[c#] LINQ to Entities does not recognize the method 'System.String ToString()' method, and this method cannot be translated into a store expression

I'm migrating some stuff from one mysql server to a sql server but i can't figure out how to make this code work:

using (var context = new Context())
{
    ...

    foreach (var item in collection)
    {
        IQueryable<entity> pages = from p in context.pages
                                   where  p.Serial == item.Key.ToString()
                                   select p;
        foreach (var page in pages)
        {
            DataManager.AddPageToDocument(page, item.Value);
        }
    }

    Console.WriteLine("Done!");
    Console.Read();
}

When it enters into the second foreach (var page in pages) it throws an exception saying:

LINQ to Entities does not recognize the method 'System.String ToString()' method, and this method cannot be translated into a store expression.

Anyone know why this happens?

This question is related to c# mysql sql linq

The answer is


Had a similar problem. Solved it by calling ToList() on the entity collection and querying the list. If the collection is small this is an option.

IQueryable<entity> pages = context.pages.ToList().Where(p=>p.serial == item.Key.ToString())

Hope this helps.


Change it like this and it should work:

var key = item.Key.ToString();
IQueryable<entity> pages = from p in context.pages
                           where  p.Serial == key
                           select p;

The reason why the exception is not thrown in the line the LINQ query is declared but in the line of the foreach is the deferred execution feature, i.e. the LINQ query is not executed until you try to access the result. And this happens in the foreach and not earlier.


I got the same error in this case:

var result = Db.SystemLog
.Where(log =>
    eventTypeValues.Contains(log.EventType)
    && (
        search.Contains(log.Id.ToString())
        || log.Message.Contains(search)
        || log.PayLoad.Contains(search)
        || log.Timestamp.ToString(CultureInfo.CurrentUICulture).Contains(search)
    )
)
.OrderByDescending(log => log.Id)
.Select(r => r);

After spending way too much time debugging, I figured out that error appeared in the logic expression.

The first line search.Contains(log.Id.ToString()) does work fine, but the last line that deals with a DateTime object made it fail miserably:

|| log.Timestamp.ToString(CultureInfo.CurrentUICulture).Contains(search)

Remove the problematic line and problem solved.

I do not fully understand why, but it seems as ToString() is a LINQ expression for strings, but not for Entities. LINQ for Entities deals with database queries like SQL, and SQL has no notion of ToString(). As such, we can not throw ToString() into a .Where() clause.

But how then does the first line work? Instead of ToString(), SQL have CAST and CONVERT, so my best guess so far is that linq for entities uses that in some simple cases. DateTime objects are not always found to be so simple...


The problem is that you are calling ToString in a LINQ to Entities query. That means the parser is trying to convert the ToString call into its equivalent SQL (which isn't possible...hence the exception).

All you have to do is move the ToString call to a separate line:

var keyString = item.Key.ToString();

var pages = from p in context.entities
            where p.Serial == keyString
            select p;

Cast table to Enumerable, then you call LINQ methods with using ToString() method inside:

    var example = contex.table_name.AsEnumerable()
.Select(x => new {Date = x.date.ToString("M/d/yyyy")...)

But be careful, when you calling AsEnumerable or ToList methods because you will request all data from all entity before this method. In my case above I read all table_name rows by one request.


In MVC, assume you are searching record(s) based on your requirement or information. It is working properly.

[HttpPost]
[ActionName("Index")]
public ActionResult SearchRecord(FormCollection formcollection)
{       
    EmployeeContext employeeContext = new EmployeeContext();

    string searchby=formcollection["SearchBy"];
    string value=formcollection["Value"];

    if (formcollection["SearchBy"] == "Gender")
    {
        List<MvcApplication1.Models.Employee> emplist = employeeContext.Employees.Where(x => x.Gender == value).ToList();
        return View("Index", emplist);
    }
    else
    {
        List<MvcApplication1.Models.Employee> emplist = employeeContext.Employees.Where(x => x.Name == value).ToList();
        return View("Index", emplist);
    }         
}

As others have answered, this breaks because .ToString fails to translate to relevant SQL on the way into the database.

However, Microsoft provides the SqlFunctions class that is a collection of methods that can be used in situations like this.

For this case, what you are looking for here is SqlFunctions.StringConvert:

from p in context.pages
where  p.Serial == SqlFunctions.StringConvert((double)item.Key.Id)
select p;

Good when the solution with temporary variables is not desirable for whatever reasons.

Similar to SqlFunctions you also have the EntityFunctions (with EF6 obsoleted by DbFunctions) that provides a different set of functions that also are data source agnostic (not limited to e.g. SQL).


Just turn the LINQ to Entity query into a LINQ to Objects query (e.g. call ToArray) anytime you need to use a method call in your LINQ query.


If you really want to type ToString inside your query, you could write an expression tree visitor that rewrites the call to ToString with a call to the appropriate StringConvert function:

using System.Linq;
using System.Data.Entity.SqlServer;
using System.Linq.Expressions;
using static System.Linq.Expressions.Expression;
using System;

namespace ToStringRewriting {
    class ToStringRewriter : ExpressionVisitor {
        static MethodInfo stringConvertMethodInfo = typeof(SqlFunctions).GetMethods()
                 .Single(x => x.Name == "StringConvert" && x.GetParameters()[0].ParameterType == typeof(decimal?));

        protected override Expression VisitMethodCall(MethodCallExpression node) {
            var method = node.Method;
            if (method.Name=="ToString") {
                if (node.Object.GetType() == typeof(string)) { return node.Object; }
                node = Call(stringConvertMethodInfo, Convert(node.Object, typeof(decimal?));
            }
            return base.VisitMethodCall(node);
        }
    }
    class Person {
        string Name { get; set; }
        long SocialSecurityNumber { get; set; }
    }
    class Program {
        void Main() {
            Expression<Func<Person, Boolean>> expr = x => x.ToString().Length > 1;
            var rewriter = new ToStringRewriter();
            var finalExpression = rewriter.Visit(expr);
            var dcx = new MyDataContext();
            var query = dcx.Persons.Where(finalExpression);

        }
    }
}

Upgrading to Entity Framework Version 6.2.0 worked for me.

I was previously on Version 6.0.0.

Hope this helps,


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