Access Paylocity Data with Entity Framework 6

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Paylocity ADO.NET Provider

Rapidly create and deploy powerful .NET applications that integrate with Paylocity.



This article shows how to access Paylocity data using an Entity Framework code-first approach. Entity Framework 6 is available in .NET 4.5 and above.

Entity Framework is an object-relational mapping framework that can be used to work with data as objects. While you can run the ADO.NET Entity Data Model wizard in Visual Studio to handle generating the Entity Model, this approach, the model-first approach, can put you at a disadvantage if there are changes in your data source or if you want more control over how the entities operate. In this article you will complete the code-first approach to accessing Paylocity data using the CData ADO.NET Provider.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new Windows Form Application. This article uses a C# project with .NET 4.5.
  2. Run the command 'Install-Package EntityFramework' in the Package Manger Console in Visual Studio to install the latest release of Entity Framework.
  3. Modify the App.config file in the project to add a reference to the Paylocity Entity Framework 6 assembly and the connection string.

    Set the following to establish a connection to Paylocity:

    • RSAPublicKey: Set this to the RSA Key associated with your Paylocity, if the RSA Encryption is enabled in the Paylocity account.

      This property is required for executing Insert and Update statements, and it is not required if the feature is disabled.

    • UseSandbox: Set to true if you are using sandbox account.
    • CustomFieldsCategory: Set this to the Customfields category. This is required when IncludeCustomFields is set to true. The default value for this property is PayrollAndHR.
    • Key: The AES symmetric key(base 64 encoded) encrypted with the Paylocity Public Key. It is the key used to encrypt the content.

      Paylocity will decrypt the AES key using RSA decryption.
      It is an optional property if the IV value not provided, The driver will generate a key internally.

    • IV: The AES IV (base 64 encoded) used when encrypting the content. It is an optional property if the Key value not provided, The driver will generate an IV internally.

    Connect Using OAuth Authentication

    You must use OAuth to authenticate with Paylocity. OAuth requires the authenticating user to interact with Paylocity using the browser. For more information, refer to the OAuth section in the Help documentation.

    The Pay Entry API

    The Pay Entry API is completely separate from the rest of the Paylocity API. It uses a separate Client ID and Secret, and must be explicitly requested from Paylocity for access to be granted for an account. The Pay Entry API allows you to automatically submit payroll information for individual employees, and little else. Due to the extremely limited nature of what is offered by the Pay Entry API, we have elected not to give it a separate schema, but it may be enabled via the UsePayEntryAPI connection property.

    Please be aware that when setting UsePayEntryAPI to true, you may only use the CreatePayEntryImportBatch & MergePayEntryImportBatchgtable stored procedures, the InputTimeEntry table, and the OAuth stored procedures. Attempts to use other features of the product will result in an error. You must also store your OAuthAccessToken separately, which often means setting a different OAuthSettingsLocation when using this connection property. <configuration> ... <connectionStrings> <add name="PaylocityContext" connectionString="Offline=False;OAuthClientID=YourClientId;OAuthClientSecret=YourClientSecret;RSAPublicKey=YourRSAPubKey;Key=YourKey;IV=YourIV;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH" providerName="System.Data.CData.Paylocity" /> </connectionStrings> <entityFramework> <providers> ... <provider invariantName="System.Data.CData.Paylocity" type="System.Data.CData.Paylocity.PaylocityProviderServices, System.Data.CData.Paylocity.Entities.EF6" /> </providers> <entityFramework> </configuration> </code>

  4. Add a reference to System.Data.CData.Paylocity.Entities.EF6.dll, located in the lib -> 4.0 subfolder in the installation directory.
  5. Build the project at this point to ensure everything is working correctly. Once that's done, you can start coding using Entity Framework.
  6. Add a new .cs file to the project and add a class to it. This will be your database context, and it will extend the DbContext class. In the example, this class is named PaylocityContext. The following code example overrides the OnModelCreating method to make the following changes:
    • Remove PluralizingTableNameConvention from the ModelBuilder Conventions.
    • Remove requests to the MigrationHistory table.
    using System.Data.Entity; using System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure; using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions; class PaylocityContext : DbContext { public PaylocityContext() { } protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) { // To remove the requests to the Migration History table Database.SetInitializer<PaylocityContext>(null); // To remove the plural names modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>(); } }
  7. Create another .cs file and name it after the Paylocity entity you are retrieving, for example, Employee. In this file, define both the Entity and the Entity Configuration, which will resemble the example below: using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration; using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema; [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema.Table("Employee")] public class Employee { [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Key] public System.String FirstName { get; set; } public System.String LastName { get; set; } }
  8. Now that you have created an entity, add the entity to your context class: public DbSet<Employee> Employee { set; get; }
  9. With the context and entity finished, you are now ready to query the data in a separate class. For example: PaylocityContext context = new PaylocityContext(); context.Configuration.UseDatabaseNullSemantics = true; var query = from line in context.Employee select line;