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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

TPH mapping discriminator condition from MetadataWorkspace

25 Aug 2010 2 mins Entity Framework

The MetadataWorkspace contains a lot of useful information. Recently I was facing a challenge to get information about TPH (table per hierarchy) inheritance conditions for particular type. Sure, it’s in EDMX file and/or in MSL file. So you can parse the XML and get the info. I was on the other hand more interested getting the info from MetadataWorkspace, partially as a good “brain training” 8) side project.

Sadly the information about the mapping is very limited. Most interesting parts are not public, thus you’re forced to use reflection. So it’s a lot back and forth with, in my case, QuickWatch window. It helps a little to be familiar with MSL file structure.

static object GetNonPublicPropertyValue(this object o, string propertyName)
	return o.GetType()
		.GetProperty(propertyName, BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance)
		.GetValue(o, null);
public static IEnumerable<KeyValuePair<string, object>> GetMappingConditions<T>(this ObjectContext context)
	where T : class
	string typeToSearch = typeof(T).Name;
	var mapping = context.MetadataWorkspace.GetItemCollection(DataSpace.CSSpace).First();
	return ((IEnumerable<object>)mapping.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("EntitySetMaps"))
		.SelectMany(entitySetMap => (IEnumerable<object>)entitySetMap.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("TypeMappings"))
		.Where(typeMapping =>
			((IEnumerable<dynamic>)typeMapping.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("IsOfTypes")).Any(type => type.Name == typeToSearch)
			((IEnumerable<dynamic>)typeMapping.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("Types")).Any(type => type.Name == typeToSearch))
		.SelectMany(typeMapping => (IEnumerable<object>)typeMapping.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("MappingFragments"))
		.SelectMany(mappingFragment => (IEnumerable<object>)mappingFragment.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("AllProperties"))
		.Where(mappingFragment => mappingFragment.GetType().Name == "StorageConditionPropertyMapping")
		.Select(condition =>
				bool? isNull = (bool?)condition.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("IsNull");
				string value = (string)condition.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("Value");
				return new KeyValuePair<string, object>((string)((dynamic)condition.GetNonPublicPropertyValue("ColumnProperty")).Name, (isNull.HasValue ? (object)isNull.Value : (object)value));

Because the code is heavily using reflection and non public members, it’s possible it’ll not work other/future versions of Entity Framework. I tested it with current version, version 4.

It’s written in a compact way. If you want to further dig into partial results, I recommend to split it into foreach loops and do small steps. That’s in fact how I started and was incrementally discovering the information available at given level.

As all the data are not public, I’ll not describe how and why it is as it is. I did it using trial and error process. 😃 Maybe there’s other/simpler path. Feel free to use comments if you find one.

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is .NET, C# and Firebird expert. He focuses on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism, databases and performance. For almost two decades he contributes to open-source, i.e. FirebirdClient. He works as a senior software engineer for Microsoft. Frequent speaker and blogger at