EF queries on unmapped types

Introducing the ability to execute raw queries on unmapped types

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Entity Framework 8 is (potentially) introducing new functionality allowing raw queries to be executed on unmapped types.

At the time of this post, the functionality is only available on the daily builds, and may change before the EF8 release.

SqlQuery Example

Making use of the new functionality is fairly straight-forward. To use the new functionality, we need a type:

public  class Blog
    public int Id { get; set; }

    public string Title { get; set; }

    public DateTime DateCreated { get; set; }

A DbContext is also required:

public class DemoContext : DbContext
    public DemoContext() : base()

    public DemoContext(DbContextOptions<DemoContext> options) : base(options)

    protected override void OnConfiguring(DbContextOptionsBuilder optionsBuilder)
            @"Server=.\SQLEXPRESS;Database=Demo;Integrated Security=True;TrustServerCertificate=True");

The important thing to note here, is that the Blog type is NOT mapped to a DBSet in the DBContext

With the new functionality, raw SQL queries can now be executed against the unmapped type (Blog in this example):

using var context = new DemoContext();

// Blog type is not mapped
var blogs = await context.Database.SqlQuery<Blog>(
        @$"SELECT b.Id, b.Title, b.DateCreated
            FROM Blog b")

Console.WriteLine($"Blogs returned: {blogs.Count}");

The same functionality can be leveraged for simple types:

using var context = new DemoContext();

var titles = await context.Database.SqlQuery<string>(
        @$"SELECT b.Title
            FROM Blog b")

This functionality can also be abstracted to a generic method to make calling it multiple times, for multiple entities easier:

async Task<List<T>> ExecuteSqlQuery<T>(DbContext context, string query)
    return await context.Database.SqlQuery<T>(

This method can now be called as follows:

var results = await ExecuteSqlQuery<Blog>(context, 
    "SELECT b.Id, b.Title, b.DateCreated FROM Blog b");


I have previous written a NuGet package called DynamicContext which effectively provides the same functionality. A detailed blog post is also available.

So will this new EF functionality replace DynamicContext? Yes, and no.

For the most part, yes it does replace DynamicContext. However there is one bit of functionality available in DynamicContext that is not available with the new functionality - the ability to run queries against anonymous types. This is possible with DynamicContext:

// Declare an example anonymous object with 
// the relevant properties, using default values 
var anon = new { BlogId = 0, Url = "" };

// Invoke the method just using the 
// example object, and not specifying T
var blog = CallWithAnon(anon);

static T CallWithAnon<T>(T example) where T: class
    // T is inferred from the example parameter (which is not used in the method, 
    // it is only used for the inference) and can successfully 
    // call into the dynamic runtime context
    using var dynContext = new RuntimeContext<T>();
    return dynContext.Set<T>().FromSqlRaw("SELECT Id as BlogId, Url FROM Blog")

Trying the same technique with the new EF functionality results in the following error:

No suitable constructor was found for entity type '<>f__AnonymousType0<int, string>'. 
he following constructors had parameters that could not be bound to properties of the entity type: 
    Cannot bind 'BlogId', 'Title' in '<>f__AnonymousType0<int, string>(int BlogId, string Title)'

This is a fairly niche use case though, so for the majority of the time, the new functionally can replace DynamicContext.


If the ability to query unmapped entities is required - this new functionality is the way to go (vs custom libraries). I'm happy to see additional required functionality such as this being introduced into the base EF libraries, removing the reliance on additional libraries.


Entity Framework 8: Raw SQL queries on unmapped types
Arthur Vickers Tweet

Daily Drop 246: 31-01-2023

At the start of 2022 I set myself the goal of learning one new coding related piece of knowledge a day.
It could be anything - some.NET / C# functionality I wasn't aware of, a design practice, a cool new coding technique, or just something I find interesting. It could be something I knew at one point but had forgotten, or something completely new, which I may or may never actually use.

The Daily Drop is a record of these pieces of knowledge - writing about and summarizing them helps re-enforce the information for myself, as well as potentially helps others learn something new as well.
c# .net ef entityframework unmapped