Dynamically Building a Model with Code First


I’ve answered a few emails recently on this topic so it felt like time to turn it into a blog post.

In this scenario the set of classes that make up your model isn’t known at compile time and is discovered dynamically at runtime. An example of such a scenario is a WordPress/Orchard/etc. style website that allows modules to be plugged in. These modules live in a separate assembly and may contain classes that represent data to be persisted in the application database. These classes are all pulled into a central Code First model to be used for data access.

Finding the Classes

There are lots of different approaches for identifying the classes to be included in the model. For this example lets use a [Persistent] attribute, something like this:

public class PersistentAttribute : Attribute

Now we can add some logic to the…

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