Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Don't be Afraid of SingleOrDefault - Much Worse, Performance Problem Edition

I found another example at work of someone not taking advantage of SingleOrDefault when making Linq-to-Sql calls, but in a much worse way. I previously mentioned the use of Any() and First() in

The new example constructs a query and calls Any() to test for the presence of at least 1 result. Any() is very efficient on its own because it uses SQL's EXISTS to just check for at least 1 record without reading anything about the record. This isn't a problem on its own.

Unfortunately, this was followed by a call to ToList() and then [0] to get the first item, instead of First(). The effect of ToList()[0] is to run the query and pull every one of the matching records into memory and then take the first item. First() at least tells SQL to only return the TOP 1 item.

Even worse is that because of faulty logic the code fails to add any query parameters, loading ALL of the records in the system of a particular type. Production has many tens of thousands of such records. Luckily, it only does this in a very specific case. If anyone has ever seen a problem they haven't reported it.

So it's not enough to hunt down uses of First() and FirstOrDefault(). We also need to look for ToList()[0], or perhaps all uses of All().

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