.First() throws Error in LINQ or Entity Framework Queries

I use .First() method in some of the Entity Framework LINQ queries to return only one record . This works perfectly similar to the select Top 1 statemnent in SQL.

Eg :

var data = (from m in Employees
where m.Name == "Senthil"
select m).First()

But , there is an issue with this . Assume your LINQ Query does not contain any Records or the SQL Statement ( TOP 1 ) does not return any records . What would happen ??

I initially thought that it might return NULL or Nothing , but it doesn’t .

When there is no record in the query result and the .First() is used , it throws an error stating “Invalid Operation Exception : sequence contains no elements” . Not an Impressive solution . 🙁

Here comes another method that handy in this case ,Its called FirstOrDefault() which returns NULL if there is no records in the result . The FirstOrDefault() will return the default value for the requested type .

var data = (from m in Employees
where m.Name == "Senthil"
select m).FirstOrDefault();

So beware when using .First() or .Last()  , since you can use .FirstOrDefault() or .LastOrDefault() instead .

Also check what is Supported and what is not Supported in Entity Framework when using First or Last funtion in one my earlier posts .