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Compiled Queries

TIP

The compiled query support was completely rewritten for Marten V4, and the signature changed somewhat. The new signature depends on IMartenQueryable<T> instead of IQueryable<T>, and most Marten specific Linq usages are available.

WARNING

Don't use asynchronous Linq operators in the expression body of a compiled query. This will not impact your ability to use compiled queries in asynchronous querying.

WARNING

Compiled queries cannot use the recently added primary constructor feature in C#, and so far we don't even have a way to validate when you are using this feature in compiled query planning. Be warned.

Linq is easily one of the most popular features in .Net and arguably the one thing that other platforms strive to copy. We generally like being able to express document queries in compiler-safe manner, but there is a non-trivial cost in parsing the resulting Expression trees and then using plenty of string concatenation to build up the matching SQL query.

Fortunately, Marten supports the concept of a Compiled Query that you can use to reuse the SQL template for a given Linq query and bypass the performance cost of continuously parsing Linq expressions.

All compiled queries are classes that implement the ICompiledQuery<TDoc, TResult> interface shown below:

cs
public interface ICompiledQuery<TDoc, TOut> where TDoc: notnull
{
    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<TDoc>, TOut>> QueryIs();
}

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In its simplest usage, let's say that we want to find the first user document with a certain first name. That class would look like this:

cs
public class FindByFirstName: ICompiledQuery<User, User>
{
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, User>> QueryIs()
    {
        return q => q.FirstOrDefault(x => x.FirstName == FirstName);
    }
}

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TIP

There are many more example compiled query classes in the acceptance tests for compiled queries within the Marten codebase.

So a couple things to note in the class above:

  1. The QueryIs() method returns an Expression representing a Linq query
  2. FindByFirstName has a property (it could also be just a public field) called FirstName that is used to express the filter of the query

To use the FindByFirstName query, just use the code below:

cs
var justin = session.Query(new FindByFirstName { FirstName = "Justin" });

var tamba = await session.QueryAsync(new FindByFirstName { FirstName = "Tamba" });

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Or to use it as part of a batched query, this syntax:

cs
var batch = session.CreateBatchQuery();

var justin = batch.Query(new FindByFirstName { FirstName = "Justin" });
var tamba = batch.Query(new FindByFirstName { FirstName = "Tamba" });

await batch.Execute();

(await justin).Id.ShouldBe(user1.Id);
(await tamba).Id.ShouldBe(user2.Id);

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How Does It Work?

The first time that Marten encounters a new type of ICompiledQuery, it has to create a new "plan" for the compiled query by:

  1. Finding all public readable properties or fields on the compiled query type that would be potential parameters. Members marked with [MartenIgnore] attribute are ignored.
  2. Marten either insures that the query object being passed in has unique values for each parameter member, or tries to create a new object of the same type and tries to set all unique values
  3. Parse the Expression returned from QueryIs() with the underlying Linq expression to determine the proper result handling and underlying database command with parameters
  4. Attempts to match the unique member values to the command parameter values to map query members to the database parameters by index
  5. Assuming the previous steps succeeded, Marten generates and dynamically compiles code at runtime to efficiently execute the compiled query objects at runtime and caches the dynamic query executors.

On subsequent usages, Marten will just reuse the existing SQL command and remembered handlers to execute the query.

TODO -- link to the docs on pre-generating types TODO -- talk about the diagnostic view of the source code

You may need to help Marten out a little bit with the compiled query support in determining unique parameter values to use during query planning by implementing the new Marten.Linq.IQueryPlanning interface on your compiled query type. Consider this example query that uses paging:

cs
public class CompiledTimeline : ICompiledListQuery<TimelineItem>, IQueryPlanning
{
    public int PageSize { get; set; } = 20;

    [MartenIgnore] public int Page { private get; set; } = 1;
    public int SkipCount => (Page - 1) * PageSize;
    public string Type { get; set; }
    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<TimelineItem>, IEnumerable<TimelineItem>>> QueryIs() =>
        query => query.Where(i => i.Event == Type).Skip(SkipCount).Take(PageSize);

    public void SetUniqueValuesForQueryPlanning()
    {
        Page = 3; // Setting Page to 3 forces the SkipCount and PageSize to be different values
        PageSize = 20; // This has to be a positive value, or the Take() operator has no effect
        Type = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
    }

    // And hey, if you have a public QueryStatistics member on your compiled
    // query class, you'll get the total number of records
    public QueryStatistics Statistics { get; } = new QueryStatistics();
}

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Pay close attention to the SetUniqueValuesForQueryPlanning() method. That has absolutely no other purpose but to help Marten create a compiled query plan for the CompiledTimeline type.

What is Supported?

To the best of our knowledge and testing, you may use any Linq feature that Marten supports within a compiled query. So any combination of:

  • Select() transforms
  • First/FirstOrDefault()
  • Single/SingleOrDefault()
  • Where()
  • Include()
  • OrderBy/OrderByDescending etc.
  • Count()
  • Any()
  • AsJson()
  • ToJsonArray()
  • Skip(), Take() and Stats() for pagination

As for limitations,

  • You cannot use the Linq ToArray() or ToList() operators. See the next section for an explanation of how to query for multiple results with ICompiledListQuery.
  • The compiled query planning just cannot match Boolean fields or properties to command arguments, so Boolean flags cannot be used
  • You cannot use any asynchronous operators. So in all cases, use the synchronous operator equivalent. So FirstOrDefault(), but not FirstOrDefaultAsync(). This does not preclude you from using compiled queries in asynchronous querying

Querying for Multiple Results

To query for multiple results, you need to just return the raw IQueryable<T> as IEnumerable<T> as the result type. You cannot use the ToArray() or ToList() operators (it'll throw exceptions from the Relinq library if you try). As a convenience mechanism, Marten supplies these helper interfaces:

If you are selecting the whole document without any kind of Select() transform, you can use this interface:

cs
public interface ICompiledListQuery<TDoc>: ICompiledListQuery<TDoc, TDoc>
{
}

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A sample usage of this type of query is shown below:

cs
public class UsersByFirstName: ICompiledListQuery<User>
{
    public static int Count;
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, IEnumerable<User>>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query => query.Where(x => x.FirstName == FirstName);
    }
}

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If you do want to use a Select() transform, use this interface:

cs
public interface ICompiledListQuery<TDoc, TOut>: ICompiledQuery<TDoc, IEnumerable<TOut>>
{
}

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A sample usage of this type of query is shown below:

cs
public class UserNamesForFirstName: ICompiledListQuery<User, string>
{
    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, IEnumerable<string>>> QueryIs()
    {
        return q => q
            .Where(x => x.FirstName == FirstName)
            .Select(x => x.UserName);
    }

    public string FirstName { get; set; }
}

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If you wish to use a compiled query for a document, using a JOIN so that the query will include another document, just as the Include() method does on a simple query, the compiled query would be constructed just like any other, using the Include() method on the query:

cs
[Fact]
public void simple_compiled_include_for_a_single_document()
{
    var user = new User();
    var issue = new Issue { AssigneeId = user.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };

    using var session = theStore.IdentitySession();
    session.Store<object>(user, issue);
    session.SaveChanges();

    using var query = theStore.QuerySession();
    var issueQuery = new IssueByTitleWithAssignee { Title = issue.Title };
    var issue2 = query.Query(issueQuery);

    SpecificationExtensions.ShouldNotBeNull(issueQuery.Included);
    issueQuery.Included.Single().Id.ShouldBe(user.Id);

    SpecificationExtensions.ShouldNotBeNull(issue2);
}

public class IssueByTitleWithAssignee: ICompiledQuery<Issue>
{
    public string Title { get; set; }
    public IList<User> Included { get; private set; } = new List<User>();

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<Issue>, Issue>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query => query
            .Include(x => x.AssigneeId, Included)
            .Single(x => x.Title == Title);
    }
}

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In this example, the query has an Included property which will receive the included Assignee / User. The 'resulting' included property can only be a property of the query, so that Marten would know how to assign the included result of the postgres query. The JoinType property here is just an example for overriding the default INNER JOIN. If you wish to force an INNER JOIN within the query you can simply remove the JoinType parameter like so: .Include<Issue, IssueByTitleWithAssignee>(x => x.AssigneeId, x => x.Included)

You can also chain Include methods if you need more than one JOINs.

Fetching "included" documents could also be done when you wish to include multiple documents. So picking up the same example, if you wish to get a list of Issues and for every Issue you wish to retrieve its' Assignee / User, in your compiled query you should have a list of Users like so:

cs
public class IssueWithUsers: ICompiledListQuery<Issue>
{
    public List<User> Users { get; set; } = new List<User>();
    // Can also work like that:
    //public List<User> Users => new List<User>();

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<Issue>, IEnumerable<Issue>>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query => query.Include(x => x.AssigneeId, Users);
    }
}

[Fact]
public void compiled_include_to_list()
{
    var user1 = new User();
    var user2 = new User();

    var issue1 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user1.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };
    var issue2 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user2.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };
    var issue3 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user2.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };

    using var session = theStore.IdentitySession();
    session.Store(user1, user2);
    session.Store(issue1, issue2, issue3);
    session.SaveChanges();

    using var querySession = theStore.QuerySession();
    var compiledQuery = new IssueWithUsers();

    querySession.Logger = new TestOutputMartenLogger(_output);
    var issues = querySession.Query(compiledQuery).ToArray();

    compiledQuery.Users.Count.ShouldBe(2);
    issues.Count().ShouldBe(3);

    compiledQuery.Users.Any(x => x.Id == user1.Id);
    compiledQuery.Users.Any(x => x.Id == user2.Id);
}

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Note that you could either have the list instantiated or at least make sure the property has a setter as well as a getter (we've got your back).

As with the simple include queries, you could also use a Dictionary with a key type corresponding to the Id of the document- the dictionary value type:

cs
public class IssueWithUsersById: ICompiledListQuery<Issue>
{
    public IDictionary<Guid, User> UsersById { get; set; } = new Dictionary<Guid, User>();
    // Can also work like that:
    //public List<User> Users => new Dictionary<Guid,User>();

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<Issue>, IEnumerable<Issue>>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query => query.Include(x => x.AssigneeId, UsersById);
    }
}

[Fact]
public void compiled_include_to_dictionary()
{
    var user1 = new User();
    var user2 = new User();

    var issue1 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user1.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };
    var issue2 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user2.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };
    var issue3 = new Issue { AssigneeId = user2.Id, Title = "Garage Door is busted" };

    using var session = theStore.IdentitySession();
    session.Store(user1, user2);
    session.Store(issue1, issue2, issue3);
    session.SaveChanges();

    using var querySession = theStore.QuerySession();
    var compiledQuery = new IssueWithUsersById();

    var issues = querySession.Query(compiledQuery).ToArray();

    issues.ShouldNotBeEmpty();

    compiledQuery.UsersById.Count.ShouldBe(2);
    compiledQuery.UsersById.ContainsKey(user1.Id).ShouldBeTrue();
    compiledQuery.UsersById.ContainsKey(user2.Id).ShouldBeTrue();
}

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Querying for Paginated Results

Marten compiled queries also support queries for paginated results, where you could specify the page number and size, as well as getting the total count. A simple example of how this can be achieved as follows:

cs
public class TargetPaginationQuery: ICompiledListQuery<Target>
{
    public TargetPaginationQuery(int pageNumber, int pageSize)
    {
        PageNumber = pageNumber;
        PageSize = pageSize;
    }

    public int PageNumber { get; set; }
    public int PageSize { get; set; }

    public QueryStatistics Stats { get; } = new QueryStatistics();

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<Target>, IEnumerable<Target>>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query => query
            .Where(x => x.Number > 10)
            .Skip(PageNumber)
            .Take(PageSize);
    }
}

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Note that the way to get the QueryStatistics out is done by having a property on the query, which we specify in the Stats() method, similarly to the way we handle Include queries.

Querying for a Single Document

If you are querying for a single document with no transformation, you can use this interface as a convenience:

cs
public interface ICompiledQuery<TDoc>: ICompiledQuery<TDoc, TDoc>
{
}

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And an example:

cs
public class FindUserByAllTheThings: ICompiledQuery<User>
{
    public string Username { get; set; }
    public string FirstName { get; set; }
    public string LastName { get; set; }

    public Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, User>> QueryIs()
    {
        return query =>
            query.Where(x => x.FirstName == FirstName && Username == x.UserName)
                .Where(x => x.LastName == LastName)
                .Single();
    }
}

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Querying for Multiple Results as JSON

To query for multiple results and have them returned as a Json string, you may run any query on your IQueryable<T> (be it ordering or filtering) and then simply finalize the query with ToJsonArray(); like so:

cs
public class FindJsonOrderedUsersByUsername: ICompiledListQuery<User>
{
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, IEnumerable<User>>> ICompiledQuery<User, IEnumerable<User>>.QueryIs()
    {
        return query =>
            query.Where(x => FirstName == x.FirstName)
                .OrderBy(x => x.UserName);
    }
}

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If you wish to do it asynchronously, you can use the ToJsonArrayAsync() method.

A sample usage of this type of query is shown below:

cs
public class FindJsonOrderedUsersByUsername: ICompiledListQuery<User>
{
    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, IEnumerable<User>>> ICompiledQuery<User, IEnumerable<User>>.QueryIs()
    {
        return query =>
            query.Where(x => FirstName == x.FirstName)
                .OrderBy(x => x.UserName);
    }
}

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Note that the result has the documents comma separated and wrapped in angle brackets (as per the Json notation).

Querying for a Single Document as JSON

Finally, if you are querying for a single document as json, you will need to prepend your call to Single(), First() and so on with a call to AsJson():

cs
public class FindJsonUserByUsername: ICompiledQuery<User>
{
    public string Username { get; set; }

    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, User>> ICompiledQuery<User, User>.QueryIs()
    {
        return query =>
            query.Where(x => Username == x.UserName).Single();
    }
}

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And an example:

cs
public class FindJsonUserByUsername: ICompiledQuery<User>
{
    public string Username { get; set; }

    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<User>, User>> ICompiledQuery<User, User>.QueryIs()
    {
        return query =>
            query.Where(x => Username == x.UserName).Single();
    }
}

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(our ToJson() method simply returns a string representation of the User instance in Json notation)

Using with QueryStatistics

Compiled queries can be used with the QueryStatistics paging helper. You just need to have a public member on your compiled query class of type QueryStatistics with a value. Marten will do the rest and use that object to collect the total number of rows in the database when the query is executed. Here's an example from the Marten tests:

cs
public class TargetsInOrder: ICompiledListQuery<Target>
{
    // This is all you need to do
    public QueryStatistics Statistics { get; } = new QueryStatistics();

    public int PageSize { get; set; } = 20;
    public int Start { get; set; } = 5;

    Expression<Func<IMartenQueryable<Target>, IEnumerable<Target>>> ICompiledQuery<Target, IEnumerable<Target>>.
        QueryIs()
    {
        return q => q
            .OrderBy(x => x.Id).Skip(Start).Take(PageSize);
    }
}

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And when used in the actual test:

cs
[Fact]
public async Task use_compiled_query_with_statistics()
{
    await theStore.Advanced.Clean.DeleteDocumentsByTypeAsync(typeof(Target));
    var targets = Target.GenerateRandomData(100).ToArray();
    await theStore.BulkInsertAsync(targets);

    var query = new TargetsInOrder { PageSize = 10, Start = 20 };

    var results = await theSession.QueryAsync(query);

    // Verifying that the total record count in the database matching
    // the query is determined when this is executed
    query.Statistics.TotalResults.ShouldBe(100);
}

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Released under the MIT License.