How to set Auto Increment Field [Identity Column] in LightSwitch Table

Prologue:

In this article we shall discuss about how to create auto increment field in LightSwitch Entity. In LightSwitch, we can add SQL Database as External storage. But whenever we add a table which contains the identity column from external database, the LightSwitch ignores the identity column setting from SQL table.

One of my reader asked me that how to create auto increment field [identity column] in LightSwitch Entity. i replied that in LightSwitch Entity the LightSwitch runtime automatically generates a field called Id when you create the Entity which is of type identity column. But the problem is that he used SQL as backend with an simple Data Entry windows application. He needs to continue with the same serial number which is in SQL table and he needs to use the LightSwitch Entity.

The custom auto increment field [identity column] is resettable. Whenever the rows in the entity is EMPTY then the auto increment field reset to ZERO.

For this situation, i tried to create a auto increment field  and is works fine. This is simple concept for the Experts but not for me. So i am going to explain with an example application

Preparing the Solution:

Fire up the Visual studio  LightSwitch 2011 or LightSwitch Beta versions. Create a LightSwitch Project as shown in the below figure.

create

Follow the number pointed in the figure to create the LightSwitch Application with the name “HowToCreateAutoIncrementFieldInLS2011”.

Creating LightSwitch Entity:
To show that how to implement the auto increment field i.a. custom identity column in LightSwitch Entity, we need to create an sample entity.

table

Here, we can the see the LightSwitch generated Identity column ‘Id’ which is primary key for the table and the custom identity field called “AutoIncrementField”. So create an entity called “SampleEntity” as shown in the  above figure.

Designing the Screen:

Designing the screen in LightSwitch is pretty simple. Just follow the figure shown below.

screen

Here,

  1. First you need to select the screen template. for our sample application we have selected List and Details Screen

  2. Give the name for Screen

  3. Select the Entity to be bond with the Screen template

    screentree


    The figure shown in the right side shows the screen tree structure for the LightSwitch List and Details Screen. In this screen template, we have two panels in which the first one is List panel and the other one is the Details panel.

     Implementing Custom Identity column:

    To implement the Custom identity column, unfortunately we need to go the Code-Behind i.e. we need to add a bit of lines into the .cs file.

    The logic behind the custom identity column implementation is that get the value of the AutoIncrementField column value from the last record of the entity and increment by 1 else if there is no records then assign 0 to the AutoIncrementField.

    To add the implementation code, just edit the SampleEntity_Created method as shown in the figure.

    createmethod
    The below snippet shows the logic we have implemented for custom identity column.

     public partial class SampleEntity


        {


            partial void SampleEntity_Created()


            {


                Dispatchers.Current.BeginInvoke(() =>


                {


                    IEnumerable<SampleEntity> items = this.DataWorkspace.ApplicationData.SampleEntities.GetQuery().Execute();


                    if (items.Count() > 0)


                    {


                        this.AutoIncrementField = items.LastOrDefault().AutoIncrementField + 1;


                    }


                    else


                    {


                        this.AutoIncrementField = 0;


                    }


                });


            }


        }






    Here,




    IEnumerable<SampleEntity> items = this.DataWorkspace.ApplicationData.SampleEntities.GetQuery().Execute();


                   




    The GetQuery() method returns the query for getting all the records from SampleEntity and the Execute() executes the query and returns the records to the ‘items’ which is IEnumerable collection of SampleEntity.




                    if (items.Count() > 0)


                    {


                        this.AutoIncrementField = items.LastOrDefault().AutoIncrementField + 1;


                    }


                    else


                    {


                        this.AutoIncrementField = 0;


                    }




    In the above code, we are checking the whether the entity has records or not. if the entity has zero records then assign AutoIncrementField to zero else get the last record and increment the field value and assign to the field.




    By default, the control for the field of the entity is textbox. as the AutoIncrementField is incremented by the system, the user need not to modify the field.










    prop 



    To change the control type of the AutoIncrementField follow the image displayed in right side. Select the AutoIncrementField field control from the Screen tree and open the property page. then in Appearance section, select the Label option from Control Type drop down list. 





     Application in Action:


    Our application is ready with implementation. Hit F5 to see the application in action.






    output 



    Summary:


    In this article, we have seen about how to create custom identity column for LightSwitch entity using Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011 extensibility tool kit.



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