Friday, April 01, 2011

Impedance MisMatch: IEnumerable<T> to DataTable

I had to work with a class that consumed a System.DataTable today. DataTable is an old class that pre-dates generics in the CLR. DataTable carries typed data as an array of System.Object - double plus yuck! As you can imagine the code I use these days has compiler verified type safety by using IEnumerable everywhere. So how did I convert from my beloved IEnumerable to the yucky DataTable? With reflection of course! This simple method solves our problems:

public static DataTable ToDataTable(IEnumerable rows)
    var tableToReturn = new DataTable();

    // get properties of T
    var properties = typeof (T).GetProperties().Where(p => p.MemberType == MemberTypes.Property);

    // Convert T's properties to columns in the DataTable
    foreach (var p in properties)
        tableToReturn.Columns.Add(p.Name, p.PropertyType);

    //populate rows
    foreach (var row in rows)
        T row1 = row;
        var propertyValuesAsEnumerable = properties.Select(p => p.GetValue(row1, null));
    return tableToReturn;

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