerateStatistics();
         cfg.AddAssembly(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly()); 
         return cfg; 
      } 
   } 
}

Let’s run this application again and you will see the following output.

Laverne Hegmann (4e97c816-6bce-11e1-b095-6cf049ee52be)
   Points: 74
   HasGoldStatus: True
   MemberSince: 4/4/2009 12:00:00 AM (Utc)
   CreditRating: Neutral
   AverageRating: 0

   Orders:
      Order Id: 4ea14d96-6bce-11e1-b095-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ea14d96-6bce-11e1-b096-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ea14d96-6bce-11e1-b097-6cf049ee52be
      Order Id: 4ea14d96-6bce-11e1-b098-6cf049ee52be
		
Press <ENTER> to exit...

Now, one of the major disadvantages of the criteria API are these opaque strings in the property names. So, if the first name was refactored to be something else, the refactoring tool would not necessarily pick up the opaque string.



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