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Working with CSV Data in LINQPad

Execute LINQ queries to CSV data in LINQPad.

The CData ADO.NET Provider for CSV enables you to use standard ADO.NET interfaces like LINQ and the Entity Framework to work with CSV data. This article shows how to connect from LINQPad and execute LINQ queries.

Create the Data Model

After downloading and installing the provider and LINQPad, create a new class library project in Visual Studio.

See the help documentation for a guide to setting up an EF 6 project to use the provider.

  1. Right-click your project and click Add -> New Item -> ADO.NET Entity Data Model. In the resulting dialog, select Code First from database. Click New Connection and specify the connection string options in the resulting wizard.

    The DataSource property must be set to a valid local folder name. Also, specify the IncludeFiles property to work with text files having extensions that differ from .csv, .tab, or .txt. Specify multiple file extensions in a comma-separated list. You can also set Extended Properties compatible with the Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0 driver. Alternatively, you can provide the format of text files in a Schema.ini file.

    Below is a typical connection string:

    DataSource=MyCSVFilesFolder;
  2. Select the desired tables and views and click Finish to create the data model.

  3. Build the project. The generated files can be used to create the CSV connection in LINQPad.

Connect to CSV Data in LINQPad

After you have obtained the required connection properties and created the data model assembly, follow the steps below to start using the data model in LINQPad.

  1. Open LINQPad and click Add Connection.

  2. Select the "Use a typed data context from your own assembly" option.

  3. Select Entity Framework DbContext.

  4. Click Browse next to the Path to Custom Assembly box and browse to your project folder. Browse to the .dll or .exe under the bin folder.

  5. Select the name of the DbContext.
  6. If you saved your connection string in App.Config, specify the path to the App.config.

You can now query CSV data through LINQPad. For examples of the supported LINQ queries, see the "LINQ and Entity Framework" chapter in the help documentation.